LSU Health New Orleans Newsroom

LSU Health New Orleans and LCMC Health Team Up to Care for Pregnant Hurricane Evacuees

pregnancy ultrasound

As Category 4 Hurricane Laura bore down on the Louisiana coast near Lake Charles, thousands of residents were evacuated to get them out of harm’s way. The COVID pandemic precluded the traditional reliance on congregant shelters. So instead, New Orleans area hotels provided shelter to more than 10,000 of them. Some were pregnant women.

Anticipating such an eventuality, LCMC Health and LSU Health New Orleans kicked into high gear to be ready to provide continuity of their prenatal care.

“LCMC, I think, realized very quickly that we were going to see a huge influx of patients and people who needed providers and care when they got to New Orleans, and so they reached out to the LSU Department of OB/GYN as a clinical partner for OB/GYN care within the system to see if we would be willing to help the pregnant patient,” recounts Dr. Stacey Holman, Associate Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, and Women’s Health Center Director at University Medical Center New Orleans.

“Immediately, we were able to set up shop in our clinic at UMC to provide prenatal care for lots of women who showed up here in various stages of their pregnancies,” says Dr. Holman.

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One of the largest factors in the speed at which this effort became operational was how fast they could obtain medical records. Their success can be attributed to one of the greatest benefits of LSU Health New Orleans Undergraduate and Graduate Medical Education – its graduates and residents choosing to stay in-state to complete their education and to practice. LSU Health New Orleans medical students and residents rotate at health care facilities throughout southern Louisiana, and lasting relationships are made.
Hurricane Laura
“I utilized a lot of my connections from my residency training here in New Orleans and reached out to the providers I knew were in Lake Charles and had been displaced themselves and just asked them for any opportunity to provide medical records – some by phone, some by picture -- anything that we could do to be able to provide the continuity of care for the patients who showed up on our doorstep,” says Dr. Holman.

And the care continues. The LSU Health OB/GYN team at UMC is still following prenatal patients and delivering their babies at Touro Infirmary, also within the LCMC Health and another LSU Health New Orleans teaching hospital. They are also seeing women who need routine GYN care.

Dr. Stacey Holman
“It’s important because women’s health is not a one-time thing,” maintains Dr. Holman. “It’s really a spectrum of care.”

Everything from simple problems to pre-cancerous conditions that need treatment requires regular attention.

“I am incredibly proud of our system and our LSU providers for mobilizing quickly and providing safe and equitable care,” adds Dr. Holman. “As an OB/GYN here during Katrina, I remember how hard it was to know that our patients were displaced to other cities. We sincerely appreciate the opportunity to return the favor.”
With the added devastation of another strong storm, Hurricane Delta, striking within miles just weeks after Hurricane Laura, the need has only grown.

LSU Health New Orleans and LCMC Health stand ready to meet it.