BATON ROUGE- ANSER Analytic Services, Inc., a public-service research institute, was recently assigned by the federal government to evaluate the operations at the Find Family National Call Center. The Call Center is the national collection point for information on missing family members or those who may have perished during Hurricane Katrina.
ANSER, which provides analytical and technical support to federal agencies, conducted its evaluation over a two-day period, observing operations on-site, interviewing staff and reviewing documentation.
According to David M. Park, Ph.D., Senior National Homeland Security Advisor to ANSER, the work done at the Call Center has been “very, very commendable,” and there are “state and national heroes” on staff. The documentation collected and provided surpasses anything collected at other facilities of this type and “will serve as a model for other states and communities.”
Call Center Director of Operations Randall Lemoine, Ph.D. and Deputy Director of Operations Henry Yennie, both of the Department of Health and Hospitals—Office of Mental Health, and their fellow staff members were recognized by reviewers for their dedication and professionalism in helping families cope during this difficult time.
Evaluators also noted the dramatic improvements that have taken place at the center since its opening. The operations were deemed to have become more tailored and refined since they began in early September.
“Within days of the storm, LDH was tasked with setting up a facility to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina and their families,” said LDH Secretary Dr. Fred Cerise. “Randy Lemoine and the Call Center staff successfully rose to the challenge. The result is a facility that is playing a vital role in the lives of displaced families as they recover from the incredible personal losses brought on by Katrina.”
On Jan. 1, 2006, the number of people reported missing to the Find Family Call Center stood at 3,853. Today, the number missing has decreased to 2,939.