October/November 2005

Aid and Comfort for Hurricane Victims


10-05Hurricane

Employees of Flaget Memorial Hospital and other members of the Bardstown, Ky., community filled an 18-wheel semitrailer with supplies and clothing for Gulf Coast hurricane survivors.

Catholic Health Initiatives and its market-based organizations are part of an outpouring of aid for the relief of people affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, powerful storms that struck the Gulf Coast of the U.S. in September. As rebuilding efforts begin in areas struck by the hurricanes, Catholic Health Initiatives continues to collect donations, which to date totals approximately $240,000, for a contribution to selected relief organizations. At the same time, market-based organization employees have reached into their hearts and pockets to provide hurricane survivors with supplies, medical care and even jobs. Here are brief summaries of some of their efforts:
  • Berea Hospital, Berea Ky. The hospital provided four cases of IV bags to a National Guard unit based in nearby Richmond, Ky., for delivery to Mississippi. The hospital also provided supplies to local Girl Scouts, who made personal care bags for people affected by the hurricanes.
  • Flaget Memorial Hospital, Bardstown, Ky. Flaget led a community-wide effort to collect monetary donations as well as supplies and clothing for hurricane survivors — enough to fill an 18-wheel semitrailer.
  • Holy Rosary Medical Center, Ontario, Ore., and St. Anthony Hospital, Pendleton, Ore. As members of the Oregon Disaster Medical Assistance Team, Cynthia Parks, a pharmacist at St. Anthony, and Sandra Dunbrasky, MD, a pediatric physician at Holy Rosary, were called to assist with emergency medical needs in New Orleans.
  • Mercy Medical Center-Des Moines, Des Moines, Iowa. Mercy is part of a group of Iowa businesses that have pledged to provide at least 100 jobs for hurricane victims.
  • Saint Joseph HealthCare,, Lexington, Ky. Saint Joseph Hospital and Saint Joseph East received hospital and nursing home patients from areas threatened by Hurricane Rita.
  • St. John’s Regional Medical Center, Joplin, Mo. A donation of $1,500 from the employee disaster relief fund purchased supplies presented to a local Baptist church, which worked with the American Red Cross to take goods to the area affected by Hurricane Katrina. St. John’s also established a drop site for relief supplies at its St. John’s Express Care facility in Joplin.
  • St. Joseph Medical Center, Reading, Pa. More than 30 staff members signed up to assist with Gulf Coast relief efforts. Staff members also donated proceeds from a “Memories of Mardi Gras” meal served in the cafeteria, as well as more than $4,100 in personal donations.
  • St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center, Pueblo, Colo. Pediatric staff cared for a three-week-old baby, whose family fled New Orleans days before Hurricane Katrina hit. Nurses who heard about the family’s plight gathered diapers, formula and clothing for them and found a job for the baby’s father.
  • St. Vincent Health System, Little Rock, Ark. More than 40 hurricane victims were treated at St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center. The hospital made special arrangements with local and federal agencies to ease rules regarding insurance and pharmacy requirements. Some medical staff members were deployed to the Gulf states, and some displaced people have been hired by St. Vincent.
  • TriHealth, Cincinnati, Ohio. TriHealth is working with the Greater Cincinnati Health Council to coordinate assistance from the area, including volunteer relief workers. TriHealth employees can donate time off hours to be used by other employees who serve as relief volunteers. Employees can also donate time off or cash to a new Employee Emergency Fund for Hurricane Relief, which aids hurricane victims who are relatives of TriHealth employees.