A disaster relief volunteer checks medical equipment in Victoria prior to Harvey’s landfall.
In ways as simple as giving blood or donating diapers or as complex as deploying to scenes of heartbreaking devastation, members of the UT Health San Antonio family have been reaching out to victims of Hurricane Harvey.
A number of faculty physicians have been deployed to assist in disaster relief efforts, including four from the Department of Emergency Medicine who traveled to Houston and Southeast Texas where record rainfall flooded the area.
Craig Cooley, M.D., assistant professor/clinical, EMS fellowship director and associate medical director of the San Antonio Fire Department, as well as Mark Sparkman, M.D., Kaori Tanaka, M.D., and Romeo Fairley, M.D., provided all types of medical services to the residents of the region.
The doctors are assisting under the auspices of the Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council (STRAC), which is designated by the Texas Department of State Health Services to develop, implement and maintain the regional trauma and emergency health care system for Southwest Texas.
Dr. Cooley said the physicians worked initially in a well-supplied mobile medical unit provided by STRAC, but moved to other facilities based on need.
David A. Miramontes, M.D., assistant professor/clinical in the Department of Emergency Health Sciences and medical director of the San Antonio Fire Department, traveled to Victoria before Harvey’s initial landfall near Rockport to assist with the coordination of local and state medical assets.
Back in San Antonio, Dr. Miramontes continued to manage the medical mission for the San Antonio Fire Department and helped with the medical needs of those being sheltered in the city.
Other efforts include:
- Nine UT Police Department officers traveled to Houston to relieve the police at our sister institution, MD Anderson Cancer, many of whom had lost their own homes.
- In the Department of Emergency Health Sciences, three adjunct faculty members were deployed to Houston by their employers. Also, paramedics training as Army flight medics donated more than 60 units of blood.
- Cindy Sickora, DNP, RN, UT Health Nursing, coordinated faculty and students to provide clinical care for victims of the storm who will be coming in to San Antonio.
- All faculty and staff who are members of the Texas State Guard responded to the call to deploy by Texas Gov. Greg Abbot.
- UT Health President Henrich decided to launch the State Employee Charitable Campaign early in order to encourage giving to one of the many charities providing disaster relief.
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