NY Hos­pi­tals Help Texas with Har­vey Re­cov­ery Ef­forts

The Jewish Voice - - NEW YORK - By Re­becca Gold

Last week hos­pi­tals in Hous­ton took ma­jor hits as the hur­ri­cane-turned– trop­i­cal storm Har­vey caused flood­ing through­out the area. As of Tues­day evening, Au­gust 29, pa­tients were evac­u­ated out of at least 23 hos­pi­tals within the re­gion, ac­cord­ing to the Hous­ton Chron­i­cle. New York hos­pi­tals and health care or­ga­ni­za­tions have been do­nat­ing more than mere funds to the health care work­ers ef­fected by the storm, they have been pro­vid­ing their ex­per­tise to as­sist in the re­cov­ery of the Texas health sys­tem.

The Greater New York Hospi­tal As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Ken­neth Raske said, "Un­for­tu­nately, Greater New York and our mem­ber in­sti­tu­tions are no stranger to ad­ver­sity. We've had more than our fair share of it over the last few decades, to say the least."

Crain’s re­ports, “The Health­care As­so­ci­a­tion of New York State tapped NYU Lan­gone Health to help man­age the emer­gency sit­u­a­tion in and around Hous­ton. The health sys­tem gained ex­pe­ri­ence with evac­u­a­tion and re­cov­ery from Su­per­storm Sandy, and also has ro­bust ex­per­tise in emer­gency man­age­ment among its staff. Kelly McKin­ney, se­nior di­rec­tor of emer­gency man­age­ment and en­ter­prise re­silience at the health sys­tem, spoke to Crain's Tues­day afternoon be­fore head­ing to Texas, where he planned to as­sist of­fi­cials in Har­ris County with co­or­di­nat­ing health sys­tem re­lief ef­forts. For now, res­cue and safety ef­forts are still the top pri­or­ity in Hous­ton, said McKin­ney, who has served as chief dis­as­ter of­fi­cer of the Amer­i­can Red Cross of Greater New York and deputy com­mis­sioner of New York City Emer­gency Man­age­ment.”

McKin­ney told Crain’s, "Is­sues re­lated to hos­pi­tals have a longer tail. The real peak of the de­mand is com­ing."

A spokesman for GNYHA said that a group of ex­perts spe­cial­iz­ing in emer­gency re­sponse and pre­pared­ness have been cre­ated by GNYHA and HANYS to pro­vide the Texas Hospi­tal As­so­ci­a­tion with any needed sup­port.

The chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer of HANYS, Court­ney Burke ex­plained that mov­ing for­ward in the Texas re­cov­ery ef­fort, the ex­pe­ri­ence with hur­ri­cane Sandy that New York hos­pi­tals have, can be use­ful in many ar­eas, such as the pa­per­work and billing is­sues that re­sult to the over­time and ir­reg­u­lar staffing re­quire­ments, as well as “fa­cil­i­ties re­me­di­a­tion and man­ag­ing the fi­nan­cial short­fall from a re­duced vol­ume of pro­ce­dures,” in ad­di­tion to ap­ply­ing for Fed­eral Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency funds and other fed­eral grants.

Burke said, "Once the im­me­di­ate emer­gency is over, we are go­ing to put Texas hos­pi­tals in touch with peo­ple who have al­ready been through it in New York.”

Money is be­ing do­nated to help in the mean­time by sev­eral New York or­ga­ni­za­tions. Ac­cord­ing to a re­port by Crain’s, “The health care union

"When Sandy hit New York, we es­tab­lished such a fund for our hospi­tal em­ploy­ees. We got con­tri­bu­tions from around the coun­try."

1199SEIU has set up a Web page for mem­bers to con­trib­ute to Har­vey re­lief ef­forts. Catholic Health Ser­vices do­nated $100,000 through its Care­givers Fund to a re­lief fund cre­ated by the Dio­cese of Rockville Cen­tre. And GNYHA do­nated $25,000 to the Texas Hospi­tal As­so­ci­a­tion's Hospi­tal Em­ployee As­sis­tance Fund.”

Raske told Crain’s, "When Sandy hit New York, we es­tab­lished such a fund for our hospi­tal em­ploy­ees. We got con­tri­bu­tions from around the coun­try."

Vol­un­teers from around the coun­try head to Texas to lend a help­ing hand with the re­cov­ery ef­forts from Har­vey.

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