Good Samaritan Medical Center Nurse Organizes Successful Hurricane Katrina Relief Campaign 
 
Tuesday, 13 September 2005 
 
 

Stephanie Hughes, Who Lost Her Own Home to Hurricane Jeanne, Vows to Aid Victims Who’ve Lost Considerably More

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A recent hurricane victim herself, Good Samaritan Medical Center nurse Stephanie Hughes organized a donation effort at the hospital that delivered essential supplies to Hurricane Katrina victims in New Orleans.  Hughes, who has worked for the hospital more than 13 years, lost her own home last year to Hurricane Jeanne.

“My home was destroyed by Hurricane Jeanne and it put many pieces of my life on hold,” says Hughes.  “But the people of New Orleans have lost everything and are struggling just to survive.  I knew I had to help.”

When Hughes, who works at Good Samaritan Medical Center’s medical and surgical department, learned just a few days before Labor Day that friends were chartering a plane to deliver supplies to hurricane victims in New Orleans over the holiday weekend, she quickly took action.  Hughes alerted fellow hospital staff and began organizing a donation program to aid victims of the brutal storm.

In only five hours, Hughes collected more than $2,000 in donations from Good Samaritan Medical Center staff, physicians and volunteers.  Then, after learning area officials were asking for much-needed supplies rather than cash, Hughes rushed to local stores and converted the donations into essential baby and hygiene products.  Her purchases included: 2,000 diapers, 100 packs of baby wipes, 150 packages of formula, 100 bottles, 50 tubes of diaper rash cream, 150 bottles of sports drinks and numerous first aid kits.  Hughes then personally delivered all the items to the airport and the chartered plane, which made a successful delivery to hurricane survivors on Labor Day.

Hughes, a resident of West Palm Beach, has been living in an apartment since her own house was destroyed in 2004.  She hopes to visit New Orleans at the end of September to personally help hurricane victims. 

“We’re all touched by Stephanie’s efforts to help the New Orleans victims when she herself is still recovering from hurricane losses,” says hospital CEO Paul Echelard.  “Among all the various hurricane relief efforts in which our hospital participated, this project has truly been a tale of inspiration.”

Hughes earned her Associate degree at Palm Beach Community College and Bachelor degree at Florida Atlantic University.  Although Hurricane Jeanne briefly sidetracked her education, Hughes is currently taking courses at FAU in hopes of obtaining a medical degree.

Tenet Healthcare Foundation is encouraging hospital employees to help their colleagues affected by Hurricane Katrina through donations to the Tenet Disaster Relief Fund.  To extend the number of employees able to receive assistance, Tenet will double every contribution made to the fund.

About Good Samaritan Medical Center

Good Samaritan Medical Center, part of Tenet South Florida, is a 341-bed acute care hospital located at 1309 No. Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach.  In 2005, the hospital proudly celebrates its 85th anniversary of service to Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast. In addition to general medical services, Good Samaritan offers a broad range of specialty services, including oncology, orthopedics, obstetrics and cardiac medicine.  The hospital provides cancer services in the Helen and Harry Gray Cancer Institute, featuring the Miles M. Zisson Comprehensive Breast Center and the Ruth C. Heede Gamma Knife Center.  The hospital also offers the Walter Newbern Suites, an all-private, upscale unit that combines quality medical care with personal comfort.

Good Samaritan is fully accredited by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the nation’s oldest and largest hospital accreditation agency.  To learn more about Good Samaritan Medical Center, visit www.goodsamaritanmc.com or contact us at 561-655-5511.