Relief Efforts for California Fires
It seems like only yesterday we were joining our colleagues around the country to contribute generators to the Puerto Rico AFP chapter to assist family physicians dealing with the post-Maria disaster. Yesterday we awoke to our own California disasters.
CAFP and the CAFP Foundation are in communication with family medicine leaders in the Santa Rosa, Napa, and Sonoma areas. We don't have specific information yet, but do know that hundreds of our colleagues and thousands of their patients are affected by the horrific fires. Homes and businesses have been lost, clinics are damaged and closed, and the Sutter Santa Rosa FM Residency Program building has been destroyed. It will be months to years before life returns to normal for these Californians. We are also watching the fires in the Anaheim area, hoping they will be under control soon.
People have asked if they can help … and the answer is YES. We are happy to collect any/all monetary contributions and will forward them to the correct places once those places have been identified. All contributions are 100% tax-deductible and the CAFP Foundation will not keep a single penny. CAFP President-Elect and Sonoma County resident, Lisa Ward, MD, FAAFP, will work with us to coordinate the relief efforts.
If you are willing and able, please send contributions to the CAFP Foundation or other organizations of your choice (Red Cross, churches, community non-profits, etc.). We will keep everyone posted as we learn more. Thank you so much for your generosity!
A message from a local family physician
You may have woke yesterday to find horrific images of our city and many parts of our county on fire. Everyone in the immediate Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency family is safe and accounted for. Our city has been hit hard and we don’t even know the extent of the devastation at this point.
On the night of the fire, the residents stayed in the hospital stabilizing patients and preparing for transport while flames surrounded the hospital. They rode transport to other sites where they continued to do care. They rode through the city in the middle of the night on buses and ambulances, through the fire zone with patients in their care and they helped continue the care wherever they were taken. The doctors at those hospitals have all reached out to tell me how great our young doctors in training were!!!
In the morning, we set up a base at a community hospital we have never been involved with and did our disaster planning from there. An amazing team of women formed to think through the logistics and communications that we needed. Residents, faculty and alums evaluated the needs and staffed the shelters where help was called for.
Several residents have confirmed loss of their homes and we still don’t know what the day will bring for our faculty and other residents. As for the program, the hospital is still standing with minor smoke damage at the moment but remains closed which means we still appear to have a sponsoring hospital. As for the clinic, it is standing as of now but badly damaged and will not be able to function as a home for the residency for some time. The community sites which support our outpatient rotations are all down at this moment.
If any of you have opportunities for outside residents to do electives, please reach out.
If any of you have experience with such a massive event that has threatened your program and are willing to act as counsel, please email me and let me know.
Anyone with ACGME knowledge, please reach out.
Tara Scott, MD
Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency Program
Assistant Clinical Professor UCSF Department of Family and Community Medicine