New Mexico Disaster Medical Assistance Team Activated to Houston

The New Mexico Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) was deployed to Houston over the weekend to assist local health officials with the aftermath of flooding caused by Tropical Storm Allison.

The 25-person team, led by John Gaffney, director, Emergency Management Division, UNM Health Sciences Center Office of Clinical Affairs, received Federal activation orders Saturday.. The team was transported to Houston Sunday morning aboard a specially tasked U.S. Air Force C-17 transport aircraft. They arrived in Houston at 12:25 CST.

At the request of the Houston mayor's office, DMAT has set up an urgent care center adjacent to the Astrodome. With eight of Houston's hospitals closed by the flooding, DMAT will triage patients and provide medical care until the city's healthcare systems return to normal.

News agencies are reporting that so far, 18 people have died as a result of the storm, which dropped 24 inches of rain on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Contact: HSC Public Affairs, 272-3322

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