COO Warner Thomas Speaks to International Audience of Emergency Preparedness Responders
NEW ORLEANS - Tomorrow, Tuesday, September 18, 2007, at the Sheraton National Hotel in Arlington, VA, Ochsner Health System President and Chief Operating Officer, Warner Thomas, will present at the Global Health Security Action Group (GHSAG) Conference on lessons learned from Katrina and Rita. Conference attendees will include policy and program response leaders from the international community, including the Director General of the World Health Organization, Ministries of Health from Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom; the Secretaries of Health from Japan, Mexico and the U.S., and the Health Commissioner of the European Union.
The theme of the conference is: "Exportable Lessons Learned from the Katrina and Rita Hurricanes for Pandemic Flu Response and Other Large Territorial Events" of which Thomas will address local best practices and lessons learned. He will also participate in a panel discussion.
The conference's goal is to establish a forum for international members involved with public health emergency preparedness response. Lessons learned from the U.S. response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita will serve as a starting point for discussions. The U.S. experience provides relevant and valuable advice to other countries in preparation for potential major public health emergencies, including pandemic flu.
Ochsner Medical Center was one of just three hospitals in New Orleans that remained open and fully functional to serve the community during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in September 2005. Several members of Ochsner's Executive Operating Team have presented lessons learned around the U.S. since the storms as a model for how institutions can plan for and remain functional, as well as collaborate with other hospitals in their surrounding region during a crisis.
Ochsner Health System (www.ochsner.org) is a non-profit, academic, multi-specialty, healthcare delivery system dedicated to patient care, research and education. The system includes seven hospitals, a sub-acute facility, and 32 health centers located throughout Southeast Louisiana. Through our unique coordinated system, Ochsner provides healthcare with peace of mind because we put the needs of all patients first. Ochsner employs over 600 physicians in 80 medical specialties and subspecialties and conducts over 700 ongoing clinical research trials annually. Ochsner was ranked #1"Best Place to Work" by New Orleans CityBusiness Magazine in 2005 and 2006 and received the Consumer Choice for Healthcare in New Orleans for 12 consecutive years. Ochsner was ranked as "Best" Hospital by U.S. News and World Report in July 2007.