WICHITA, Kan. –. Linda Sue Bayless, an advanced practice registered nurse is deployed to Puerto Rico to assist the victims of Hurricane Maria. This emergency room provider at the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center is now working on an island where she described the conditions as “horrid.” As part of the VA’s Disaster Emergency Medical Personnel Program System (DEMPS) she signed on to deploy where she was needed most.
The island of Puerto Rico has suffered wind damage, flooding, crippled communications, and decimated buildings. Food and medical care are needed most.
DEMPS is the Veteran’s Health Administration’s main deployment program for clinical and non-clinical staff to be deployed to an emergency or a disaster.
Bayless was given 24-hour notice before she was deployed and was already expecting to get the call when a series of Hurricanes hit in Houston, Florida, and finally Puerto Rico. She left October 4 and is due back on the 18.
Her husband, Greg Bayless, says she is now living in a tent and has had no hot water since she arrived. He describes her as working side by side with FEMA, the Red Cross, and Homeland Security. “She is an honorable woman,” He said. “She wants to help. She is patriotic. She has been a caregiver her entire life. She wanted to volunteer.”
He describes his wife’s conditions as “difficult” and she is currently working nights on the 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift.
The Bayless Family has 3 daughters and 1 son and live in Cheney, Kansas.
Members of the media that have questions should contact Rob Cain, PAO, at 316-685-2221, X53064. ####
About the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center
The Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center is a Joint Commission accredited, level 1C facility located in Wichita, Kansas that provides a full range of patient care services including medicine, surgery, outpatient psychiatry, physical medicine and rehabilitation, cardiology, neurology, oncology, dentistry, visual impairment and low vision rehabilitation, spinal cord dysfunction, traumatic brain injury management, poly-trauma clinic, pain management, post-traumatic stress disorder treatment, homeless services, mental health intensive case management, prosthetics/orthotics, and extended care services.
The Wichita VA Medical Center, The University of Kansas School of Medicine and Wichita State University maintain long-standing affiliation partnership agreements for academic purposes of enhanced patient care, education and research. The medical center is part of VHA VISN 15 Heartland Network, which includes the Eastern Kansas Health Care System (Topeka & Leavenworth), Kansas City, Columbia, St. Louis, Marion, and Poplar Bluff VA Medical Centers. The geographic region includes Kansas, Missouri, southern Illinois, and southern Indiana.