In the past year, teamwork has played a large part in the lives of those who call the Houston area home. Its power shone bright during the dark days of Hurricane Harvey, as many made their way through the floodwaters to help bring stranded strangers to safety. Others worked tirelessly alongside fellow volunteers to make sure those forced from their homes and into shelters had dry clothes to wear and something good to eat.
At MD Anderson, doctors, nurses and staff showed the same sacrifice and dedication to patients and each other during and after the storm. More than 1,000 employees remained on-site to ensure care was continuous for approximately 530 inpatients, along with some 300 of the patients’ family members. Approximately 35% of the institution’s employees were severely impacted by the storm. To help them cope and recover, hospital leaders set up resources such as on-site child care, free rideshare service and financial assistance for eligible employees displaced from their homes.
MD Anderson President Peter WT Pisters, M.D., had been named the sole finalist to lead the cancer center the day before Harvey hit. As he watched the destruction unfold and the resilience with which people responded, he was reminded of what a special place MD Anderson is. “In good times and in bad, people make the difference, and in the face of this epic storm, MD Anderson’s people did more than that,” he noted. “They, along with their friends and neighbors across the region, helped restore hope.”
Less than two months later, the city came together to cheer on the Astros during the team’s thrilling run to the franchise’s first World Series championship. Many of the players said they were inspired by the strength and humanity shown by so many during and after Harvey.
At MD Anderson, teamwork is at the heart of every effort made to treat patients, improve care and prevention, conduct research that leads to a better understanding of the disease, and educate tomorrow’s cancer experts. Multidisciplinary care. Team-science approach. Interdisciplinary thinking. The Moon Shots Program™. Strategic business alliances. MD Anderson Cancer Network®. These are all examples of how doctors, scientists, specialists and staff at MD Anderson are working together to end cancer. This year’s annual report underscores the power and importance of collaboration at the institution. That isn’t unique to 2017, but it is a big part of what makes the nation’s leading cancer center so special.