RN Response Network July 2020 update

RNRN volunteer with young girle

To all our valued RNRN volunteers:

In these unprecedented and challenging times, we hope you are staying safe and healthy.

RNRN is monitoring the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which is setting records with Hurricane Isaias being the earliest “I” named hurricane in history. In California, there have already been over 4500 fires, more than twice the average normally recorded at this point in the season.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 and stay at home orders began, RNRN staff have been closely monitoring these emerging situations and communicating with partners to fully assess potential deployments. The pandemic will add a layer of complexity for any deployment, requiring additional protections for all volunteers as well as complicating the needs for shelters and those affected in their recovery.

A primary condition of deployment for RNRN is the safety of our volunteers. As many RNs across the country know, the shortage or lack of access to optimal PPE continues to place RNs in danger as you work at the front of the global pandemic.

If there is a need for nurses to help in the wake of a disaster, and we determine that the conditions are safe to deploy, we will let our network know about the opportunity.

In the meantime, we continue to provide support wherever we can. Here are some of the things we have done and are doing to support those in need:

  • Supporting critical healthcare needs, with RNRN funds being used in rural Haiti and Guatemala to directly help those in need. In both nations, the historic conditions of poverty, undernourishment, famine and absence of employment have sharply worsened due to the pandemic, and the rise in cases has devastated the already fragile healthcare system.
    • In Haiti, our donation to Hope for Haiti helped: treat nearly 1,500 chronic and urgent care patients; increase food distribution and address malnutrition; improve solar power at the hospital to increase reliable power supply; sending millions in on-hand medical supplies, medication, and PPE to the most vulnerable Haitians and 24 healthcare partners in southern Haiti with a focus on diabetes medications, blood pressure medications, and asthma medications. They also were able to provide 5,450 water filtration systems that are needed to support healthy hygiene during the pandemic.  
    • In Guatemala, we are funding a community effort to provide door to door health assessments and basic food supplies to hundreds of families across four rural communities.  This work is being coordinated through our local partner, Fundacion Amancio Samuel Villatoro (FASV), and this year will replace our annual in-person missions to provide basic medical care.
  • Actively screening our RNRN volunteers to position us to deploy quickly when conditions change. If it’s been a while since we’ve spoken with you, you may get a call from one of our staff. You can also directly update your profile by log in and update your profile directly here

  • Maintaining ongoing communication with partners to ensure we can fully assess potential deployments, including travel and lodging logistics as well as PPE availability to ensure the safety of our volunteers

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take far too many lives of nurses and our patients, we want you to know we stand with you. Through our affiliate, National Nurses United, we have been fighting to get nurses the PPE they need and to push back on the dangerous protocols coming out of the CDC and WHO. For more information on these efforts and some important resources and actions you can take, please visit the NNU COVID-19 Resources Page here.

Thank you for being a part of our network, and for being willing to help when and where it is needed.  

In unity,