October 6, 2017, Portland—Six OFNHP nurses boarded a plane to Puerto Rico Wednesday to provide direct care and assist with recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Maria. They are part of a volunteer delegation of more than 300 union medical professionals, first responders, skilled trades workers, and truck drivers who responded to a call for help by the national AFL-CIO.
"With just a few days’ notice, our nurses answered the call for this 14-day mission to relieve local healthcare professionals working round the clock to provide much-needed care," said Adrienne Enghouse, OFNHP President. "We're nurses. Caring is in our DNA."
The six union members from Oregon and Washington work for Kaiser Permanente, who supports the mission and released the disaster relief volunteers from their scheduled shifts on short notice. They are:
- Andreana Gentile, Urgent Care Nurse Practitioner. She lives in Portland.
- Susan Gillispie, Urgent Care Nurse Practitioner. She lives in Hillsboro.
- Misty Richards, Registered Nurse. She lives in Oregon City.
- Katherine Salinas, Urgent Care Nurse Practitioner. She lives in Vancouver.
- Tammie Tally-Ingrao, Registered Nurse. She lives in Sandy.
- Maureen Upton, Urgent Care Nurse Practitioner. She lives in Portland.
|Left to Right: Maureen Upton, Katherine Salinas, Andreana Gentile, Susan Gillispie, Misty Richards, Tammie Tally-Ingrao (front)|
Deputy team leader Tammie Tally-Ingrao is a veteran nurse with more than 30 years of experience, including relief work after many natural disasters.
"When I've seen devastation in the past, the people who jump in first to rebuild are union workers," said Tally-Ingrao. "It's going to be a huge thing for us to go in there and just do minor things you don't think about: They haven't had their diabetic medicine. They haven't had antibiotics for infections they had before the hurricane. Moms are still having babies."
"During a time when our country is so polarized and angry, it feels necessary to find meaningful ways to act on a human level. I want to be part of something that might make America love again," said Maureen Upton, an Urgent Care Nurse Practitioner.
OFNHP is proud of our members participating in this humanitarian mission organized by America's unions to support the people of Puerto Rico in their recovery efforts.
Vignette of delegation: https://www.facebook.com/AFTunion/videos/10155314628224160/
Unions and United Airlines Come Together to Fly More than 300 First Responders and Skilled Volunteers to Puerto Rico
AFT Nurses and Health Professionals Travel to Puerto Rico for Care and Relief Efforts