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UW Health Contributes to Haiti Relief Efforts

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MADISON - As desperately needed aid in the form of food, water and medical supplies and personnel continue to stream into a country ravaged by the effects of a massive earthquake, UW Health has responded as well by contributing $15,000 in support of the American Red Cross' relief efforts.

 

UW Health leadership, including UW Hospital and Clinics President and CEO Donna Katen-Bahensky, UW Medical Foundation President and CEO Jeffrey Grossman and UW School of Medicine and Public Health Dean Robert Golden, determined the monetary donation as the best avenue for assistance.

 

"At this time, we are told by relief agencies and international response teams that by far the greatest need is for funds to purchase and move supplies that are ready to ship to Haiti," they said in an e-mail to UW Health employees.

 

Katen-Bahensky, Grossman and Golden also left open the possibility of filling calls for individual or institutional volunteer opportunities. According to its Web site, the Red Cross is currently not accepting volunteers willing to travel to Haiti for relief purposes.

 

In the interim, UW Health established a resources page on its intranet site for employees who are interested in making a donation.

 

Included amongst a litany of international relief organizations are perhaps the two most well-known support vehicles:

  • Online donations to the American Red Cross: Donations to the American Red Cross' International Response Fund will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need. The Disaster Relief Fund enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to victims of all disasters.
  • Text message donations: Cell phone users can text "HAITI" to "90999." A donation of $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts and charged to their cell phone bill.

The earthquake struck 10 miles southwest of the Haitian capital of Port-Au-Prince on Jan. 12, reducing many of the city's buildings to rubble and knocking out electricity and phone service. Estimates put the number of resulting fatalities between 50,000 and 200,000, and nearly one-third of the nation's 9 million people have been affected by the quake. Medical personnel are scrambling to treat the injured, and food and water are still in short supply.

 

In her "Friday Forum" address to UW Health employees, Katen-Bahensky pledged continued institutional support.

 

"Our vision calls for advancing the well-being of the people of Wisconsin and beyond," she said. "Over the next few days, weeks and months I know members of the UW Health community will respond to this crisis in many ways - with donations or with time and expertise. To me, this kind of disaster exemplifies that sometimes 'beyond' can mean oceans or continents away."  


Date Published: 01/19/2010

News tag(s):  ouruwhealth

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