Date of Award

Spring 5-2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health

Field of Study

Health Management and Policy

Department

School of Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Kristine Lykens

Abstract

Healthcare safety net providers care for medically vulnerable populations on a daily basis. During disasters they play a crucial role in maintaining the continuity of healthcare services for individuals with chronic illness and limited resources whether they evacuate or remain. This study examines the roles and responsibilities of healthcare safety net providers in Louisiana, and their ability to assist in emergency response and recovery efforts. The research uses case study methodology to examine the roles and responsibilities of healthcare safety net providers during recent hurricane events. Roles examined include operating special needs shelters, mobile medical clinics, coordination of emergency resources and assisting medically vulnerable patients with the location of medications. The research will focus on the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) funded programs in the State of Louisiana. Healthcare safety net programs included in the research include: Louisiana HIV/AIDS Program (Part B), Louisiana Primary Care Association, Louisiana Bureau of Primary Health Care, Louisiana Office of Rural Health, New Orleans and Baton Rouge HIV/AIDS programs (Part A), and Louisiana Maternal and Child Health Program. The research identifies multiple areas in which emergency response and recovery efforts could be enhanced through a greater integration with healthcare safety net providers.

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