The devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey continues to reverberate nationwide!  We are joining with our national partners LeadingAge, American Hospital Association (AHA), and all South Dakotans in sending our prayers as health care providers join with local, state, and federal agencies in responding to the ongoing disaster.

Also, SDAHO has joined with AHA, LeadingAge and many others to encourage consideration of financial assistance and other support that would be used to directly assist health care employees and their families who have suffered significant loss.

LeadingAge has set up a Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Fund, where 100 percent of the donations will go directly to LeadingAge members and their employees to cover a range of needs including basic supplies, such as food and water, as well as recovery efforts.

Similarly, the Texas Hospital Association has established the THA Hospital Employee Assistance Fund to help hospital employees who experienced significant property loss or damage because of Hurricane Harvey. All funds will be used to directly assist hospital employees in Federal Emergency Management Agency-designated disaster areas; administrative services are being provided in kind so that 100 percent of donated funds will be used to assist hospital employees.

Like past natural disasters of this type, a few bad actors seek to exploit the situation by creating fake Facebook pages, tweets with fake charity websites, and phishing emails, and asking for donations to bogus “Relief Funds” sites. Be alert to fundraising scams, and do not click on any links in emails, text messages, Facebook pages or tweets. If you are interested in making a donation to help hurricane victims, go to a website of a reputable charity, such as AHA or LeadgingAge.

Thank you for joining together in keeping everyone impacted by Hurricane Harvey in our thoughts and prayers, and for offering assistance over the coming days, weeks, and months.