Covenant Health to Assist Victims of Hurricane Katrina
Covenant Health has initiated systemwide efforts to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina through collaboration with state and federal agencies to provide medical care at the health system’s facilities and a corporate match of employee donations to relief organizations.
Along with other healthcare organizations in the state, Covenant Health is working with VHA (a nationwide cooperative of non-profit healthcare organizations), Tennessee Hospital Association, FEMA, and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA). TEMA is acting as the central coordination body for delivering assistance from Tennessee. The agency is contacting all hospitals in the state regarding their ability to assist.
Under the auspices of TEMA, Covenant Health will designate 75 inpatient beds throughout the system to accept transfers as needed from hospitals in the Gulf Coast area. Other health system services will also be utilized on an as-needed basis for storm refugees who need care. Covenant Health has already seen patients from the affected areas at its hospitals.
In addition, Covenant Health will match up to $100,000 of employees’ total donations to five selected agencies, all of which have been approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The relief agencies are: American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund; Catholic Charities, USA; Salvation Army; United Methodist Committee on Relief, and America’s Second Harvest.
Covenant Health is also reminding employees of the importance of participating in the upcoming area United Way campaign to assist local agencies that provide disaster relief and year-round care for those in need.
“These agencies will need increased support from United Way, and the continued strong support of Covenant Health employees is particularly critical this year. We hope employees will be generous in supporting United Way, which is often described as ‘the best way to help the most people,’” said Tony Spezia, Covenant Health President and CEO.
“It will be a long time before the storm victims can return to their homes or recover a sense of normalcy in their lives,” Spezia said. “The thoughts and prayers of employees throughout are system are much appreciated.”