Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Health Services


Catharine Garner


The Red Cross traditional method of Disaster Health System (DHS) response is ' boots on the ground.' Texas, the 2nd largest state by population and land mass, has only 15 DHS volunteer nurses who were not able to meet the needs of disaster victims in Texas with the traditional response method. The Texas Red Cross DHS volunteer nurses began piloting a virtual DHS model in 2014. The research question was how Texas Red Cross nurses designed, developed, implemented, and evaluated the Texas Red Cross virtual DHS Model. The purpose of this case study was to provide this information in a case study. The research approach followed a single investigator case study design that utilized Roger's diffusion of innovations theory and Lewin's change theory to identify how this virtual pilot was created and implemented in Texas. The processes developed and utilized are provided in detail in this case study. Data maintained by the Texas DHS team from March, 2016 to March, 2017 provided evidence that all 1,724 cases assigned to the DHS team were worked and closed by a Texas DHS volunteer. A qualitative summary of nurses' satisfaction with this model was uniformly positive. This provided support for the use of the virtual model for communication to meet the disaster-related health needs of disaster victims in Texas. The use of a virtual model for disaster management supports positive social change in addressing the disaster-related health needs of disaster victims in Texas and for possible use by other Red Cross DHS stakeholders.

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