Hurricane Relief Update

Thanks to the generosity of colleagues throughout the nation, the Texas Medical Association (TMA) Disaster Relief Program has raised nearly $100,000 to help physicians reestablish practices destroyed or damaged by Hurricane Harvey and the record flooding it produced. There are still opportunities to contribute your time as a volunteer or to donate as the community continues to recover.

“It’s very important to get [physician practices] up and running as quickly as possible to help with the issues we’ll be facing in the aftermath,” TMA President Carlos J. Cardenas, MD, said. “The thrust of our efforts will be to support our physicians and communities in the aftermath in any way we can.”

To ensure that donations are spent effectively, TMA members have been surveyed to find out what their practices’ specific needs are and what issues they are seeing among their patients, said Dr. Cardenas, a gastroenterologist in South Texas.

Some areas, such as Beaumont, are without potable water while stagnant water in Houston and surrounding Harris County communities threaten to spawn public health concerns from infectious and mosquito-borne diseases.

These problems will be exacerbated by the loss of basic necessities such as housing.

“Large populations have been completely displaced,” Cardenas said. “We’re going to continue to need volunteers for the foreseeable future until the state and community reach some sort of normalcy.”

For those affected by Hurricane Harvey as well as those in Florida affected by Hurricane Irma, the AMA Foundation has created the Physician’s Disaster Recovery Fund to directly support two local charities in support of their physician disaster-relief programs.  The AMA pledged $150,000 to the TMA relief efforts.The entirety of a donor’s recovery fund gift will go directly to support physicians and their ability to provide care for those who need it most. Gifts can be designated to the Foundation for Healthy Floridians—affiliated with the Florida Medical Association—or to the Texas Medical Association Foundation, or “wherever it is needed most” among the two. Donate now.


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