Crises and Turnaround Management: Lessons Learned from Recovery of New Orleans and Tulane University Following Hurricane Katrina


By their very nature both man-made and natural disasters are unpredictable, and so we recommend that all health-care institutions be prepared. In this paper, the authors describe and make a number of recommendations, regarding the importance of crisis and turnaround management using as a model the New Orleans public health system and Tulane University Medical School post-Hurricane Katrina. Leadership skills, articulation of vision, nimble decision making, and teamwork are all crucial elements of a successful recovery from disaster. The leadership team demonstrated courage, integrity, entrepreneurship, and vision. As a result, it led to a different approach to public health and the introduction of new and innovative medical education and research programs.

In the Dean’s initial message to the Tulane community, he wanted to give a sense of purpose and pride and to encourage entrepreneurship. The key points he made were:

  • We will help to build a different health-care system, not rebuild.
  • The time to act is now. No more consultants or “strategic planning.”
  • Turn adversity into opportunity.
  • The door to the Dean’s office is always open. All are welcome to come to discuss problems with their recommended solutions.

Sometimes it takes a disaster to remove silos and create a new vision. Based on our experience, the following are our key recommendations:

  1. Understand the culture:
  2. Build a strong leadership team:
  3. Have a recovery plan, but be prepared to adapt based on local conditions:
  4. Vision alone is insufficient:
  5. Manage post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD):
  6. Lead by example.

Read in full at Source: Crises and Turnaround Management: Lessons Learned from Recovery of New Orleans and Tulane University Following Hurricane Katrina

Published by Residential Forum

The Residential Forum is to promote the achievement of high standards of care and support for children and adults living in residential care and nursing homes, supported housing, residential schools and colleges, hospices and hostels. It contributes to improving the quality of service to the public. Members of the Forum are people of standing and experience drawn from the public, private and voluntary sectors, as well as some who can speak for service users and carers.

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