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Blue Heroes of the Critical Care Community

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As part of National Critical Care Awareness Month in May, the Society of Critical Care Medicine highlighted members of the critical care community who are giving back in all kinds of ways.

Use National Critical Care Awareness Month to recognize the many heroes in the critical care community. Share a pic and thank them on Twitter! #BlueICU

The Johns Hopkins Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
When Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico in September 2017, the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) joined relief efforts by opening a donation list via a special account set up on SCCM called on the critical care community to help collect nonmedical pediatric supplies, such as diapers, baby soap, diaper rash creams, bottles, baby clothes, baby food, and formula. Upon hearing this request for help, the Johns Hopkins pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) leapt into action.

Word quickly spread through the PICU community. SCCM member Siddhartha Dante, MD, alerted faculty and fellows to this request and the message spread through the entire department. Many donated via the donation list, and a donation fund was also started at the PICU, which quickly raised over $500 dollars.

The message also spread to Twitter, where there is a growing #PedsICU community with two of the most active members being mentors at Johns Hopkins, Sapna Kudchadkar, MD, and Jennifer Schuette, MD. There was a call for a fundraising challenge in which staff at Johns Hopkins, Advocate Children’s Hospital, and University of Virginia Health System participated.

Through these efforts, donations continued to come in even after SCCM’s list had closed. The Johns Hopkins PICU sent these funds to SCCM for hurricane relief efforts, along with some larger items that had been included on the donation list.

Allied Healthcare Products
Allied Healthcare Products is familiar with the challenges faced by critical care clinicians in situations where access to resources is limited. So, upon hearing news of the devastation that was left in wake of Hurricane Maria, Allied Healthcare recognized the challenges Puerto Rico would be facing specifically, limited access to power and oxygen.

Knowing the Puerto Rico critical care community would need these crucial resources to provide care to hurricane victims and to rebuild after the storm, Allied Healthcare reached out to the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) to offer its support.

Allied Healthcare generously donated two full-featured ventilators, along with auxiliary battery packs, roll stand systems, and ventilation circuits. Their donation also included electronic portable ventilators and their accompanying three-way manifold and ventilation circuits.

These supplies were sent to SCCM critical care colleagues in Puerto Rico, who distributed them to pediatric hospitals and clinics throughout the region. “We hope that over time we will see our friends in Puerto Rico fully recover. We know this will take time. We are happy to have played a small part in the recovery.” – Jeff Krenk, National Sales Manager, Allied Healthcare Products.
Harris County Medical Society Volunteers
When Hurricane Harvey struck Texas in August 2017, it left a path of destruction in its wake. Experiencing firsthand the hurricane’s devastation, the Harris County Medical Society (HCMS) sent out a call for assistance and received an overwhelming response from the medical community and shelters throughout the region—more than 1,000 physicians volunteered.
According to news reports, the devastation and flooding covered an area about the size of South Carolina. Tens of thousands of residents were displaced to shelters throughout the region. The George R. Brown Convention Center and NRG Center, both in Houston, were the two main shelters housing hurricane victims. Physician volunteers also lent their support at local shelters throughout Houston.
Many of these volunteers were HCMS members, who provided medical care at the NRG Center in the weeks after the storm.
“I am so proud of the efforts of our physicians in this crisis. The selfless dedication to the flood victims housed at the NRG enter is not surprising, but it still inspires an overwhelming feeling of pride, as president of this great organization,” said Lisa Ehrlich, MD, former president of HCMS.
La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company
When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico and the surrounding islands in September 2017, the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) launched its emergency response protocol and called upon members of the critical care community for support. La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company quickly responded to this call.
As details of the hurricane’s destruction were communicated by SCCM, news reports and first-hand information from a La Jolla employee with a personal connection to Puerto Rico resonated with La Jolla employees and this moved them to help.
When hearing of the need for assistance in Puerto Rico, La Jolla employees discussed it at their monthly company meeting and agreed to donate funds for hurricane relief efforts—embodying the company’s guiding principal that the patient comes first.
“Hearing first-hand stories of suffering from one of our La Jolla colleagues affected many of our employees. The opportunity to support SCCM and help the pediatric hospital community in Puerto Rico was completely aligned with our commitment to helping patients.” – George Tidmarsh, MD, PhD, President and CEO, La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company.
This generosity resulted in a $10,000 donation made toward SCCM’s collection of nonmedical essential supplies for pediatric hospitals in Puerto Rico.
La Jolla has a history of being a supportive partner in the healthcare community—offering its time, money, and resources. In 2016 it provided a generous donation to help support two SCCM initiatives: the Surviving Sepsis Campaign and THRIVE.
All Africa Conference Fundamental Courses Faculty
Thanks to the faculty members who traveled to the All Africa Conference in November to hold a series of Fundamental courses. Nearly 200 participants attended Fundamental Critical Care Support, Pediatric Fundamental Critical Care Support, Fundamental Disaster Management and the new Fundamental Critical Care Support Obstetrics and Tropic Diseases course.