The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Kari Jones, 510-207-4829

RN Relief Program Deploying Big Team to Puerto Rico 50 RNRN/NNU RNs to Join AFL-CIO Led Relief Mission


A large delegation of 50 volunteer registered nurses from across the U.S. will join a unique, multi-union two-week disaster relief effort heading to Puerto Rico Wednesday morning to provide medical aid in the wake of the ongoing humanitarian crisis following Hurricane Maria.

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National Nurses United's Registered Nurse Response Network (RNRN), a national network of volunteer nurses, has recruited the RN team, a number of whom will be departing Tuesday to meet up with other union members with specialty skills who will be part of a delegation being organized by the AFL-CIO.

(Note to media: to connect with RNs who are participating in the deployment, call 510-433-2759 or 510-273-2246)

RN volunteers will be among the more than 200 volunteers with the AFL-CIO led delegation boarding a flight Wednesday morning from Newark, NJ to Puerto Rico.

WHERE: Newark Liberty International National Airport (Terminal C)

Please meet at the Special Services desk on Level 2, between door 5 and 6

WHERE: Newark Liberty International National Airport (Terminal C)

Please meet at the Special Services desk on Level 2, between door 5 and 6

WHEN: Wednesday, October 4

* Check-in / TSA Clearance 8:30AM ET

* Gate Area Interviews and Boarding 9:45AM ET

Departure 11:00AM ET from Gate C108

The AFL-CIO is working directly with the Puerto Rican Federation of Labor as well as the San Juan mayor's office.

In Puerto Rico, the RNs will focus on immediate medical needs in local hospitals, nursing homes, and other sites based on immediate need for island residents who have endured unprecedented devastation as a result of the super storm. They will be filling needs identified by the San Juan Mayor's office as well as other local officials.

Press reports have indicated that in addition to the general poor conditions, hospitals have been overwhelmed struggling to meet medical needs, clinics and doctor's offices have failed to re-open, patients with chronic illnesses have not had access to needed medications, and concerns are emerging about the potential of cholera and other epidemics.

RNRN has more than 12 years of experience in providing disaster medical aid following global emergencies dating back to Hurricane Katrina and the deadly South Asia tsunami. Most recently, RNRN volunteers worked in a convention center in Houston and other locales in South Texas after Hurricane Harvey.

National Nurses United, with close to 185,000 members in every state, is the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in US history.

(240) 235-2000