Caring Hearts Have No Boundaries: Sutter Health Teams Across Northern California Support Camp Fire Victims
SACRAMENTO, Calif.—In its first week of existence, the Camp Fire in Butte County has already surpassed other California fires as the most destructive, deadly fire in California history.
“We in Northern California seem to be constantly confronted with natural disasters — wildfires, floods, and more— that test our mettle and ability to bounce back,” said John Rose, M.D., president and CEO of Sutter North Medical Group. “But there is something that is even more constant than the occurrence of a natural disaster. Time and again, we can count on our Sutter Health teams to provide compassion, kindness and assistance to those affected.”
Within days, Sutter Health announced a donation of $50,000 to the American Red Cross California Wildfires Fund. And in parts of the organization across Northern California, Sutter team members are stepping in to help in other ways.
At the Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds in Yuba City, one of the evacuation sites nearly 50 miles away from the fire-ravaged town of Paradise, Sutter North Medical Group clinicians and Sutter Medical Foundation staff stepped up to provide face-to-face support for hundreds of Camp Fire evacuees through a mobile clinic. In coordination with other county leaders, a team of Sutter North Medical Group clinicians and medical assistants from the Sutter Urgent Care in Yuba City are also conducting rounds at the evacuation center to evaluate those who may need medical assistance. Other Sutter Medical Foundation team members have taken lead on collecting items to donate to the evacuation center.
Robert Bendorf, the Yuba County Administrator and Director of Emergency Response for Yuba County Administrator, expressed his appreciation. “I am so proud to be associated with everyone who has stepped up to help,” he said. “This type of support is the result of everyone working together to build strong relationships among community organizations.”
But to the team, that’s just a part of who they are and what comes natural to them as caregivers. “We are proud to be here for our community,” said Sandi Adams, Sutter Medical Foundation service area director for Yuba, Sutter and Amador counties.
Sutter Health’s teamwork has left a strong impression on other community leaders as well.
“For those of us who have grown up in this part of the state, who have raised our families and run our businesses here, the kind of destruction caused by the Camp Fire almost defies belief,” said Dan Flores, Sutter County Supervisor. “The people of Butte County will recover – with the help of our neighbors and colleagues and friends. For Sutter Health, that’s taken every form imaginable, from funding for the Red Cross to doctors and nurses on the ground providing medical care. Recovery will be an uphill battle, but I am grateful for the support that continues to pour in.”
Meanwhile, 125 miles southwest of Butte County, Angela Ponce, a site supervisor for Sutter Medical Foundation’s Urgent Care in Fairfield, found herself helping out Camp Fire victims in ways she couldn’t have anticipated.
When a couple came to the Sutter Urgent Care in Fairfield to get medication refills for boys they had taken in from Paradise, Ponce was faced with a challenge. Both of the facilities the boys depended on, their primary care doctor’s office and pharmacy, were destroyed in the Camp Fire. But through research, she was able to locate another one of their healthcare providers to learn more about their health histories and their current needs. With that information in hand, she was able to work with a local pharmacy in Fairfield and get many of their prescriptions filled. At a time when there are many uncertainties for these boys and their caretakers, they can at least rest assured they have medications to help keep them healthy.