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Medical Staff Pulse is
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Haitian Earthquake Relief

A message from VCOS Scott Karlan, M.D.

The devastation in Haiti has touched all of us in different ways, and many of you have asked how to best help. I know that many of you have already made individual donations to relief organizations following the earthquake, and the Medical Center is contributing $25,000 to the American Red Cross. The Medical Center is also in contact with major relief organizations to determine their need for medical supplies.

Financial contributions:

There are a number of relief organizations where you can make donations to be used to help the victims of the earthquake. Among these are:

While many of you have already made your own individual contributions to relief agencies, others have asked how they could aggregate their contributions. If you are interested, please make checks payable to the American Red Cross, and forward those checks to the Cedars-Sinai Community Relations Department (Attn: Nancy Bonner). Community Relations will send these individual checks on to the American Red Cross, and later this month will let all of us know the total amount contributed in aggregate by Cedars-Sinai employees and medical staff.

You may also donate online and still be counted as part of the aggregate Cedars-Sinai donation. Go to the Cedars-Sinai Internet site, click on "Giving and Support" and then "Make a Gift." You can also click the following link: https://www.discoveringforlife.org/SSLPage.aspx?pid=345. In the "Comments" box, please type in "Cedars-Sinai Haitian Relief Fund." These funds will be sent to the American Red Cross for their use in the Haiti relief efforts.

Physicians who want to volunteer to travel to Haiti to provide assistance:

Unfortunately, it's extremely difficult to enter Haiti at this time because of congestion at the airport. Medical personnel are permitted only as part of an approved relief organization. If you are interested in joining such an organization, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is seeking specialty physicians who are willing to volunteer to deploy with HHS National Disaster Medical Assistance teams in Haiti.

Specifically, they are looking for trauma surgeons, orthopaedic surgeons and anesthesiologists or others with experience and capability treating crush injuries. Volunteers should be willing to work for at least a two-week period, and to live and work in severe conditions.

Their preference is for Creole or French speakers, and those currently credentialed through the Medical Reserve Corps in their states, or the ESAR-VHP (Emergency Services Advanced Registration of Volunteer Health Personnel) program.

Volunteers will need to be credentialed as temporary federal employees, which normally takes about a week. You may need immunizations prior to deploying. Interested physicians or other allied health professionals with these clinical skills should contact Michala Koch at Michala.Koch@hhs.gov.

Another Web site with information on providing volunteer services to aid the victims of the earthquake is the U.S. Agency for International Development, at www.usaid.gov/helphaiti/cidi_offers.html.