When Disaster Strikes, PBF Relief Fund Helps Physicians
By Tammy Wishard

Four years ago, Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc in Houston and along the southeast Texas coast, leaving behind more than $125 billion in damages to homes, physician offices, and more.

During that costliest storm in Texas history, the Texas Medical Association was there to help physicians rebuild their medical practices and reestablish patient care through its PBF Disaster Relief Fund. With support from The Physicians Benevolent Fund, doctors could continue to provide care and comfort to their patients following the devastation of the Category 4 storm.

“Many of my patients are displaced and living in shelters, or with relatives … and are scrambling to find housing, cars, and work,” Linda Neely-Shelmire, MD, wrote in a letter to TMA after receiving support from the PBF Disaster Relief Fund to repair her pediatric practice in Dickinson. “I am glad my practice will be available to provide medical support, counseling, and empathy as they struggle through these tough situations.”

TMA’s PBF Disaster Relief Fund activates upon federal disaster declarations in Texas. To date, the fund has activated three times – during Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Ike, and Hurricane Rita. Thanks to the generous contributions of physicians and corporate donors, the fund has granted more than $1.5 million to 138 physician practices to assist them after these storms struck.

Port Lavaca Clinic Associates also received support during Hurricane Harvey. In a letter to TMA, John B. Wright, MD, a family physician and president of the clinic, said, “The challenges facing a rural health clinic in today’s health care environment can be many without the added burden of putting a clinic back together after the devastation of a hurricane. Your financial assistance has gone a long way in helping us get our doors open more quickly, so we may continue to provide the excellent medical care our patients have come to expect and deserve.”

Thankfully, this year’s hurricane season has not reached above-normal activity as predicted by NOAA. Should the need arise, however, the PBF Disaster Relief Fund will activate to help physician practices. Your donations can help TMA react immediately if Mother Nature strikes a blow.

The PBF Disaster Relief Fund is one of three funds through which TMA provides financial support to physicians; the others are The Physicians Benevolent Fund and the PBF Wellness Fund. If you’d like to contribute to the Disaster Relief Fund or any of the PBF family of funds, text “CARING” to 15128661422 or donate online. Or if you know someone who needs assistance, email us. 

Last Updated On

September 20, 2021

Originally Published On

August 02, 2021

Tammy Wishard

Account Manager, Division of Communications and Marketing

(512) 370-1470
Tammy Wishard

Tammy Wishard is an account manager in TMA’s Marketing Department. She works with TMA’s Office of Trust Fund Administration and other departments to help communicate the broad range of services and resources TMA offers its members. She has a 25-plus-year history with TMA, where she started as a writer/editor. Tammy, a proud Iowa native, is a graduate of Abilene Christian University.

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