Nearly three dozen Arizona healthcare workers will head to Houston Monday to help the nation’s foremost cancer center get back on its feet after Hurricane Harvey.
Flooding from Hurricane Harvey had shut down parts of MD Anderson Cancer Center and halted some outpatient and other services. The hospital was never evacuated and already-admitted patients were cared for throughout the hurricane and flooding.
Thirty-four clinical professionals from Banner Health locations all around Arizona have volunteered to travel to Houston to help.
The two hospital groups already have a relationship. Banner Health collaborated with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to open the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in Gilbert in 2011.
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“The issue and concern right now is that there has been staff devastated by the flood and they’re dealing with their own tragedies in the surrounding areas and they’re unable to come to work,” said Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center Chief Nursing Officer Debra Adornetto-Garcia.
Having worked in Texas for 16 years before moving to Arizona, Adornetto-Garcia is among the health professionals who will fly to Houston to help.
“We are going there to provide support to them during a time that they’ve had a lot of tragedy and devastation from Hurricane Harvey,” she said.
Lamont Yoder, the CEO of Banner MDA Cancer Center, said employees have been eager to help.
“We go into nursing and health care to help people and to make a difference in people’s lives,” she said. “So within a couple hours, we had all the volunteers we needed.”
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