For those of us looking at the impact of Hurricane Katrina from the outside, this was a very sad chapter in our nation's history.
Then there are those folks who were on the inside, residents from New Orleans who stayed or evacuated for a short period, They have accounts that we cannot even imagine because we weren't there.
One of those "insiders" is Sandy Cordray, a good friend from my days at Loyola University.
Sandy, who was working in marketing and media relations at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans when Katrina hit, has teamed up with Denise Danna, an associate dean at LSU Health Sciences School of Nursing, to write a book from the point of view of the nursing profession.
Here is a short blurb from the publisher:
Nursing in the Storm: Voices from Hurricane Katrina takes you inside six New Orleans hospitals-cut off from help for days by flooding-where nurses cared for patients around the clock. In this book, nurses from Hurricane Katrina share what they did, how they coped, what they lost, and what they are doing now in a city and health care infrastructure still rebuilding, still in jeopardy.Read full account from Springer Publishing (you can purchase the book from this site)
In their own words, the nurses tell what happened in each hospital just before, during, and after the storm. Danna and Cordray provide an intimate portrait of the experience of Katrina, which they and their colleagues endured.
The book also discusses how to plan and prepare for future disasters, with a closing chapter documenting the "lessons learned" from Katrina, including day-to-day health care delivery in a city of crisis. This groundbreaking work serves as a testament to nurses' professionalism, perseverance, and unwavering dedication.
Incidentally Sandy has been a member of the anti-poverty advocacy community in New Orleans, serving on the board of New Orleans Artists against Hunger and Homelessness and supporting the work of Sister Jane Remson at New Orleans Bread for the World and the Global Network for Justice..
If for some reason you happen to be in New Orleans on Saturday, January 16, there will be a book launch at the Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania St., 1:00-3:00 p.m.