In order to provide aid to Haiti’s earthquake survivors, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has entered into an alliance with International Medical Corps to engage union members in direct relief efforts.
As many as 600 SEIU members, many of them Haitian nurses and doctors and native Creole speakers, have volunteered to be part of an emergency response in Haiti. SEIU Healthcare is the largest union of healthcare workers in North America.
“This agreement provides International Medical Corps with an invaluable new source of highly-trained U.S. health professionals,” said Stephen Tomlin, Vice President of Program Policy and Planning. “We expect that the product of this agreement will have a multiplier effect on current medical delivery in Haiti and lay the foundations for the country’s health system recovery and development.”
“This catastrophe knows no borders, and SEIU members have volunteered to bring their medical, cultural and disaster expertise to the relief efforts,” said Dr. Toni Lewis, SEIU Executive Board Member and Chair of SEIU Healthcare’s National Doctor Alliance. “From providing direct aid on the ground in Haiti to covering shifts for their deployed sisters and brothers, SEIU members are making a difference through their commitment to and compassion for our Haitian sisters and brothers.”
SEIU Healthcare members have a history of volunteer work, and by coordinating with International Medical Corps, their participation in the Haitian relief effort will be supported by the security and logistics support framework that are integral components of International Medical Corps deployments. The first wave of deployments will include a number of Haitian doctors and nurses who are members of SEIU Healthcare Florida, Local 1991 and SEIU’s Committee on Interns and Residents (CIR).
International Medical Corps has had an emergency response team on the ground in Port au Prince since Wednesday, operating at the Hospitelier de’l Universite d’etat d’Haiti, treating crush victims, trauma and shock patients, conducting basic wound care and dealing with broken bones and rupture wounds.
International Medical Corps is focused on the recovery phase even at this early stage of its operations in Haiti, which is the biggest challenge in natural disasters.