January 12, 2010
News of the terrible destruction and loss of life from the earthquakes in Haiti has triggered an outpouring of concern and offers of assistance from Kaiser Permanente physicians and employees.
As an organization, we want to express our sympathy to those who are suffering. We extend our compassion to those who have loved ones in Port-au-Prince and the surrounding region.
We are actively in touch with U.S. government and nonprofit relief agencies focused on providing humanitarian aid to people in Haiti affected by the earthquake. Through these partners, we will learn more about how relief, recovery and rebuilding plans and responses are evolving. As the government and relief organizations make their needs known, we’ll develop an even better understanding of how best we can help.
Our Current Efforts
In the case of the Haiti response, our network of resources and agencies tells us that the critical need is for financial support to enable aid agencies to activate their assistance and be nimble in their response.
Therefore, Kaiser Permanente is pledging $500,000 in financial support for immediate disaster relief to the following organizations:
- Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF)
MSF is an international medical and humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by natural and man-made disasters. MSF is setting up an inflatable field hospital in Haiti to provide critical medical care to earthquake victims.
- Relief International (RI)
RI is a humanitarian organization that meets the immediate needs of victims of natural disasters with provisions of food rations, clean water, non-food items, and medical services. RI has dispatched emergency response teams to Haiti to provide supplies and recovery services.
MedShare recovers and redistributes surpluses of medical supplies and equipment to those in need. The organization is actively raising money to send thousands of vitally needed medical supplies to Haiti to treat injured victims.
- Operation USA (http://www.opusa.org: this URL may not work from some Kaiser Permanente facilities)
Operation USA is an international relief agency that helps communities overcome the effects of disasters by providing privately funded aid. It is sending medical aid to Haiti in response to the earthquake.
Contacting Loved Ones
For any of our employees and physicians who are concerned about friends and family in Haiti, we provide two resources of which we are aware:
- International Committee of the Red Cross
- The U.S. State Department (for U.S. citizens in Haiti)
How You Can Help
When local infrastructure is inadequate or badly damaged and communications are difficult, as is the case in Haiti, local communities can be overwhelmed by an influx of people and supplies. Thus, the best and most efficient way to help is with financial support to reputable relief organizations.
At this time, we are not organizing Kaiser Permanente medical teams of volunteers to travel to Haiti. Some of our physicians and nurses who are trained in disaster relief have already departed for Haiti through aid organizations with which they are affiliated.