Connections

Displaced by Hurricane Ida, Tulane students were comforted by donations from Kelsey-Seybold Clinic

Kelsey-Seybold Clinic donated assorted snacks, sunscreen, and hand sanitizers to the Houston Tulane Alumni Association on Sept. 9. The donations benefited Tulane students displaced by Hurricane Ida.

“It was humbling. I am so thankful to be a part of a company that cares about our community and its well-being,” said Emily McDearman, event and community outreach coordinator, Kelsey-Seybold Clinic.

Tulane University students accept Kelsey-Seybold donations, which included snacks and bottled water.

Pictured from left to right: Jiahe Zhang, Gabrielle Fortes, Halie Norman, Huiying Cui, Cele Zhao, and Yu Liu.

Once Heather Yanak, communications chairperson of the Houston Tulane Alumni Association, heard Tulane was evacuating students – a first for the university – and the students were coming to Houston, she knew she had to get involved.

Yanak posted a call to action on social media, and one of the responses came from Kelsey-Seybold pediatrician and Tulane alumna Helene Sheena, M.D., F.A.A.P., who reached out to see what donations were needed, as did many in the community, Yanak said.

“I remember going through hurricanes, and it’s a potentially traumatic experience,” Dr. Sheena said. “Kelsey-Seybold donated and set up extra resources to make it less scary and less frightening. We had to try to make a difference.”

The donations are a huge help to the students, many of whom evacuated in darkness as the electric grid was down in Louisiana.

“In that moment, I think I realized the gravitas of the storm,” Yanak said. “My next thought was, ‘How do we support the university?’”

Kelsey-Seybold’s donations filled a huge need, said Yanak.

“The donations make the students feel cared for at a time they could have easily felt lost. They are new to Louisiana, then new to Texas and staying in a hotel,” Yanak said. “It could be overwhelming. The donations provide a sense of comfort.”

Dr. Sheena was grateful for Kelsey-Seybold’s involvement in the donation drive, but not surprised.

“Kelsey-Seybold is truly a family-first organization,” Dr. Sheena said. “I have worked with Kelsey-Seybold in community outreach efforts and know Kelsey has been such a strong leader in the community.”

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