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A Message from Dean Alexa Stuifbergen to Longhorn Nursing Community on Hurricane Harvey

Posted: Sept. 6, 2017

Dean Alexa Stuifbergen

Dear Longhorn Nursing Community,

The floodwaters are beginning to recede in Houston and along the Gulf Coast, but that doesn’t mean the crisis is over. Far from it.

To date, Hurricane Harvey’s massive flooding has killed at least 60 people, forced tens of thousands to evacuate, and destroyed or damaged more than 100,000 homes. The economic toll from the storm is almost double that of Hurricane Katrina and may reach as high as $180 billion. Many of our students and alumni have been affected by the devastation, and in the spirit of the Longhorn Nation, I’m calling on the rest of us to step up and lend a helping hand.

In the wake of the storm, I received an email from a recent graduate telling me what it was like as she worked in an NICU unit in Corpus Christi the night Harvey hit. Although this is what we prepare our students to do — to remain calm and save lives in the midst (literally) of the storm — our hearts break as we contemplate what she must have seen and endured. But at the same time, we’re proud that our graduates were ready and able to bind up, protect and comfort so many victims.

In addition, last week we heard from President Fenves who said he’s received lots of questions about how students, faculty and staff can help. He listed some very practical areas to donate to as well as a fundraiser for students. The School of Nursing is working with the greater university community in several of these areas, and some of our current students are also helping out by raising funds and collecting items, such as toiletries, diapers and unused clothing. I encourage you to donate to these areas or find other ways to help with recovery efforts.

This storm was unprecedented and recovery will be long and arduous. But that’s when Longhorns shine brightest. I know I can count on you to help the victims of this catastrophic event. Let’s join our hands together to raise our horns and raise hope.

For those affected and those who want to help, read more by visiting UT Austin’s official Hurricane Harvey resource page.

 

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