December 2005

Support for Hurricane Relief

12-05_Vellinga Photo

(From left) David Vellinga, president and chief executive officer of Mercy Medical Center-Des Moines, with Jean Giddings, Carla Hosch and Mary Bontrager, executive vice president of the Greater Des Moines Partnership.

Catholic Health Initiatives has already donated more than $135,000 to relief efforts related to hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which battered the U.S. Gulf Coast in September. So far, Catholic Health Initiatives has donated $50,000 to Catholic Charities; $50,000 to The Care Fund of the American Hospital Association; $25,000 to the Jesuit Province of New Orleans; and $10,000 to the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic in coastal Alabama. Market-based organizations have also continued their support of relief efforts. Six employees from Hospice of Cincinnati (HOC), part of TriHealth in Cincinnati, Ohio, spent two weeks in Louisiana assisting patients and families at Hospice of Acadiana in Lafayette and Houma, La. TriHealth hospitals treated six hurricane evacuees, and a special fund assisted hurricane-affected families of TriHealth employees. In addition, employees and volunteers pledged more than $12,000 to relief efforts and filled two vans with donated personal hygiene items. In Des Moines, Iowa, Mercy Medical Center-Des Moines became the first employer in the city to hire Hurricane Katrina refugees through a program sponsored by the Greater Des Moines Partnership. Jean Giddings, a certified nursing assistant, and Carla Hosch, a registered nurse, were hired by Mercy as part of a program, called Bridging the Gap, which seeks to match 100 hurricane evacuees with jobs in the Des Moines area.