Thirty doctors, nurses, paramedics and environmental specialists who are part of the Iowa Department of Public Health’s emergency response team returned home Sunday after two weeks in Louisiana. Team co-leader Clark Christensen helped run a field hospital set up in Baton Rouge. “Even though they were going through a very trying time, boy, they made us feel welcome,” Christensen says. Most of the patients they treated were elderly. Their patients came from hospitals and emergency shelters. Some came to the field hospital after being stranded in their own homes by flood waters. Christensen says most of their patients were dehydrated. Cory Frank, the other Iowa Public Health Department team leader, was in charge of those who were roaming southern Louisiana, testing water and food. They started out their field testing on the north side of Lake Pontchartrain and spent the last few days in New Orleans. Frank says they were testing public water supplies to see if residents could start drinking the water again.They also assessed restaurants, checking to see if any of the food had been damaged by the hurricane. Frank and his group conducted health inspections for a thousand establishments while they were in the New Orleans area. He is concerned that business owners and residents of New Orleans will rush back into the city before it’s safe. “You want to make sure they’re not going to get going too fast,” he says. The New Orleans mayor and federal officials are feuding now over how quickly residents can move back in. The 30 members of Iowa’s Public Health Response Team came from counties across the state. Here’s a list of the people who went: Pam Ballard, a nurse from Polk County; Beth Boyd, a nurse from Story County; Clark Christiansen, a paramedic from Johnson County; Matt DeHaven, a doctor from Polk County; Aimee Deverous, an environmental health specialist from Calhoun County; Jeff Dummermuth, a paramedic from Polk County; Cory Frank, an environmental health specialist from Warren County; Craig Goth, a nurse from Dickinson County; Melissa Groet, a nurse from Mahaska County; Rhonda Healey, a paramedic from Dubuque County; Katherine Hill, a nurse from Dallas County; Dale Johnson, a nurse from Warren County; Aiko Kamies, a paramedic from Sioux County; Ladd Kinzie, a registered technician from Polk County; Tim Link, an environmental health specialist from Dubuque County; Kevin Long, a nurse from Polk County; Sally McMahon, a nurse from Woodbury County; Sharon Milligan, a nurse from Polk County; Sandy Neyen, a paramedic from Dubuque County; Ken Rasing, an environmental health specialist from Chickasaw County; Denis Reavis, a doctor from Polk County; Randy Ross, a paramedic from Woodbury County; Tom Schlife, an environmental health specialist from polk County; Dan Schopf, a nurse from Polk County; Lisa Stuart, a nurse from Polk County; Matt Stuart, a paramedic from Polk County; Jeanne Tiedeman, a paramedic from Pocahontas County; Ken Vanlandingham, a paramedic from Guthrie County; Patrick Waldorf, a paramedic from Dallas County and Dave Wilprect, an environmental health specialist from Dickinson County.
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