News

Actions

UK health professionals deliver medical equipment for flood victims

Mannering uk medical stuff
Posted at 7:54 PM, Aug 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-04 07:49:43-04

HAZARD, Ky. (LEX 18) — Amid the chaos of eastern Kentucky’s flooding, most people didn’t have time to grab household items or valuables, let alone their medical equipment.

“Half the people lost half of everything they own,” said Dr. Key Douthitt, director of the North Fork Valley Community Health Center.

Many on Douthitt’s team and others from the UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health walked away from the flooding unscathed. Considering themselves to be the lucky ones, they knew there was only one response to the disaster.

“What do I need to do, how do I help?” said Dr. Fran Feltner, describing their efforts to help flood victims.

Together, UK health professionals and students gathered food, hygiene products, and medical supplies, delivering the items to those impacted.

“You talk about everyone pitching in everywhere, I’ve got a team out in the community giving vaccines, nurses on ATVs going into hollers, going door to door providing medical care,” said Douthitt.

Loading backpacks with supplies, UK College of Health Sciences associate professor Mona Carper said that she felt personally called to help with relief efforts.

“I’m not connected by blood, but my heartstrings are connected to Hazard and the mountains,” said Carper. “It’s pretty personal.”

In addition to the supplies, UK physical therapy students refurbish medical equipment like walkers and wheelchairs to be distributed during events like natural disasters.

“If you need diabetic supplies, a wheelchair, a sleep apnea machine, if you need any medical equipment at all, we will find a way to get it to you,” said Douthitt.

Volunteers said they don’t plan to slow their efforts because caring is second nature in their line of work.

“These are people we love, we might not even know their names, but they’re part of our community, and so when they hurt, we all hurt, when they need help, we all pitch in to help,” concluded Feltner.

If you or someone you know needs medical support or equipment, you can call 606-439- 1559, then press 6.