Baptist Health helping communities affected by flood
The public is encouraged to donate to the Baptist Health Foundation Emergency Assistance Fund.
ELIZABETHTOWN, KENTUCKY AUG. 3, 2022 – Baptist Health and its employees are rounding up medical and household supplies to assist healthcare providers and families in Letcher and Clay counties – two areas battered by torrential rainfall and massive flooding that has swept away homes, businesses, and resulted in a tragic loss of lives.
Boxes of gloves, wipes, gauze and other clinical items donated by Baptist Health Hardin and Baptist Health Louisville were loaded up onto Baptist Health Hardin’s Wellness on Wheels (WOW) mobile health unit, which departed Wednesday morning for eastern Kentucky, where it will set up at a middle school in Fleming-Neon, Kentucky, as a temporary clinic. The WOW van was deployed to Dawson Springs, Kentucky last December when a tornado destroyed the system’s clinic.
“We were saddened to learn of the devastation that occurred in eastern Kentucky, and we are humbled to help,” said Baptist Health Foundation Hardin Vice President Tracee Troutt. “Baptist Health Hardin’s Wellness on Wheels (WOW) mobile health unit helps us provide better access to care in central Kentucky. This past December, the WOW brought medical services and served as a temporary clinic for three months in Dawson Springs, Kentucky, following the devastation of the tornado outbreak. Now it will do the same for residents whose communities have been devastated by flooding.”
Baptist Health, Kentucky’s largest healthcare system, has three hospitals that serve the eastern Kentucky communities affected by the flooding – Baptist Health Corbin, Baptist Health Lexington and Baptist Health Richmond. In addition to assisting fellow employees affected by the flooding, the Baptist Health system and its staff will be providing support to residents in Whitesburg and Fleming-Neon in Letcher County and Manchester in Clay County.
“Thanks to Supply Chain, Materials Management, and Baptist Health hospital teams for their quick response to the needs of these communities and to staff members who are helping Baptist Health fulfill its mission of demonstrating the love of Christ to improve health in our communities,” said CEO Gerard Colman.
Baptist Health is also partnering with established organizations, such as Louisville-based SOS (formerly known as Supplies Over Seas International), to deliver assistance where it is most needed.
SOS is an internationally recognized global health organization based in Louisville that is bringing its expertise in disaster relief to eastern Kentucky. “SOS is known for its responsible and equitable aid model that is needs based and prepared and packaged to enable rapid deployment on the ground. Restoring community clinics is a vital step in disaster relief which is where we are focusing our attention,” said CEO Denise Sears. In addition to deploying supplies from the SOS inventory, SOS is sourcing needed supplies from other partners and is helping coordinate distribution to ensure all regions receive the level of help needed.
Already, SOS and the Baptist Health system have donated exam tables and stretchers, IV fluids, dressings, tubing, and other basic clinic supplies sent to Clay and Letcher counties.
Baptist Health encouraged Gould’s Discount Medical to donate 30 oxygen concentrators and Medline Industries to assist SOS with supplies via their corporate social responsibility programs.
Employees, hospitals pitch in
Baptist Health employees at each hospital are rounding up much-needed baby food, baby formula, paper products, personal hygiene products, bottled water, and non-perishable food.
In addition, the Baptist Health Foundation Emergency Assistance Fund has been expanded to assist not only staff members affected by the flood, but also the communities in need.
Donations to the Baptist Health Foundation may be made at this link: www.supportbaptisthealth.org/giving-back/donate-now. The Foundation’s Emergency Assistance Fund will support those affected with current, as well as with long-term needs.
The public is encouraged to donate to the Foundation (link noted above), which will be assisting those most affected, or to donate to organizations with a proven track record such as the state’s Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund.