Local News


Las Vegas executives trade suits for boots to help hurricane victims

Posted at 11:34 PM, Aug 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-31 02:34:16-04
Among the thousands of volunteers wading through the flood waters in the Houston area are a pair of Las Vegas hospital executives.
Lawrence Barnard and Ryan Christensen ditched their suits and ties this week and jumped on a plane to Dallas.
"It was just one of those feelings where we knew they needed more help than they were getting, so we talked about it and at first the question was are we going, are we really doing this," Barnard, the President and CEO at St. Rose Dominican’s San Martin campus said.
From there they loaded up on supplies at a local Costco and drove a U-Haul down to the areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey. 
Barnard says the hospital’s parent company, Dignity Health, covered the cost of the supplies.
Once they unloaded the essentials, Barnard and Christensen joined a convoy to find people in need.
With many roads closed they said often times they’d go as far as they could, then set up shop.
"What actually astonished us the most is they were cutting off certain areas so we couldn't go by the police and we would roll up and tell them what we were doing and they would let us through with the convoy," Barnard said.
Many of the videos the pair posted show them driving through some of the flooded roads to get to areas where people needed help.
"This really took on getting in the water, getting it done.  Making sure we were available in whataver capacity they needed us in.  So it was a far cry from the typical office day," Christensen, the assistant administrator at St. Rose Dominican’s San Martin campus said.
The pair says their convoy is growing every day, because so many people want to help.
"Every single person in Texas has been amazing.  We went from a 15 person team to a 20 person team just picking up people along the way," Barnard said.
Christensen and Barnard said even after a long day, they are ready to do more work whenever they are needed.