Kentucky public-health nurses in N.C. helping deal with Florence

Commissioner Jeffrey Howard, far right, posed with the team headed to North Carolina. Back row, L-R: Nancy Hamilton (Department for Public Health), Sherita Hall (Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness), Christopher Smith (Lexington-Fayette County Health Department), Angela Kik (Dept. for Public Health), Shelley Wood (Department of Insurance), Heather Toews (Lexington-Fayette County Health Dept.), Rachel Harrison (Bracken County Health Department), Sandra Glover (Dept. for Public Health). Front row, L-R:  Charlene Woodard (Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness), Stephanie Carpenter (Lexington-Fayette County Health Dept.), Rebecca Hardin (Dept. for Public Health)

Several Kentucky public-health nurses are in areas of North Carolina devastated by Hurricane Florence to provide medical support to victims in medical-support shelters. They will be there for about two weeks, said the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

The “strike team” is nine registered nurses and two staff members from health departments in Louisville, Lexington and Bracken County, the state Department of Insurance and the Department for Public Health. “I commend them and thank them for their compassionate service,” CHFS Secretary Adam Meier said in a news release.

People in medical-support shelters “have medical needs and are in relatively stable condition but have a chronic disease or condition such as diabetes or require oxygen or dialysis,” the release said. “Nurses will be conducting history and physical exams, providing patient assessments, assisting with medicine administration and providing general nursing care and comfort.” Their work can be followed on Twitter at

The state health department is prepared to deploy environmental-health specialists and support personnel “if requested to address critical public-health issues, including food safety, food salvage and disposal, food and water-related illness, clean water sources, water sampling, solid waste water system analysis and mosquito control,” said Health Commissioner Jeffrey Howard Jr., M.D.

Assistance requests are coordinated and authorized through a multi-state compact, under which the requesting state reimburses all associated costs incurred by the provider state, the release said.
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