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Sacramento Nurse Heads to the Philippines Part of National Nurses’ Ongoing Typhoon Relief Effort

California Nurses Association/National Nurses United Press Release, 1/13/14

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Part of National Nurses' Ongoing Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda Relief Effort

While many are settling back into regular routines after the holiday break, registered nurse Diane McClure, an RN at Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center in Sacramento, CA is starting the new year by traveling to the Philippines to provide medical support for those who continue to be affected by the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.

McClure will join the fifth team of RN volunteers, part of the National Nurses United’s Registered Nurse Response Network, that departs on Wednesday, January 15, 2014, to Roxas City on the northern end of the island of Panay, which was in the direct path of the storm. The super typhoon killed over six thousand people, left almost two thousand missing and 4 million either homeless or with damaged homes.

The team includes RNs from New York, Minnesota, Texas, and California. They are among the 3,000 RNs from all 50 states and 19 nations who volunteered in the days after the deadly storm to assist with the relief project for Haiyan/Yolanda. Another Sacramento area RN, Lyn Tirona returned from the RNRN relief effort in late December.

"I decided to volunteer for the Philippines because I volunteered in Haiti with the RNRN relief effort after the earthquake and had a great experience. I really enjoy using my nursing skills to help people in need," said McClure. "I expect that many of the problems we will encounter will be related to the lack of preventive medical care prior to the disaster."

McClure has twenty four years of nursing experience and is the mother of two adult children who were raised in the Sacramento area. "I am very happy to volunteer through RNRN because I feel it is well organized, understands the needs of the people and is committed to helping for the long haul," said McClure.
 
"Now that the world is no longer focused on the devastation in the Philippines, it is even more important that we continue to lend our support," said Bonnie Castillo, RN, director of RNRN. "We are working closely with our sister organization in the Philippines, the Alliance of Health Workers, to determine the most effective ways that we can be of assistance." The Alliance of Health Workers and National Nurses United are both members of Global Nurses United, an international network of nurses' organizations established last summer.

NOTE TO MEDIA: Diane McClure is available for interviews. Please contact (530) 306-6713

RNRN volunteers
RNRN volunteer Betty Sparks attends patients in late December 

RNRN volunteers
RNRN volunteers Paolo Montenegro and Anna Rathbun attend patients in late December

RNRN volunteer
Nurse Practitioner Betty Woods attends a patient in Iloilo

Joining McClure will be volunteer, Ireneo Jore, an RN at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City, and originally from Roxas City, where he practiced as a family physician. “I am glad to be part of this opportunity to help the victims of this horrific calamity in my own home town” said Jore, who now lives in Manhattan. Jore has 10 siblings, five of whom live in Roxas City and lost their homes in the disaster.

Ireneo, McClure and the others departing this week will follow in the footsteps of the RNRN volunteers who have been providing basic medical care at rotating mobile clinics, in a ruined chapel, school, gym and other temporary settings as well as at a city health clinic in and around Roxas, and other sites in the Philippines.
 
The RNRN volunteers have worked in conjunction with local public health officials, physicians, a church and other community supporters, providing wound care, giving tetanus and other shots, offering critical stress debriefings, and other basic care.

National Nurses United invites the public to contribute to the effort at  www.sendanurse.org
 
RNRN, a project of National Nurses United, the nation’s largest organization of RNs, was formed in 2004 in the aftermath of the South Asia tsunami in 2004, when the need for nurses was not being met by traditional disaster relief organizations.  Since that time RNRN has send hundreds of direct-care nurse volunteers to assist following Hurricane Katrina, the massive earthquake in Haiti, and Hurricane Sandy.

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