Health and Family Services Cabinet
CHFS Providing Services to Hurricane Katrina Evacuees Arriving in Kentucky
CHFS Providing Services to Hurricane Katrina Evacuees Arriving in Kentucky,
KHELPS System to Help Connect Displaced People to Medical, Social, Basic Needs Services
Frankfort, KY (Sept. 7, 2005) In light of the devastation and desperate conditions caused by Hurricane Katrina, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) is preparing to coordinate and provide essential services for evacuees arriving in Kentucky from Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.
"Kentucky stands willing and able to help evacuees to obtain the assistance they need during this recovery period," said Governor Ernie Fletcher. "It is times like these that require states to come together to serve neighbors who are getting back on their feet. We are united in our commitment to support displaced persons migrating to the commonwealth to effectively meet their varied needs."
CHFS’ agencies are working collaboratively to connect displaced people to medical, social and basic needs services, including: food stamps; the Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program (KTAP); Medicaid; Mental Health/Mental Retardation (MHMR) services; Department for Public Health services, including clinical services and the HIV/AIDS program; the WIC program; the Kentucky Physician Care (KPC) program; and immunizations.
CHFS has also launched a new system called KHELPS (Kentucky Helps) to establish a central point for coordinating necessary services for evacuees. KHELPS is a database designed to collect information about needs and facilitate access to the services that Kentucky can provide to those displaced to Kentucky as a result of Hurricane Katrina. The Cabinet can also use the database to collect information about any friends or family those evacuees in Kentucky may be looking for; this information will be provided to the appropriate agencies, such as the American Red Cross.
“Many families were separated and, in some cases, may have ended up in different states at shelters or receiving assistance. We want to establish a way for these separated families and friends to locate those people who have been displaced to Kentucky,” said William Hacker, M.D., commissioner of public health. “We also want to encourage displaced persons residing in private homes to register in order to receive needed services.”
The Cabinet asks all those displaced by Hurricane Katrina—including those who came here on their own to stay with friends and family—register their personal information to ensure they receive necessary services. Information can be provided in several different ways:
• Calling the DPH Department Operations Center (DOC) at 888-398-0013 during normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.);
• Contacting the local health department or Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) office where they are currently located;
• Logging on at http://www.katrinarelief.chfs.ky.gov and entering data directly into the system;
• Printing the form located on the Web site above and faxing the completed form to (502) 696-5852 or (502) 564-4387; or
• Filling out the form located on the Web site and e-mailing as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org .
“Through these trying times it is the goal and purpose of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to meet the needs of displaced persons through the provision of essential life services,” said James Holsinger, Jr., M.D., CHFS secretary. “Not only shall we do our job well, but we will also do it with compassion and love for each displaced person in light of the losses to family, property and possessions that he or she may have experienced.”
For more information, visit http://chfs.ky.gov/katrina.htm .