UT-Health students, nursing staff helping people along Texas Coastal Bend

Rockport doctor created mobile clinic after Hurricane Harvey

ROCKPORT, Texas – It has been two months since Hurricane Harvey slammed ashore the Texas Coastal Bend.

The Category 4 hurricane did not spare anyone or anything. Residents are still trying to put the pieces of their lives together. From rebuilding homes, schools and businesses people are still without basic needs for their medical needs.

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Thanks to a San Antonio family and nursing students from UT-Health San Antonio, people are still able to get much needed medical care.

Dr. Heather Krause grew up in Rockport. She and her family evacuated in an RV before the storm hit. For Jessica Serrano the storm did not only destroy her home, it also destroyed her doctor’s office leaving her without a place to get medical help for her and her children.

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“Within days of Hurricane Harvey landing, we saw the medical need in the community and we thought something we could do was turn our home into a local medical unit,” Krause said.

As word spread, professors and students from UT-Health San Antonio School of Nursing also began to help.

Associate professor Dr. Wendy Lee said she is honored to treat people in need -- but also loves seeing her students learn.

“Being able to see the skills we’re teaching them actually apply to real world and so it is so gratifying,” Lee said.  

Krause said the storm left behind another set of challenges.

“What we are seeing in the community are chronic diseases that haven’t been managed for months now,” she said. “(Including) people who haven’t had access to their prescription medications.”

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Serrano is thankful she doesn't have to take her four children all the way to Corpus Christi for vaccinations.

“It’s a lot of help,” Serrano said. “There’s a lot of nice people that come from out of town and they’re helping a lot and that means a lot to a lot of people here.”

But the need is great, and Krause is always looking for other doctors and nurses to volunteer and has created a Facebook page to help get the word out.

About the Authors

Courtney Friedman anchors KSAT’s weekend evening shows and reports during the week. Her ongoing Loving in Fear series confronts Bexar County’s domestic violence epidemic. She joined KSAT in 2014 and is proud to call the SA and South Texas community home. She came to San Antonio from KYTX CBS 19 in Tyler, where she also anchored & reported.

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