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Hendrick Planes Assist Katrina Relief Efforts

CONCORD, N.C. (Nov. 23, 2005) – Since early September, Hendrick Motorsports has provided air transportation to more than 1,000 North Carolina-based personnel assisting with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

Healthcare workers and support staff from hospitals all over the state set up a care facility in the parking lot of a strip mall in Bay Saint Louis, Miss., not far from Hancock Medical Center, which was rendered inoperative by flooding.

“Flying versus a 12-to-14 hour bus ride allows our personnel to arrive fresh and rested,” said Dr. Tom Blackwell of the MED-1 Mobile Hospital team.  “We are extremely grateful for this generous offer from Mr. Rick Hendrick and Hendrick Motorsports.”

The combined medical team, which recently returned home, treated about 200 patients a day from the Bay Saint Louis and Waveland communities. While many complaints were relatively minor, all had the potential for serious consequences in the contaminated environment left behind by the storm surge.  Among them were heart attack patients and people who suffered traumatic injuries.

Carolinas MED-1 is a one-of-a-kind prototype mobile hospital with the capacity to serve as a trauma center and the ability to provide treatment for ailments such as heart attacks and strokes, as well as surgical intervention.

MED-1 was developed with grant funds from the Department of Homeland Security.  It was designed by a team of emergency physicians and nurses at Carolinas Medical Center to augment a damaged hospital or provide extra capacity to a functioning hospital in the event of a natural disaster or act of terrorism.

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