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'The Business of Health Care Report'

Responding to a Need: North Texas Hospitals Answer the Call

I’m Doug Hawthorne, president and CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”

As New Orleans and other areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina continue to recover, it’s appropriate to reflect on the role hospitals play when disaster strikes.

In the last three weeks, hundreds of patients from Louisiana have been admitted to North Texas hospitals. Evacuees have given birth, displaced cancer patients have been treated and countless other New Orleans-area victims have been cared for in Dallas-Fort Worth hospitals. Still others have received food and support from hospital personnel eager to extend help beyond the hospital walls – all in response to a crisis more than 500 miles away.

We often refer to health care as being like a patchwork quilt. If that’s the case, these past few weeks have seen that quilt stretched across multiple states – holding together to support two dozen or more affected New Orleans hospitals. Hospitals in 12 surrounding states – including those here in North Texas – have risen to the challenge of caring for those displaced by one of the worst natural disasters in our nation’s history. As a result, the physical and emotional healing required after such a traumatic event has begun.

I want to personally thank the dedicated health care workers throughout our region for their response. It’s comforting to know you’ll be there when called upon – whether the crisis is here at home or far away.

For Texas Health Resources and its faith-based hospitals – Harris Methodist, Presbyterian and Arlington Memorial – I’m Doug Hawthorne.

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