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We have all been watching the coverage of the recent tragic events in Haiti with increasing concern and many staff have asked me whether we should be doing anything as an organization to raise funds or help provide care on the island.
I have personally followed the advice of many politicians and made a donation through the Canadian Red Cross- www.redcross.ca. It seems that providing cash will be advantageous in two ways- first because it allows aid groups on the ground to purchase what is most needed rather than trying to guess what resources may be needed- secondly the Canadian government is matching cash donations up to a maximum amount and our cash donations are therefore doubled.
Many professional organizations are making arrangements for their members to travel to Haiti to help. We will not be organizing a specific UHN professional response- simply because we do not have the expertise to lead our staff in a relief effort. However we do recognize that some of our staff may wish to volunteer for relief efforts and will try to accommodate requests for leaves of absence.
UHN may be asked by our federal government to participate in treating patients who require specialized treatment in international centers. To this point we have not received any requests.
To our UHN staff who may have friends and family in Haiti please accept our hopes and prayers that this tragedy will start to improve soon.