Community Health Network’s Response to Hurricane Harvey
Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 storm made landfall on August 25th, 2017, hitting south of Brazoria County resulting in 51 inches of heavy rain to fall in the area. The accumulation of floodwaters that gathered in the Brazos, Colorado and San Bernard rivers, winding through Brazoria County to empty into the Gulf of Mexico, overflowed the rivers’ banks. Homes, vehicles, and personal possessions were destroyed with some individuals and families losing everything.
Beginning on Labor Day, September 4th, through September 8th, 2017, Community Health Network (CHN) responded to Hurricane Harvey’s catastrophic impact in Brazoria County. CHN provided services to the public at the Angleton Shelter, Brazoria County Dream Center, United Way Galveston, and Greater Mount Zion Church through the Clinica Sierra Vista’s borrowed Mobile Unit from California. The Mobile Clinic arrived on Sunday, September 3rd, 2017 in Alvin, Texas. The following day, the Outreach and clinical staff, managers and the executive team assisted at the shelter to ensure the residents of the affected areas received necessary healthcare after Hurricane Harvey. CHN provided multiple tetanus vaccines for the residents who encountered dirty water and stepped on foreign objects while wading through their flooded homes and streets. CHN also provided chronic and acute medical treatments and dental services including cleanings and tooth extractions due to tooth pain or decay, all at no cost. The Outreach team held a resource table to inform evacuees of CHN services and programs, and offered care packages, carrying mosquito spray, face masks, and toiletries, to the public as needed. CHN’s marketing department continuously provided social media updates on Facebook and Twitter, informing local residents daily of the location of the mobile unit.
CHN served 543 unique individuals with 607 primary care, dental and immunization services using mobile services in the response period from September 4th to October 10th, 2017. A small team of staff provided another 319 individuals with 385 such services during the recovery period up to February 27th, 2018. As a result, CHN delivered a total of 563 immunizations (Tetanus, Influenza, and Pneumococcal), 308 primary medical care visits, and 121 dental visits to 862 unique individuals impacted by Hurricane Harvey. CHN continues to serve patients who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey, and has received a grant award from the United Way and Dow to provide mental health services and prescriptions for Brazoria County residents.
The United Way of Brazoria County, County Health Department and the County Office of Emergency Management have commended CHC for continuing to provide needed health interventions to the needy populations impacted by the Hurricane Harvey floods. As a reflection of CHC’s positive impact in the community after Hurricane Harvey, CHN continues to aid the affected areas and establish reliable partnerships throughout the Brazoria and Galveston County. The Brazoria County Office of Emergency Management has requested that CHC take the lead in providing non-emergent medical care at all county shelters in the event of any future natural disaster.