Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Gustav Update; Second Special Medical Needs Center Open in Hattiesburg

Just in from the Mississippi Department of Health...

Mississippi State Department of Health

News Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Liz Sharlot, Carol Jarvis Jones, Elizabeth Grey or Matt Staggs - Office of Communications 601-576-7667

Date: September 2, 2008
Time: 1:30 p.m.

Mississippi State Department of Health to Open Second State Special Medical Needs Shelter at Pearl River Community College (Forrest County Center)

Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) opened the second state shelter for Mississippians with Special Medical Needs at Pearl River Community College (Forrest County Center), 5448 U.S. Hwy. 49 in Hattiesburg.

Another state Special Medical Needs Shelter remains open on the campus of Hinds Community College in Raymond.

Directions to both state Special Medical Needs Shelters are available by calling Mississippi 2-1-1 or by visiting the MSDH website at www.HealthyMS.com.

Special Medical Needs Shelters are available to citizens who suffer from a health or medical condition that meets the following criteria:
• Individuals who are in need of assistance for routine care such as eating, walking and using the bathroom.
• Individuals who require ambulatory care, with or without the use of assistive devices.
• Individuals in need of assistance for managing health care, including taking medications or using medical equipment.
• Individuals with the following stable or non-complicated medical issues: diabetes, Foley catheter maintenance, medication maintenance, blood pressure monitoring, severe arthritis, naso-gastric or gastrostomy tubes (home maintenance), ostomy, Alzheimer’s Disease, stable stroke, stable cardiac, stable cancer, stable oxygen and nebulizer therapy (e.g. COPD, Asthma), dressings (must have nursing care plan and supplies) and hospice, if there are no complex issues.

Special Medical Needs Shelters – Page 2

• Other individuals with disabilities including those who are blind, hearing impaired, mobility impaired or with any minor medical condition not listed above.

Residents may bring a caregiver with them to the shelter. The caregiver may be a family member or a healthcare provider. Those persons who are bedridden and require total care may be admitted to a Special Medical Needs Shelter if they are accompanied and cared for by a responsible caregiver and do not require a hospital bed. Conditions in the Special Medical Needs Shelters require that individuals be able to safely sleep on a cot or mat.

Individuals with medical conditions that require more complex care than is available at a Special Needs Medical Shelter should make arrangements with their physician for admission to a hospital or nursing facility.

Residents should bring their medication, medical supplies and equipment along with the contact information of their physician, pharmacy and, if applicable, oxygen supplier. At least seven days of prescription and non-prescription medication and oxygen, if used, is needed.

Additionally, residents should bring important papers and telephone numbers, sheets, blankets and pillows, personal hygiene items, non-perishable special dietary items, personal snacks and drinks, and a flashlight and batteries.

Single parents with young children who qualify for a Special Medical Needs Shelter may bring the children with them if no other plans can be made for their care.

There are no provisions for pets at this shelter with the exception of service animals. Service animals will be allowed inside the residents’ shelter area.
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For more information on hurricane preparedness and safety, or if you would like to volunteer during emergencies, visit the MSDH website at www.HealthyMS.com or call us 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-866-HLTHY4U (1-866-458-4948).

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