With the recent disasters in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Islands, the lives of many MGH staff and their families have been significantly affected.

The MGH has numerous resources available for those who need support – whether it be financial, emotional or spiritual. Hospital leaders from Human Resources (HR), Global Health, Emergency Preparedness and many other departments continue to monitor the situation, listen to staff concerns and identify ways to provide meaningful support. “The hospital is paying close attention and we will continue to work to support staff as the situation evolves,” says Dave Reisman, associate director of the MGH Center for Disaster Medicine.

For those wanting to provide assistance, the best way to help continues to be with a monetary donation to an established organization. “It’s really challenging even now to get supplies and equipment to the areas most affected,” says Reisman. “We rely on these trusted organizations that have the logistical channels and processes in place to ensure donations reach their intended recipients.” The MGH recommends: Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico/Massachusetts Unido por Puerto Rico (www.tbf.org/puertorico) or Direct Relief (www.directrelief.org).

MGH’s Response:

■ The MGH has created an employee grant program through the MGH Emergency Response Fund to provide support to employees and their families who have been affected. Visit the MGH Giving website to learn more.

■ The MGH has made financial contributions to the Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico/Massachusetts Unido por Puerto Rico Fund and to Direct Relief to help send supplies to hospitals.

■ Many MGH staff members have deployed, and continue to deploy, to Puerto Rico and other areas in the Caribbean with federal disaster response teams and teams from MGH Global Health to support the medical needs of hospitals and communities.

■ On Oct. 11, MGH leaders from HR, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Spiritual Care and Emergency Preparedness hosted a town hall session to update staff on relief efforts and resources available and to provide an open forum for those affected to share their stories. Watch the recorded town hall session.

Resources for MGHers and families:

■ Employee grants are available to offer financial assistance to employees directly affected. The grant program is funded by Emergency Response Fund. To date, 50 $500 grants have been given to MGHers and their families. To apply for the grant, an employee must be able to show how he or she is directly impacted and demonstrate need for funds. Applications are available on Apollo.

■ The EAP is always available for confidential and private support and offers continually updated resources. They can provide updated information about conditions, and details about how to reach family members and where to donate. Call (866) 724-4327.

 ■ The Spiritual Care Department has a team of spiritual care providers who represent different faith traditions, available to staff 24/7. Call (617) 726-2220.

■ The Employee Wage Advance Program through HR and EAP offer staff the opportunity to apply for a wage advance – under circumstances where someone has a specific financial need – which would then be paid back through payroll deduction.

■ Earned Time donation/cash out: Speak with a HR business partner for more information about the program.

Read more articles from the 10/27/17 Hotline issue.