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Memorial Hermann Harvey story ideas and expert sources

HOUSTON (August26, 2017)

Southeast Texas continues to deal with the effects of Harvey. While the storm is weakening, its impact will be felt for days and weeks to come. Memorial Hermann Health System’s experts can help you in your coverage of the storms.

Lessons learned from the past

Corpus Christi has the only children’s hospital and high-level trauma center (Level II) in the Coastal Bend region. Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center is home to the Memorial Hermann Red Duke Trauma Institute, the nation’s busiest Level I trauma center and the city’s only Level I trauma center equipped to care for children and adults under one roof. This campus has a unique perspective on how to provide care during a natural disaster having experienced both Tropical Storm Allison and Hurricane Ike.  How do you manage the surge in patients? How do you manage labor and delivery? What sorts of injuries can you expect? We’ve been there before and our affiliated trauma surgeons are available to share what we’ve learned. For assistance, contact Rhiannon Collette in media relations at 713-724-5046 or Rhiannon.Collette@memorialhermann.org.

Caring for the caregivers

How do you continue to provide safe patient care despite the circumstances? How do you tend to your staff and their emotional needs? Doctors, nurses and hospital staff are not only dealing with the challenges and stress of caring for patients during a natural disaster, they’re also thinking about their loved ones at home who are weathering the storm without them. Memorial Hermann Chaplaincy Services is equipped to provide care for the caregivers. Members of our Chaplaincy team are available to speak to how they help health care providers cope with both the personal and professional demands they face during times like these. For assistance, contact Rhiannon Collette in media relations at 713-724-5046 or Rhiannon.Collette@memorialhermann.org.

Post-storm trauma and injury prevention

Many who evacuated from the Texas coast as Hurricane Harvey approached are anxious to get back their homes, but first responders are warning them to stay away. What are the dangers returning residents could face during hurricane recovery? Doctors affiliated with Memorial Hermann are available to talk about the injuries and illnesses typically seen after a hurricane. What can people do to protect themselves? We’ve got the answers. For assistance, contact Glenn Willey in media relations at 919-622-0623 or Glenn.Willey@memorialhermann.org.

Water warnings

Much of the hurricane-affected area is already under a boil water notice. What does that mean and why is it a public health threat? What are the dangers of drinking, bathing or cooking with contaminated water? Also, what kind of threats lurk in standing water (bacteria, snakes, ants, and alligators)? It’s not just dangerous to drive through high water, it’s dangerous to walk through it too.  We have infectious diseases experts who can comment on the dangers of dirty water and what residents can do to protect themselves and their families in the wake of a hurricane. For assistance, contact Meredith Whittemore in media relations at 770-789-1753 or Meredith.Whittemore@memorialhermann.org.

Caring for the disabled

What are the needs of the disability community during a hurricane? Are shelters equipped to handle wheelchairs? How do you evacuate your home if you’re unable to walk? Lex Frieden, chief architect of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the director of the Independent Living Research Utilization program at TIRR Memorial Hermann is available to discuss the needs of the disability community during these types of events. He knows what sort of assistance is available and who to call to get it. For assistance, contact Glenn Willey in media relations at 919-622-0623 or Glenn.Willey@memorialhermann.org.

Post-storm PTSD

Mental health can get put on the backburner during emergency situations like this, but it’s vitally important. The emotional toll of surviving a hurricane and its aftermath can be severe. How do you cope with losing your home, your possessions? Where do you turn for help?  How do you discuss the situation with your kids? Memorial Hermann’s behavioral health experts are available to talk about the emotional trauma a major disaster can create. For assistance, contact Jade Waddy in media relations at 832-563-0779 or Jade.Waddy@memorialhermann.org.

Mosquito-borne illnesses

The rain and the floodwater left behind from the storm will be a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Those who have lost power will be tempted to prop open the windows of their home to help beat the summer heat. Those open windows provide an easy entry point for mosquitoes and increase the risk of bites. Memorial Hermann’s infectious disease experts are available to talk about the threats of mosquito-borne illnesses following a storm. For assistance, contact Meredith Whittemore in media relations at 770-789-1753 or Meredith.Whittemore@memorialhermann.org.

Food safety

When the electricity goes out, how do you limit the risk of food-borne illness to your family? Memorial Hermann’s dietitians are available to comment on how to properly store and handle food in the aftermath of a hurricane, and the importance of staying hydrated.  For assistance, contact Jade Waddy in media relations at 832-563-0779 or Jade.Waddy@memorialhermann.org.

Staying safe when the power goes out

If you’ve lost power you may have already turned to a portable generator to provide some power to your home while you wait for the electricity to be restored. But a generator can be dangerous if not operated properly. What are the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning and how do you eliminate the risks of operating a portable generator? Our experts are available to share the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning and what you should do if you start to feel sick. For assistance, contact Meredith Whittemore in media relations at 770-789-1753 or Meredith.Whittemore@memorialhermann.org.

Chronic illness

People with chronic illnesses tend to be among the most vulnerable following a hurricane. Chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease can quickly become unmanageable in the aftermath of a natural disaster. No electricity, the lack of clean drinking water and limited access to medications can quickly lead to a medical emergency. In addition, heat and humidity can negatively impact home diagnostic kits, such as blood glucose monitors. We have experts available to offer advice for managing chronic illnesses in a disaster zone. For assistance, contact Rhiannon Collette in media relations at 713-724-5046 or Rhiannon.Collette@memorialhermann.org.

For additional assistance or expert sources, contact the Memorial Hermann Media Relations team at media.relations@memorialhermann.org or follow us on Twitter at @MHMediaTeam. Visit the newsroom at www.memorialhermann.org/media-center/.