First HHS Medical Teams Providing Assistance in Haiti

HHS News Release

January 16, 2010

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First HHS Medical Teams Providing Assistance in Haiti

The first medical teams on the ground in Haiti from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are providing technical assistance at the GHESKIO Clinic in the capital, Port-au-Prince. They will begin basic and acute medical care in the aftermath of Tuesday's earthquake and its aftershocks.

More than 200 HHS medical personnel arrived yesterday in the Caribbean country, and 50 additional personnel are en route. Shipments of medicine, medical equipment and supplies have also begun to arrive for use by the HHS teams.

In addition, HHS disaster mortuary personnel began working today with Haitian officials to determine how the United States can assist in managing fatalities. HHS personnel also are working with local officials to assess veterinary needs.

HHS personnel also may assist the Haitian government with mental health services, disaster and public health assessments, environmental health and safety testing, and the critical reconstruction of health care infrastructure.

The HHS teams of doctors, nurses, paramedics, emergency medical technicians and other personnel are part of the National Disaster Medical System and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. HHS activated both organizations to assist in relief efforts in Haiti.

HHS is also helping U.S. citizens returning from Haiti. Since the earthquake, personnel from the HHS Administration for Children and Families' Office of Refugee Resettlement have assisted nearly 1,000 Americans being flown from Haiti to U.S. military bases, assessing their needs upon arrival. These needs may include medical care, short-term shelter, and transportation to their destinations in the United States.

To learn more about HHS relief and support activities in Haiti, visit More information about the National Disaster Medical System is available at and more can be found about the U.S. Public Health Service at


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