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Central Health Provides Social Workers for Local Shelters as More Harvey Evacuees Arrive in Austin

(Austin, TX.) – With thousands more Hurricane Harvey evacuees expected to arrive in Austin, local emergency response officials asked Central Health to help supply additional social workers at area shelters.

Central Health and its partners − CommUnityCare Health Centers, Sendero Health Plans, and the Community Care Collaborative (Central Health’s partnership with Seton) − provided social workers Tuesday morning at two local shelters. As more shelters open, Central Health is prepared to deploy additional registered nurses and community health workers to support the growing number of evacuees coming to Travis County.

Additional social workers are increasingly needed to greet evacuees at official emergency shelters to evaluate immediate needs such as:
● Medical care
● Mental health support
● Prescription refills
● Food and clothing
● Potential for long-term shelter or housing

“Like our entire community, Central Health and our partners are responding to the needs of evacuees during this unimaginable disaster,” said Mike Geeslin, president and CEO of Central Health. “Central Health stands ready to help where needed.”

In addition to coordinating volunteer social workers, Central Health’s CommUnityCare Health Centers activated Mobile Health Teams to offer health and medical services for people arriving from mandatory evacuation areas. So far, Mobile Health Teams are stationed at the Toney Burger Activity Center, LBJ High School/Liberal Arts and Science Academy, and the Wilhelmina Delco Center.

“When people walk in, the first thing they are looking for is a safe, dry place to stay,” said Jaeson Fournier, CEO of CommUnityCare. “Refilling a prescription is often the last thing on their minds. However, we know it is critical that we assess prescription needs, especially for people with mental health needs or who are experiencing a mental health crisis. We are working closely with Integral Care and a courier service to get medications from CommUnityCare pharmacies directly to storm survivors at area shelters.”