NY Hospitals Help Texas with Harvey Recovery Efforts
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.