Hamilton Center, Inc. Honored For Service To Disaster Work - December 4, 2009

On Thursday, November 19th, Hamilton Center, Inc. was honored for the "Outstanding Contributions to the Mission of the Indiana Disaster Mental Health All Hazard Committee" by the Indiana Division of Mental Health.

Drew Klatte, Assistant Deputy Director Emergency Management and Response, Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addictions, presented Hamilton Center with the award for the support of the All Hazards Committee and commitment to disaster response since 2003. Hamilton Center has been the provider agency for a number of FEMA crisis counseling programs. In addition several Hamilton Center staff played significant roles in the Hurricane Katrina response including the Indiana Task Force deployment to Biloxi, MS and the Indiana Project Aftermath for Hurricane Katrina evacuees in Indiana.

Hamilton Center served as the fiscal and organizing agent for the state’s first disaster response conference in 2006. Since then Hamilton Center has had two staff members positioned as Team Leaders in District 5 (Boone, Johnson, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Marion, Morgan & Shelby) and District 7 (Vermillion, Parke, Putnam, Vigo, Clay, Owen, Sullivan, Greene Counties). Those Team Leaders have been responsible for deploying members of their districts who have been trained in psychological first-aid to respond in natural and man-made disasters. Both District Teams responded to the summer storms of 2008 with several missions relating to tornadoes and flooding.

In addition to deployment, Hamilton Center, Inc. has a staff member who has recently become a member of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security’s Indiana Mortuary Emergency Response Team which will respond in the event of a mass fatality. Several staff have participated in mass fatalities training, while one clinical staff member has facilitated several DMHA field training exercises. Hamilton Center has also been closely involved in Task Force 7 which is the inter-agency organization supporting the needs of First Responders throughout the west central Indiana region.

Drew Klatte of DMHA said that, “Hamilton Center received the award due to the organizational commitment to serve our communities in disaster preparedness and response in order to mitigate potential effects of disaster trauma.”

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