NEWS | November 15, 2018

Physician volunteers needed in Butte County


UC Davis Health physicians are needed to volunteer at Butte County shelters to provide medical care to Camp Fire evacuees.

Available physicians will provide basic acute medical care, including wound care, management of acute minor illnesses such as asthma and inhalation injuries, prescription refills (with the exception of narcotics or other pain medications) and Norovirus, which has broken out at one or more shelters and is being handled with isolation methods and administration of IV fluids.

Physicians willing and able to volunteer should email UC Davis Regional Affiliations Officer Maureen McKennan at with their name, date of birth, California medical license number, cell phone number and dates and times that they may be available. This information will be compiled and sent to Caring Choices, a non-profit agency working with the Red Cross that will coordinate physician volunteer vetting and schedules prior to arrival.

More than 52,000 people were forced to evacuate during the Camp Fire in Paradise, which destroyed 7,600 homes and has killed 59 people. The Red Cross has set up several temporary emergency shelters for fire victims without other housing options.

McKennan suggests that two to four UC Davis Health physicians drive together to Chico for shelter assignments, which would most likely be 12-hour shifts, i.e. 7 a.m. to 7 pm. or 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.  Roads into Butte County are open, but hotels are full. She said some volunteers may find lodging in private homes or simply drive back after their shifts.

Anthony Jerant, professor and chair in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, said at least two UC Davis Health physicians have already volunteered in area shelters and attest to the community need for physician medical support. Butte County Public Health Officer Andy Miller also reached out to UC Davis Health requesting physician volunteers to support people in the Camp Fire emergency shelters.