|John Hanacek/UC San Diego Guardian|
|Haitian student John Compere speaks at a vigil at UC San Diego.
In the aftermath of the devastating 7.0 earthquake that hit Haiti on Jan. 12, the UC community is answering the call to aid in disaster relief. Campuses are raising funds and sending medical and other assistance to Haiti.
A team of eight UCLA nurses and three doctors will staff a new U.S. Navy field hospital in Port-au-Prince for two weeks. The UCLA Health System also sent a half-ton of medical supplies to Haiti.
In the days after the earthquake more than 100 employees of UCLA Health System medical centers volunteered to take their skills to Haiti. But the logistics of getting there created obstacles.
The UCLA Health System offered its expertise to several groups but finally found a partner in the U.S. military through its exiting partnership with UCLA's Operation Mend. That program offers facial reconstruction to maimed soldier returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
|Lauren Robin Derby/UCLA
|Haitians near the Dominican Republic border also were affected by the earthquake.
Priscilla "Patti" Taylor, a clinical nurse specialist lecturer at the School of Nursing, chief manager of Operation Mend and a retired Army nurse, will be UCLA's unofficial team captain in Haiti. Fellow nursing professors are picking up her classes while she is gone.
"I've always had a passion for helping others in crisis or need," Taylor said when asked why she wanted to go. "Hundreds of thousands of people are still injured in Haiti. There are going to be so many amputees. It's almost inconceivable."
The UCLA team is still uncertain about when they will ship out but expect to depart sometime in early February.
UC San Diego
Three physicians from UC San Diego Medical Center are wrapping up a two-week shift in Haiti with International Relief Teams - San Diego. They have been operating out of tents and seeing more than 200 patients a day in the makeshift ERs. The group departed San Diego on Jan. 15 and is scheduled to return home soon.
UCSF personnel are providing relief on the ground in Haiti, with several faculty and staff scheduled to travel to the capital city of Port-au-Prince in the coming days.
Some of those individuals have experience working in developing nations, including Elizabeth Donegan, MD, a UCSF professor of anesthesia who in the past has helped set up blood transfusion centers abroad. As of Jan. 21, Donegan was awaiting air clearance at the clogged Port-au-Prince airport.
Sriram Shamasunder, MD, an assistant clinical professor in the Division of Hospital Medicine, has also provided medical care in poverty-stricken countries, most recently in Burundi in 2009 as a volunteer with PIH. The group contacted him shortly after the Haiti earthquake to see if he was available to assist.
Megan Coffee, MD, PhD, a clinical fellow in the UCSF Division of Infectious Diseases, left for Haiti on Jan. 21 to work with the non-governmental organization AIDG. In the meantime, she's working to make sure she doesn't show up empty-handed, she said.
"I have been to Haiti before, briefly, as a medical student, and I cannot imagine what it is like now," Coffee said in an e-mail message. "I want to make sure before I go that I have done all I can here [at UCSF] to make sure there are enough supplies for medical groups there. Barehanded doctoring is not very effective."
Berkeley freshman Michael Bloch has created a Facebook page to help organize relief efforts. Bloch has organized a Haiti event for Feb. 5 on the campus campus. The Associated Students group is raising money for Partners in Health.
UC Irvine aims to raise at least $2,000 for UNICEF's Haiti relief fund with Hearts for Haiti Benefit Concert and dance on Feb. 10 at the campus studetn center.
UC Santa Barbara
UC Santa Barbara's Center for Black Studies Research held a public forum Jan. 21 to discuss the tragedy, suggest ways that individuals can come to the country's aid, and what the disaster might mean for the Haitian people. The UCSB Center for Black Studies Research, which publishes the Journal of Haitian Studies, sponsored the forum.
For employees responding to Haiti disaster
UC faculty and staff may be eligible to take administrative leave to help with relief efforts in Haiti or to care for family and friends directly affected by the disaster. Contact your local human resources or academic personnel office for more information. Union-represented employees should refer to their collective bargaining agreement for guidance.
If you travel to Haiti as part of a University-sponsored response team or on behalf of official relief and support organizations such as the American Red Cross, medical aid organizations or food banks, you can be covered by UC's business travel insurance. If you use Connexxus to book your travel, you will automatically be registered in the UC travel insurance program. If you make travel arrangements another way, you must register your travel through UCOP Risk Services' online travel insurance system to be covered.
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