San Diego– A second group of Scripps physicians and nurses is leaving for Haiti tomorrow morning, Thursday, Feb. 25, to serve a one-week medical mission at Hospital Saint Francois de Sales in Port-au-Prince.
The six-person Scripps Medical Response Team (SMRT) includes emergency room physicians, OB/GYN physicians, critical care nurses and support personnel – all with disaster experience.
In addition to providing much-needed humanitarian relief, the Scripps team will bring back valuable lessons on post-earthquake health care needs from their mission in Haiti.
“Scripps is returning to Haiti to continue our humanitarian mission. We have remained in contact with the staff at Hospital St. Francois de Sales and they have asked almost every day that Scripps return,” said Scripps CEO Chris Van Gorder. “The hospital’s clinic area is getting even busier – overwhelming their limited staff – Scripps has assembled a second team to help care for those in desperate need.”
Van Gorder will not be accompanying this second mission; however he and the Scripps office of disaster preparedness will remain in close communication with the SMRT daily.
Scripps is actively involved in disaster preparedness. In the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, Scripps Health established an office of disaster preparedness, which deploys the SMRT in times of medical emergency.
- In 2005, 78 SMRT members spent three weeks in Houston providing free medical services to Hurricane Katrina evacuees, treating approximately 5,000 patients. Scripps’ support marked the first time the federal government asked a private health care organization for long-term support for a nationally organized disaster relief plan.
- In 2007, SMRT was deployed to Rancho Bernardo at the request of the San Diego Fire Department to set up a mobile field clinic for those affected by wildfires. Over the course of 11 days, 121 physicians, nurses and support staff provided breathing treatments, basic first aid, flu shots, prescription writing and grief counseling and support to more than 700 patients.