During the shooting carried out by Seth Ator in the Midland-Odessa area that killed seven people and injured more than a dozen on Aug. 31, medical units worked to help those in need.

Among these units, medical residents, faculty and staff of the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center Permian Basin campus in Odessa were set to provide any support as needed.

Emily Holeva, communications and marketing project manager at the Tech Health Sciences Center Permian Basin campus, said the HSC campuses in Midland-Odessa partnered with local hospitals. She said Medical Center Hospital in Odessa and Midland Memorial in Midland are the two hospitals that partner with the nearby HSC campuses.

Regarding day of the shooting, Holeva said physicians and residents were in place to provide any necessary support.

“Since the shooting took place in Odessa and the shooter was killed in Odessa, Medical Center Hospital took control of the situation,” she said. “So that means Midland Memorial, TTUHSC and others looked to Medical Center Hospital to take the lead.”

Since MCH was in charge of helping those injured during the shooting, Holeva said HSC resources were ready at MCH.

“Medical Center Hospital took in 14 victims,” she said. “We mobilized our team on the ground already just so we would be over at MCH. We have a bunker over there where our residents go.”

Even though MCH was able to handle the number of injured victims, Holeva said the HSC physicians and residents were available if needed.

During the shooting, Holeva said those affiliated with the HSC were watching the news to keep up to date with the events.

“Since this was an active shooter, we knew that the victim count was rising as time went on,” she said. “We knew that they were going to come to Medical Center Hospital. It was just a matter of when and how we needed to be ready when that happened.”

Despite the day of the shooting being the first time most of the medical residents dealt with this type of situation, Holeva said a lot was accomplished. She said the residents learned a lot during the process.

“The response was amazing,” she said. “That was one thing that we were proud of in our community is that everyone stepped up.”

In addition to the support the local HSC campus provided MCH, the HSC helped in other ways as well.

For those who were in need of comfort during a traumatic time, Holeva said the HSC campuses in Midland-Odessa provided anyone with mental health services.

“We got our psychiatry department, and we split them up between our campuses in Odessa and in Midland,” she said. “Once everybody got back from Labor Day and everybody settled into the week, we got them to be available for anyone.”

Whether it be students, faculty or staff, Holeva said these mental health services were offered to anyone who needed a professional’s guidance. She said the psychiatry department will continue to provide support even days after the shooting.

“With trauma, it’s not necessarily the next day when someone needs something, it could be two weeks from now,” Holeva said. “We just wanted to make sure that everybody involved with HSC knew that our psychiatry department would be available that day and also continuing on from now.”

Regardless of the services and resources the HSC Permian Basin campuses provided, Holeva said the HSC was grateful to lend a helping hand, and everybody came together as one Permian Basin.

“We were just really proud of all of our own people,” she said. “But we’re also very proud of Medical Center Hospital and their staff and Midland Memorial and their staff.”

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