Retired UNMC physician in Houston becomes volunteer

by Vicky Cerino, UNMC public relations | September 06, 2017

Image with caption: Barbara Heywood, M.D., talks to a pharmacy to get medications for the elderly.

Barbara Heywood, M.D., talks to a pharmacy to get medications for the elderly.

Houston resident Barbara Heywood, M.D., a retired professor in the UNMC Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, travels a lot.

But last week, she postponed the work she does for the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, checking hospital and university accredited residency training programs.

Her flight from Houston to Miami was canceled. So Dr. Heywood became a volunteer -- for the same reason she went into medicine, she said - to help people.

After water on the streets in her neighborhood receded -- her house was not flooded -- she became a volunteer at her church where a shelter was set up a week ago Monday.

At the shelter, she was getting much needed prescription drugs for mostly elderly people. Pharmacies were so overloaded they didn't have time to answer the phone.

"You had to go there in person and wait in line. It took a long time -- several hours -- to get a few refills," Dr. Heywood said. "Some people had been trapped and couldn't get their medication, some ran out of medication and others couldn't get refills because their clinic was closed and the pharmacies were closed."

At the church shelter run by the Red Cross, more than 100 nurses, anesthetists, student nurses and citizens volunteered, she said.

She said amid the devastation, she didn't hear anyone talking about their losses.

"They were so glad to get out, get dry, get food. People are very positive," she said.

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Tere Batt
September 14, 2017 at 1:43 PM

Hi, Dr. Heywood, I know those people are in good hands with you at the helm. Stay safe...

Laurey Steinke
September 06, 2017 at 8:06 AM

Good to see your face again Barbara! Not at all surprised to see you helping where you are needed. Thank you.