Virtue Foundation Deploys Medical Team to Houma, Louisiana
At the request of the Department of Mental Health of Louisiana, Virtue Foundation deployed a team of mental health professionals headed by Drs. Paul and Susan DeBell to the emergency room of Chalbert Medical Center in Houma, Louisiana, located approximately 50 miles south of New Orleans, from October 25 to November 4, 2005. Mental health services at the medical center had been overwhelmed not only by residents of New Orleans, but also from the coastal area around Houma, which had suffered severe damage. The medical team, which included four mental health paraprofessionals living in New Orleans but stationed in Houma indefinitely since their hospital had been condemned, was assigned to help people deal with crises, reduce unnecessary hospitalizations, and connect with resources. The team also made visits to a nearby shelter, where they assisted Red Cross staff with patients who required mental health evaluations and treatment in order to facilitate their placement.