WVUH Hurricane Relief Donations Total $34,584

Temporary Camp Dawson Clinic Closes

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Employees of WVU Hospitals, the WVU Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center and University Health Associates have rallied together to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts, contributing $24,584 in donations to support ongoing relief efforts. WVU Hospitals matched $10,000 of employee contributions, bringing the total donation to $34,584.

“Several WVU health professionals were able to respond to disaster relief efforts by providing medical care to hurricane evacuees staying at Camp Dawson. I am very proud that, in addition, employees at WVU Hospitals and the Health Sciences Center responded with financial contributions exceeding our goal to raise $10,000 for hurricane relief efforts, said WVUH President Bruce McClymonds. “Our employees’ generosity in fund-raising efforts throughout the years has helped countless West Virginians, and they will now help evacuees as they begin to rebuild their lives.”

All donations were sent to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, and will be used to provide hurricane evacuees with shelter, food, counseling and other assistance.

The temporary primary care clinic, established in early September for hurricane evacuees who were transported to Camp Dawson, recorded 644 patient visits before closing on Oct. 1. Under the direction of David Deci, M.D., of the WVU Department of

Family Medicine, more than 160 volunteers contributed their expertise to the effort.

This group included physicians, a physician assistant, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and support staff.

“This was an effort that involved the entire Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center and many of our alumni and colleagues in West Virginia,” said John E. Prescott, M.D., dean of the WVU School of Medicine. “It made an enormous difference in the lives of 281 people who were far from home -- sometimes separated from their families -- and uncertain of their futures.”

Volunteers came from University Health Associates, the WVU Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, WVU Hospitals, other WVU departments, Mon General Hospital, Preston Memorial Hospital, Preston County Health Department, United Hospital Center, Patton Building Services, and individuals from Parkersburg, Wheeling, Charleston, Huntington and Uniontown.

The Camp Dawson clinic staff worked collaboratively with the following agencies and health care organizations:  Department of Health and Human Resources, Public Health Administration, American Red Cross, Social Services, Behavioral Health Services, Preston Memorial Hospital, WVU Hospitals, the Physician Office Center, the Medical Center Pharmacy, Kingwood Pharmacy, Kingwood Rite Aid, Mon Health Care, the WVU Dental Clinic, Care Partners, the Westover Dialysis Center, Renner's Pharmacy at Mylan, Dr. Thad Rusiecki, D.D.S, Field of Vision in Masontown, KAMP Ambulance Service, Jan-Care Ambulance Service, and STAT Ambulance Service.

Patients who required health care beyond the services available at the Camp Dawson Clinic, or when the clinic was closed, were transported by ambulance to either Preston Memorial Hospital or WVU Hospitals for their immediate health care needs.

Many of the evacuees have now found temporary homes, in West Virginia and elsewhere, and others have been relocated by the American Red Cross.

Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall as a Category 4 storm on Aug. 29, ranks among the worst natural disasters in U.S. history.

- WVU -

For more information:
Bill Case, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087

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