We have been lucky to be able to assist the incredibly dedicated team working on Saint Thomas (US Virgin Islands) as part of the Hurricane Maria Response. When Dr. J. Zen Meservy, MD, reached out to DPO just a few short days after Hurricane Maria devastated the island we reached out to our volunteers to see who would be available and what can be done. With no electricity, running water or even an effective ability to get around the island the best place to start seemed to be focusing on the team itself. Understanding what to expect in the midst of the devastation is helpful (and is well understood to be a relatively specialized knowledge base) – to be able to better plan the next steps and remain as effective as possible.
An experienced DPO volunteer – Dr. Antony Ng (a former DPO Medical Director, currently the Chief Medical Officer at Acadia Hospital at Eastern Maine Medical Center) used simple video conferencing software to connect to the team and conduct a rapid “just in time” disaster mental health basics training this past Wednesday October 4th. With signal still a bit unstable this was just a few hours but we hope that whatever little we could do – helpful to the incredible local team:
J. Zen Meservy, MD, Psychiatrist
Kristyn Livingston, MA, Psychological Assoicate
Morales Brown, MD, Psychiatrist
Ann Barnard, Ed.D, Psychologist
Starting from the bottom left of the group photo it is:
Nicolette Cutright (Howells), PhD, Child Psychologist
Dionne Simmonds, PhD, Social Worker
Joanna Tasi, MSW, Social Worker
Lori Thompson, PhD, Psychologist is in the picture alone.
DPO Team will continue working with St. Thomas Team remotely as long as we are needed and can be helpful. In the meantime – let us know if you would like to support them financially – simply make a designated donation and 100% of your donation will go toward basic resources to allow the team to continue doing their incredible work! Come back to see additional updates as we are looking for both financial and other innovative ways to support their work!