The Aesthetic Guide is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Doctor, nurses give help, care to hurricane victims

Article-Doctor, nurses give help, care to hurricane victims

National report — As dislocated residents were emptying out of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath, Dima Ali, M.D., felt "a calling" to help. Dr. Ali, an aesthetic medicine physician practicing at the Well Medica Anti-Aging and Wellness Center, Reston, Va., along with Jan Setnor, C.R.N.A., and Debbie Marinucci, R.N., of the Austin-Weston Center for Cosmetic Surgery, Reston, Va., headed south with all the supplies that would fit into their U-Haul.

Travelers (rear, left and right) Dr. Dima Ali; Debbie Marinucci, R.N.; and (front) Lucricia Banford, P.A.; Ruby Hess, C.R.N.A.; and Jan Setnor, C.R.N.A. Ms. Banford and Ms. Hess helped colleagues prepare for the trip.
In describing her motivation, Dr. Ali says, "We are born with nothing and leave with nothing and what matters in life is how you treat fellow human beings."

Natural disasters really show how people can come together and show human support, she adds.

The three went to give help, supplies and medical care to the many hurt, sick and homeless left in Katrina's wake, including Ms. Marinucci's own kin — numbering 10 families who all lived in Louisiana and Mississippi. They and their pets were living at a niece's home in Prairieville, La.

(Right) Nurses Debbie Marinucci (left) and Jan Setnor traveled from Virginia to help hurricane victims, including Ms. Marinucci's own kin — numbering 10 displaced families who all lived in Louisiana and Mississippi.
Dr. Ali, whose practice focuses on cosmetic dermatology and laser surgery, rode to Baton Rouge with the group to provide general medical care.


The friends and colleagues had intended to drive a pickup truck to Louisiana, but soon discovered that the outpouring of money, clothing and supplies from friends and patients required them to rent a U-Haul.

(Left to Right) Ms. Setnor, Ms. Marinucci and Dr. Ali wait for help in North Carolina after an axle broke on their rental truck.
People donated Wal-Mart gift certificates, clothing, food and more. McKesson Corp. and Anda Inc. sent antibiotics, blood pressure medicines, Tylenol, Benadryl, antihistamines, antiviral medications and surgical supplies overnight, without charge.

Ms. Setnor and Ms. Marinucci's employers, board-certified plastic surgeons George Weston, M.D., Rob Sigal, M.D., and Byron Poindexter, M.D., supported their employees' efforts.

"They sent down a generator with us. Whatever funds the office collected, the docs matched," Ms. Setnor says.

Journey an adventure

The journey from Virginia, through Alabama and into Louisiana was an adventure in itself, the women say, particularly because the axle broke on the U-Haul van in North Carolina. They rented two minivans and transferred the supplies.

Their first stop: Alabama. Ms. Marinucci's brother had left Mississippi with his wife, son, daughter and grandchild. All they had were the clothes they were wearing when they evacuated.

"Auburn and Georgia Tech were playing football that night, so it was really fun getting into town," Ms. Setnor says. "Then, (it was sad) to go there and see this family sitting in a dark RV park with just what they had. They were so appreciative of just getting some toilet paper and baby formula."

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.