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Picture of Hurricane Katrina Volunteers who assisted in the
building of a clinic in Biloxi. Included among the volunteers is
Dr. Jeffrey Harris, Current Member of the ACP Board of Regents, who
is pictured on the top row, second from the right.
BILOXI, Miss. (NNS) -- Sailors and Project HOPE volunteers from
USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) reconstructed a Hurricane Katrina-damaged
garage here and made it into a fully operational primary care
clinic Sept. 17.
The group used donated supplies as well as scattered debris to
rebuild the roof and walls of the facility and then separated the
room into sections to promote patient privacy.
"We came to the area because we learned there was a great need
for medical care here," said Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Dorrance, Comfort's
assistant H-1 division head. "We were lucky enough to locate this
garage and literally rebuild it to fit our needs."
After locating the facility behind a church Sept. 16, the group
went to work on the rebuilding project the next morning.
"The majority of us saw the site for the first time Saturday
morning, and it was a little discouraging because of how devastated
the area was," said Hospitalman Apprentice Ryan Junkin, who
volunteered to help at the clinic. "The first day was so hard,
because we had to work on building a facility and see patients at
the same time...but after seeing what we were able to accomplish -
that we had completely revamped the garage and made a working
medical facility - the feeling was exhilarating."
Although Comfort staff will not be able to stay at the clinic
very long, there will undoubtedly be a lasting affect on the
"The real good part about what we've done here is we're leaving
the local physicians with something to work with," Dorrance said.
"As far as having a long-term effect here, we will, because we are
leaving behind this facility as well as all of the donated medical
"Most importantly, we got something started here. They will have
somewhere they can go to receive medical treatment so they can feel
better and start rebuilding their lives."
Comfort is docked at Bayou Cassotte Pier in Pascagoula, Miss.,
and has been providing medical and hotel service to Katrina relief
workers and area civilians who have been affected by Hurricane
Comfort and its more than 700-person crew have seen more than
1,200 patients aboard and nearly 400 patients in their community
outreach clinics ashore since arriving in the Pascagoula area Sept.
For the latest Navy news on Hurricane Katrina relief efforts,