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A Message from Partners HealthCare about Hurricane Harvey

From: Broadcast PHS
Sent: Thursday, August 31, 2017 7:26 AM
To: All User PHS <ALLPHS@partners.org>
Subject: Partners HealthCare - Hurricane Harvey Response and Support 

Dear Colleagues,

Our thoughts have been with all those impacted by the devastating effects of Harvey. We are amazed, but not surprised, by the selfless dedication of the health care professionals, emergency workers, and aid organizations supporting the relief efforts.

In times of great need, we feel compelled to try and help in some way. It is important that we find the appropriate ways to do so, so that our good intentions translate to the most impactful and effective that they can be.

The most effective way to help now is with a monetary donation to an established charity. Though victims will need food, clothing, and other supplies, there are significant logistical challenges in getting these supplies to the right place at the right time. Charities on the ground can more effectively turn donations into aid when and where it is needed. The Red Cross is working around the clock to help the thousands of people whose lives have been devastated by Harvey. You can call 800-RED-CROSS or text HARVEY to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross — it will show up on your next phone bill. Or, you may donate online here.

We would like to acknowledge the many staff members who are part of standing disaster medical response teams, some of whom have already deployed and some who are on alert. For other staff who considering or being asked to respond, the decision to volunteer, of their own volition and personal time off, with an aid organization is a serious and personal one. Individuals must carefully assess the capabilities of the aid organization (e.g., resources and abilities to keep volunteers safe), their own personal health and well-being, individual family circumstances, and skills, experience, and knowledge, and if applicable, Texas’s professional-licensure requirements for professional services to be provided by the volunteer and how such professional services will be insured. Partners institutions can only endorse employee leave for volunteer opportunities with an established, professional aid organization and with appropriate departmental approvals.

The American Red Cross is currently recruiting Health and Mental Health Volunteers for deployments to Harvey. You can learn more here. Disaster response experts within our system are continuing to monitor the impact of Harvey and evaluate how best to support local relief efforts. We will provide updates if additional, reputable volunteer opportunities become available.

Finally, this is a difficult time and our hearts go out to anyone who may be affected by Hurricane Harvey. As always, our Employee Assistance Program is free, confidential and available for support and resources. Call 1-866-724-4EAP (4327) or visit their website: www.eap.partners.org. They have provided coping tips for dealing with stressful situations and have also compiled additional resources for those who wish to help. 

Gregg S. Meyer, MD
Chief Clinical Affairs Officer
Partners HealthCare 

Paul Biddinger, MD
Emergency Preparedness Director
Partners HealthCare 


This content was last modified on: 08/31/2017

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