Presbyterian Hospital of Winnsboro Employees Volunteer to Help Hurricane Evacuees
09/25/2008

WINNSBORO, Texas — Presbyterian Hospital of Winnsboro employees chipped in to help evacuees of Hurricane Ike at the Special Needs Red Cross Shelter in Mineola, Texas.

Chief Nurse Executive Lisa Tarkington, R.N., and emergency department nurses Jennifer Cohen, R.N., B.S.N., and Janis Roach, R.N., volunteered at the shelter performing triage services, administering medications and conducting basic tests.

“It’s a good experience for the nurses to get outside of the emergency department where they have modern technology and equipment at their fingertips,” said Tarkington, who has volunteered in many hurricane evacuation situations. “Nurses were able to practice their nursing skills without having immediate access to the up-to-date technology we have available at Presbyterian Hospital of Winnsboro.”

Tarkington felt a special tug to help the evacuees because many of the people were from Port Arthur, where she had previously worked.

“I was born and raised in that area and felt a connection,” said Tarkington, who realized at the shelter that she knew one of the evacuees. The shelter housed more than 100 people, practically all of whom had special medical needs.

Cohen said that it was an eye-opening experience to see how a special needs shelter runs and to get a first-hand glimpse at the hardship the people are facing.

“When you get down there in the thick of things the people have lost everything they had or simply do not know what they might return home to,” Cohen said. “I think they really appreciate us going down there to help however we can and listen to their stories.”

Roach’s husband and 15-year-old daughter also volunteered alongside the Presbyterian Hospital of Winnsboro staff.

“I am thankful for this important experience for my family to give a small part of our time to help the many hurricane evacuees through such trying times,” Roach said.

Dr. David Murley, a family medicine physician and member of the Presbyterian Hospital of Winnsboro medical staff, also volunteered at the shelter.

“We’re very proud that our staff and one of the physicians on our medical staff volunteered to help beyond the walls of Presbyterian Hospital of Winnsboro,” said interim hospital administrator Michael Pruitt. “We see the care and commitment that our employees and medical staff bring every day and it’s wonderful to see them go above and beyond to volunteer their time beyond work hours.”

Doctors on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital.

About Presbyterian Hospital of Winnsboro
Presbyterian Hospital of Winnsboro, soon to be Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Winnsboro, is a 50-bed acute-care, full-service medical center serving Wood, Franklin, Hopkins, Rains and Camp counties since 1985. The hospital's services include wound care, diabetes care, diagnostic imaging, surgery and pulmonary rehabilitation. For more information, please call 1-800-4-Presby, or visit www.texashealth.org/PHW.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. THR’s system of 13 hospitals includes Harris Methodist Hospitals, Arlington Memorial Hospital and Presbyterian Healthcare System, and a medical research organization. THR is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information about Texas Health Resources, visit www.texashealth.org.