Hurricane Isaac: Nurse, Celebrity and BBQ - Cincinnati Children's Blog

Hurricane Isaac: Nurse, Celebrity and BBQ

I had a busy day yesterday, but was able to get out of the headquarters and into some of the areas damaged by Hurricane Isaac.

Kevin Titus and celebrity chef Cat Cora. Photo by Steve Coleman/American Red Cross.

Iron Chef celebrity Cat Cora, who is a native Mississippian, volunteered to assist with the relief efforts and raise visibility of our efforts. In addition, her mother Virginia Cora, DSN, assisted the Red Cross Health Services staff. Dr. Cora was the first nurse practitioner licensed in Mississippi. She also developed adult and gerontological nurse practitioner programs at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

I was privileged to accompany Dr. Cora and Cat Cora as they met with Red Cross volunteers and as Dr. Cora visited a Red Cross shelter to learn more about how we help with disaster-caused health needs. We also accompanied a Red Cross mobile feeding vehicle and distributed food in rural southwest Mississippi.

I’ve accompanied quite a few celebrities during Red Cross disasters over the years, and Cat and her mother were definitely among the very best. It’s heartwarming to watch a trained nurse evaluate the health needs of a disaster victim and assist with their recovery.

Dr. Virginia Cora and Kevin Titus discuss recruiting additional nurse volunteers for Red Cross disaster relief. Photo by Charlotte Garber/American Red Cross

Sometimes, the Red Cross health services get overshadowed by the sheltering and feeding operations. Dr. Cora’s presence may not have garnered the same attention that her daughter’s presence did, but the caring devotion of health services professionals like her are vital. As a recognized leader in her field, (and with a famous daughter) I really wanted to make sure we got her connected to the Red Cross in Mississippi to help recruit more nurses to Red Cross disaster relief.

Naturally, Cat has a passion for helping with issues related to feeding. She formed an organization called Chefs for Humanity and has been personally involved in relief efforts, such as assisting with the Red Cross.

Cat and her mother are absolutely wonderful, caring ladies. I truly enjoyed spending the better part of the day with them. As those who know me know, I am a meat and potatoes guy and a BBQ connoisseur. Cat and I didn’t share a lot of fancy cooking tips, but we did compare notes on BBQ. With her recommendation, I’m going to have dinner at a local BBQ establishment tonight. There is no doubt in my mind that if Cat Cora says that this place has great BBQ, then I will surely enjoy. I’ve already skipped lunch to get ready for it.

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Kevin Titus

About the Author: Kevin Titus

Kevin started volunteering with the Red Cross nearly 30 years ago. Prior to joining Cincinnati Children's as the Business Director of Allergy & Immunology, he was a paid staff member of the Red Cross national headquarters as the director of communications, marketing and government relations for a four state area. Prior to that, he was a Red Cross chapter CEO. He has responded to dozens of disasters, including riding out hurricane Katrina in Gulfport, MS.

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