Government Relations

UM Legislative Update Newsletter

September 15, 2005

UM continues hurricane outreach efforts

The four University of Missouri campuses and UM Health Care have announced plans to assist Gulf Coast residents who have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina. "Our deepest sympathies lie with the victims of this terrible disaster," said University of Missouri President Elson S. Floyd. "The University of Missouri is taking the swiftest measures possible to aid students whose academic schedules have been affected." As of Tuesday, Sept. 13, a total of 134 students had enrolled at one of the UM campuses: 22 at UM-Columbia, 35 at UM-Kansas City, 75 at UM-St. Louis and 2 at UM-Rolla. The campuses also are involved in various fundraisers to help with hurricane relief.

University of Missouri Health Care continues to participate in daily teleconferences with representatives of the Missouri Hospital Association (MHA) and Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) in an effort to assist victims of the hurricane. To date, more than 100 health system staff members have volunteered to go to the Gulf Coast area to help, and UM Health Care also has offered a list of supplies that could be contributed. In the most recent teleconference, MHA officials said emergency efforts are concentrating on keeping persons displaced by the hurricane as close to their homes as possible. As a result, volunteers may be needed more to supplement staff at hospitals in the Gulf Coast area and not at emergency medical shelters, as first thought.

Officials noted that any displaced persons needing financial help with prescription drug costs should contact their local American Red Cross chapters. The Missouri Department of Mental Health is working with the DHSS and the State Emergency Management Agency to provide mental health services to displaced persons.

At the federal level, Congress is considering legislation to help displaced students, including legislation that would allow the Department of Education to waive student aid repayment requirements for students displaced as a result of a natural disaster. The House passed a similar measure for displaced students receiving Pell Grants.

For further information on the University’s hurricane relief efforts, please visit the following link: http://www.umsystem.edu/katrina

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