As many as 3 million people are in dire need of food, water and medical supplies in the wake of the Jan. 12 earthquake disaster in Haiti. Relief organizations, including Heart to Heart International, or HHI, and the International Medical Corps, or IMC, already are on the scene providing humanitarian aid and care.
The AAFP Foundation is offering Academy members the opportunity to support those efforts. To learn about opportunities to give, visit the foundation's Disaster Relief Web page(www.aafpfoundation.org).
The page links visitors to information about specific relief efforts by both HHI and IMC in Haiti. By scrolling down to the middle of the page and clicking on "Donate now to help victims in Haiti," members can access a Donations page; contributions intended for the Haitian efforts should be designated as "Disaster Relief - International."
By donating to the foundation, members can help HHI send shipments of medications and supplies to the devastated Caribbean island nation. In a Jan. 13 news release, HHI said it particularly wants to send medical supplies that address waterborne and airborne illnesses.
"The AAFP Foundation provides a safe and reliable way to ensure your help reaches those in need," said Craig Doane, executive director of the foundation and AAFP VP for corporate development. "All donations made to Disaster Relief - International will be used to support the relief efforts of our partners, HHI and IMC, in the devastated area.
"In times such as these, it is inspiring -- but not surprising -- that our family physician members are stepping up to help those in need."
In addition to medications and supplies, medical care also is desperately needed. Physicians interested in volunteering with IMC(www.imcworldwide.org), a nonprofit global humanitarian organization, can contact its recruiting department by clicking on "How You Can Help" at the top of the page and choosing "Volunteer."
According to a Jan. 14 press release(www.imcworldwide.org), an IMC team already is providing medical care to hundreds of people who have congregated outside the general hospital near the collapsed Haitian presidential palace.
HHI also is taking the names and contact information of physicians interested in future deployment. Members can call HHI directly at (913) 764-5200.
Because of a huge influx of applications, HHI is working with Docs Who Care, a nonprofit organization based in Olathe, Kan., which will help process the applications and screen applicants. Physicians can send an e-mail to that organization's senior VP, Debbie Edwards, to indicate their interest in volunteering, or they can call her at (877) 397-7800.