News & Events

Scott Zeller

Scott Zeller (from the Oakland Tribune)

Illinois Wesleyan Alumnus Serves as Medical Director for Mental Health at Astrodome

September 18, 2005

Scott Zeller, a member of Illinois Wesleyan’s Class of 1982, spent a week serving as medical director of the mental health unit at the Houston Astrodome where he treated evacuees from New Orleans.

Zeller is chief of emergency psychiatric medicine at John George Psychiatric Pavilion, Alameda County's locked inpatient psychiatric hospital in San Leandro, Calif.

According to a story about Zeller’s work in the Oakland Tribune, a colleague from Houston asked him to help with the makeshift clinic in the Astrodome where between 75 and 100 patients in need of immediate psychiatric care were being treated daily. who was looking for emergency psychiatric doctors to run the clinic.

While he was still at work in Houston, Zeller wrote an account of his experience for CNET, an on-line news page. He describe the situation he encountered as being “as bad – or worse —than what you have been seeing on TV: “It is as bad--or worse--than what you have been seeing on TV. Already, I have had two patients who say they had to break holes through their attic roofs, then climb out of their houses and swim to safety. One guy said he just kept swimming and swimming, not sure which way to go. Sometimes he let the current take him, other times he grabbed a street sign, hanging on for a moment's precious rest.”

Read Zeller's account on CNET.