Responding to a season of cataclysmic natural disasters

September 8, 2017 Rod Hochman

Responding to a season of cataclysmic natural disasters

It’s astonishing how many cataclysmic events are converging at once. We’re seeing devastating hurricanes in the Gulf Coast and Caribbean, a once in a century earthquake in Mexico City. And here in the Western U.S., wildfires have been raging for weeks, impacting many of the communities served by Providence St. Joseph Health.

It’s remarkable though. Amid the destruction, we continue to see one story after another of strangers helping strangers. It’s the human spirit in action and our innate tendency to pull together in times of crisis. 

Last week, we put out a call of support for Hurricane Harvey relief, and the people of Providence St. Joseph Health stepped up generously. We are matching contributions from our caregivers dollar for dollar. Together, we have already raised well over $300,000 for victims of Hurricane Harvey and expect that number to grow by the end of this week. We are also sending medical supplies and talking with local hospitals to understand how we can support the long-term health care needs in the Texas Gulf Coast region. The storm and its aftermath have already put a significant strain on the local health care system, and we want to determine how we can most effectively help after the immediate crisis.

Meanwhile, we are updating our Red Cross donation site to allow our caregivers to make additional contributions for wildfire and Hurricane Irma relief.  We will match these contributions dollar for dollar as well, up to $100,000. The match is in addition to the regular contribution Providence St. Joseph Health makes each year to support the Red Cross during wildfire season. If you are a caregiver who works in our family of organizations, please check our newsletters and Intranet for the link to our donation site. 

Thank you to everyone across Providence St. Joseph Health for your generosity. We ask that you continue to keep everyone in the affected areas in your thoughts and prayers, especially our communities in the path of the wildfires. Many of our caregivers have had to evacuate homes and take steps to protect their families and property from smoke and fire. This has been one of the worst wildfire seasons on record, and we appreciate your support of our communities, caregivers and first responders.

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