Second wave volunteers set to deploy to Haiti

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Nurse Nick Hall of The Nebraska Medical Center is one of two members of UNMC's first volunteer deployment to Haiti who are still in that country. Hall will return to Omaha this week as the second wave of medical center volunteers deploys to Haiti.
UNMC has selected 12 health care specialists to participate in its second volunteer deployment to Haiti.

The volunteers -- eight nurses, two physicians, one pharmacist and one physician assistant -- are expected to leave for Haiti on Thursday on board University of Miami/MediShare Haiti flights.

"We have had tremendous response from people who want to travel to Haiti to help," said Ayman El-Mohandes, M.B.B.Ch., M.D., M.P.H., dean of the College of Public Health and a co-leader of UNMC's Haiti response team. "We have selected a team of volunteers that meets the current needs on the ground in Haiti."

UNMC's first group of 13 volunteers deployed on Jan. 23 and most spent a week assisting those wounded in the massive Jan. 12 earthquake that rocked Haiti.

Sponsor a volunteer

The College of Public Health Student Association is sponsoring an "Adopt a Provider" Campaign to support UNMC's Haitian Relief and Outreach Fund.

The association hopes to raise $1,500 for each of the providers who deploy this week. All proceeds will support medical center volunteer efforts and help offset the travel and living costs for the providers in Haiti.

Departments, groups and other organizations are encouraged to pool donations together in support of UNMC's volunteer providers. Contact Michelle Lampman at 559-8406 or Anh Nguyen at 559-3295, for more information

While in Haiti, the volunteers helped establish UNMC as a major player in relief efforts.

Several medical center volunteers assumed leadership posts at the hospitals and clinics where they worked and Rubens Pamies, M.D., vice chancellor for academic affairs and the other co-leader of UNMC's Haiti response efforts, worked with Haitian officials to establish UNMC as a significant partner in long term relief efforts in Haiti.

Two volunteers from the first wave, David Young, M.D., and nurse Nick Hall, remained in Haiti at the University of Miami/MediShare Tent Hospital to help provide a bridge for the second wave of Nebraska volunteers. Dr. Young and Hall both will return to Omaha in the coming days.

"Dr. Young and Nick Hall have been simply heroic," Dr. El-Mohandes said. "They have valiantly worked to help many people in incredibly intense and challenging conditions."

Most of the members of the second-wave of volunteers will stay in Haiti for seven to 10 days serving in the Miami/MediShare and other hospitals.