The below article appeared in the National Catholic Reporter on August 27, 2021, and features comments by Sr. Ricca Dimalibot. Note: One of Sr. Ricca’s comments was misinterpreted regarding her treating Guatemalan patients at Point of Light Clinic. Sr. Ricca was speaking about other Congregational outreach efforts to vulnerable groups in Houston
AS TEMPERATURES RISE WITH CLIMATE CHANGE, HOW CAN HOUSTON BEAT THE HEAT?
AUG 27, 2021
BY NUSHIN HUQ
HOUSTON — Hot and humid is the norm for a Houston summer, and air conditioning and staying inside during peak heat are necessities. But many Houstonians can’t take refuge from the heat and are prone to severe heat-related illnesses.
Sr. Ricca Dimalibot, a physician and member of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, attends to patients suffering from effects of extreme heat. Dimalibot is medical director of the CHRISTUS Point of Light Clinic, which provides health care to uninsured and underserved in the Greater Houston area.
Her patients include workers with outdoor jobs, elderly people and families that live in large family units. Patients often come into her office with flushed faces because they don’t have air conditioning in their cars.
“Many of our patients are the ones who are doing yard work, construction or working in the kitchen, which is also very hot,” Dimalibot said. “We’ve had so many suffer from heat strokes. The effects of the heat encompass all the organs of the body, and we’ve had patients who were really in total system breakdown. Most of them are those who had been working outside in the heat.”