Dean Dolores Sands hosted a Volunteer Appreciation Lunch on October 30, 2008 to express her thanks to all School of Nursing students, faculty, and staff who participated in the Hurricane Ike response. Approximately 100 invitees enjoyed the barbeque lunch. Among the attendees from the University of Texas were Dr Bob Harkins, Associate Vice President, Campus Safety and Security and David Cronk, Director, Campus Safety and Security. Phil Huang, MD, Medical Director, Health and Human Services Department; David Vliet, CEO, Community Care Services and Victoria Bailey, RN, Public Health Program Coordinator, represented City of Austin leadership.
The Disaster Response Committee was recognized for their leadership and readiness to deploy volunteers.
Several students spoke about their experience working with Hurricane Ike evacuees. Junior student, Christina Stylianou, and a graduating senior student Usha Anathaswamy, spoke about working in the Medical Special Needs Shelter. Graduate student, April Watkins RN, recounted her triage experiences in the general shelter.
The Dean noted, “Over 2000 hours were volunteered by 21 faculty, 5 staff, and over 119 students. Many volunteered multiple times, different shifts, different days, mostly medical needs shelter and medical triage. Counting the amount of RN time, the School of Nursing donated approximately $20,000 worth of time, leadership and expertise (shift differentials not included!).” Both City of Austin and UT leadership expressed their appreciation for the contributions of the School of Nursing during this shelter response.