“Disaster is never something that we expect at home. It is never supposed to happen to our loved ones, our community. So whenever it does strike there is this feeling in your throat as you watch the news, as you see it happen. There is the fear of loss and the fear of what to do next, how to organize the ensuing chaos. But, the next second always comes. It is in those seconds that we decide who we are. If we are leaders in our society. If we can push ourselves through the unknown of what to do and actually do something. Here we decided to be the helpers.” – Ethan Clement
The tornado that brought so much devastation and heartache to Arkansas last Friday also brought out the very best in UAMS team members. This week’s Accolades is a salute to all of you who have pitched in on cleanup efforts, food drives and fundraising, clinical care and healing, and so much more.
I want to give a special shout-out to our students who answered the call to serve in the aftermath of the storm. For instance, dozens of students joined forces to participate in cleanup efforts last weekend and beyond. Student groups including the Emergency Medicine Interest Group and the Street Medicine Interest Group were integral in these efforts. Lead organizers included senior medical students Ethan Clement (EMIG President), Katy Rose (SMIG President), Kiley Schlortt and Josh Welch (SMIG officer).
Ethan’s observation at the top of this accolade helps to explain why so many busy medical students took this on. “The number of homes, communities and families that were affected were overwhelming, but text after text, car after car, students kept showing up, with their own supplies including tarps, yard equipment, chainsaws, and work ethic,” said Ethan.
Meanwhile, the M1 Class, led by Co-Vice Presidents Lindsey Herberger and Gabrielle Gauthier, organized a food and water donation drive for all COM classes. More than $1,000 in non-perishable food items and cases of water were donated to the Arkansas Food Bank to benefit area residents affected by the tornado, thanks to food and monetary contributions collected on April 5.
These are just a small number of the ways our students (and many others) have pulled together.
Kudos to all. We are proud of you.
Here is a list of some of the medical students who have helped with cleanup tornado efforts, courtesy of Ethan. (We will add more names as we learn about them. If you have information to add, please reach out at COMInternalCommunications@uams.edu.)
Medical Students who have participated:
Kori Bullard Kornet
Brendon Hogge (His family drove in from a different state to come help!)
This post was updated on April 6 to provide details about the food drive.