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At the time of Katrina, Mrs. Charlene Baudier directed only Jefferson Parish medical services. When Ms. Dantoni moved to Washington, DC, following Katrina, Mrs. Baudier took on those responsibilities as well. She described the dramatic loss of physicians in Orleans Parish:
"The members of the Orleans Parish Medical Society] were in a panic mode. They lost half of their members immediately. . . Their membership went from around 600 or so actively practicing doctors to under 300. They are just gone. Their offices were gone. They were flooded. . . It’s amazing. . .Ten feet of water in an office. Medical records totally destroyed. Doctors . . . scrambling to get on medical staffs at other hospitals in order to treat whatever patients were back."
Mrs. Baudier described efforts made to sustain the Orleans and Jefferson Parish Medical Societies post Katrina:
"Our two organizations decided to just do more together rather than to merge the two organizations. So that left Orleans with trying to figure out how to keep themselves afloat, so their director, Susan, . . . by the middle of 2006, she worked feverishly to try to get some grant assistance to keep them afloat. They did get some money from the State Medical Society and the AMA to help them meet their financial obligations of just keeping the office open. Susan left in August of 2006 and we began conversations. . .in about August about how we can, staffing wise, help them. So, for the remainder of 2006 the Orleans Medical Society was managed by existing staff which was a part time secretary and a CPA [Mr. Donofrio] who had done their financial office responsibilities for some time. He took on more of the Director’s role. He would organize the meetings and the board meetings and worked on streamlining their governance so that they could operate according to amended bylaws with the existing leadership that was there. . . They had this elaborate structure where there was a council of governors representing the various hospitals that were totally closed. It was unreasonable to think that the council of governors even exists or much less functions as a governing board, so they redid their bylaws in an emergency state. . ."
"He [Mr. Donofrio] kept them afloat from August 2006 through the first of January 2007 and during that time, those five months or so, we worked with the leadership at Orleans to figure out a management contract whereby Jefferson Medical Society would manage Orleans Medical Society. So that’s what I have done. . . Jefferson Medical Society realized that if we were going to take on that responsibility, we also have to beef up our staff of one, me. . . From the storm until the end of 2006, I was the only staff member at Jefferson. . . So, we were operating out of much reduced capacity. We weren’t doing the same things we did. We were having our board meetings, we were having . . . some membership events, but. . . we weren’t recruiting members. We were sensitive to the fact that we wanted to serve the doctors. . . In fact we let physicians be members for free all through 2006."