Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti diary: Pharmacy perspective

January 13, 2010; 10:52 pm

Hello to all-

In addition to my day job of working at Advanced Care Pharmacy in Shelby Township, I am one of the Chief Pharmacists for the Department of Health & Human Services Disaster Response Teams. Officially I work for HHS, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Response and Preparedness/Office of Preparedness and Emergency Operations, National Disaster Medical Systems. I am part of the command and control group that deploys forward during a federally declared disaster or emergency response.

As you know, yesterday the country of Haiti was struck by a significant earthquake. As part of a global humanitarian response, the United States has committed to assisting in many ways. At this time, I have been activated and told to stage forward toward the area. I will be leaving early in the morning for Atlanta, and then ... who knows where?

January 14

At this time, we are staged in Atlanta. We have multiple teams with us staged here. This afternoon, we may depart for Haiti and be on the ground by this evening. That is still fluid and may change at any time. Once in Haiti, I doubt I will have communications in or out, so this may be my last e-mail for a while.

As you may have seen on TV, a group from the 82nd Airborne is on the ground and will be providing security for us. In addition, an aircraft carrier is apparently enroute, along with (possibly) the USNS Comfort hospital ship. We may be working in conjunction with them; not sure.

I appreciate all of the well wishes and acknowledgements.

Most important, please keep my family in your thoughts. Although I do this for our country and to help people, my family are the real heros. They are the most important thing to me, bar none. Leaving them during events like this brings challenges to them and for me.

Thanks for all the thoughts and support.


Bill Drake

William C. Drake, Pharm.D.
Advanced Care Pharmacy Services

Chief Pharmacist
HHS Humanitarian Mission to Haiti