Unsung heroes: Social workers’ tireless efforts help patients affected by hurricanes

Even before a hurricane strikes, dialysis social workers work overtime to help their patients prepare. They help patients prepare their disaster kits with all treatment information that may be needed in case of an evacuation, and create a communications plan to keep track of patients to help ensure they can receive treatment in the event their facility is closed.
 
In the immediate aftermath of a hurricane, dialysis social workers go into emergency mode. They work with their administrators to reopen their centers and mobilize the resources needed to contact patients and get them to treatment—even while dealing with their own personal losses resulting from the storm.
 
When we visited Houston a few weeks after Hurricane Harvey’s extensive flooding left centers closed and damaged, and many patients unable to live in their homes, we heard heroic stories of social workers working around the clock to help their patients. We salute their efforts after the hurricane, as well as the loving care that they provide to dialysis patients day in and day out.

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About the Author

Mike Spigler

Mike Spigler is vice president of patient services and kidney disease education for the American Kidney Fund.

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