Recovery's Opportunities

January 26, 2016

January 26, 2016 - We made it to the other side.

Not that we’re done with the clean-up (even the federal government is closed today), but we have weathered the storm.  The East Coast is slowly resuming operations, despite travel challenges and a slow clean-up process, schools are beginning to open and work is resuming.  For many, daily life is sight within a week.

But two other stories receiving coverage served to re-energize me when I was tired, and re-inspire my – and Healthcare Ready’s – work for years to come: the health and human impact of the storm, and the economic hit communities took.

We talk about community resilience a lot, and the impacts being felt from Georgia up to Rhode Island underscore why.  But I’m also mindful of the opportunity the recovery phase we’re entering now will provide –a crucial, (if not asked for, or desired) opportunity to identify first-hand concrete places and means for building resilience. And I’m energized once more.

Jonas reminded us of the importance of preparation, coordination and flexibility.  Our organization was impressed and encouraged by the level of communication and coordination that we witnessed from our local partners, especially the private sector coordinators with which we work.  When a storm of this magnitude hits a number of states, coordination beyond state lines becomes critical.  We know we’re far from done with the clean-up and recovery, but we must send a special “thank you” to our partners from Georgia all the way up to Rhode Island!  Thank you and congratulations on a job well done.

Our team hopes that we’ve been able to support you all during the storm.  Although we’ve downgraded to “ALERT” status, and appear to be on the tail end of the storm (and tracking the possibility of another one this weekend), we know what challenges will be confronting communities in the coming days and continue to monitor the affected states and offer any assistance we can provide.

Nicolette A. Louissaint, Ph.D.

Dr. Nicolette A. Louissaint is Director of Programming at Healthcare Ready. Prior to this position, Nicolette served as a Foreign Affairs Officer at the U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. During the height of the Ebola Epidemic of 2014, Nicolette served as the Senior Advisor to the State Department’s Special Coordinator for Ebola. Nicolette earned a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences, specializing in HIV Clinical Pharmacology from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She completed post-doctoral fellowships at the Johns Hopkins University and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.