While many are settling back into regular routines after the holiday break, registered nurse Elena Dahl, an RN at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica is starting the new year by traveling to the Philippines to provide medical support for those who continue to be affected by the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.
Dahl, who lives in San Pedro, joined the fifth team of RN volunteers, part of the National Nurses United’s Registered Nurse Response Network, that departed on Wednesday to Roxas City on the northern end of the island of Panay, which was in the direct path of the storm.
The super typhoon killed more than 6,000 people, left almost 2,000 missing and four million either homeless or with damaged homes.
The team includes RNs from New York, Minnesota, Texas, and California. They are among the 3,000 RNs from all 50 states and 19 nations who volunteered in the days after the deadly storm to assist with the relief project for Haiyan/Yolanda. Another Sacramento area RN, Lyn Tirona returned from the RNRN relief effort in late December.
“I volunteered because we are all interconnected,” said Dahl, who has been an RN for 10 years and works as a staff nurse in the Maternity-Mother baby-care unit. “The world of media draws us globally closer and we all feel the impact of global climate change – you never know when your community might be the next in need. As an RN I feel an obligation to all communities in need, in particular the most vulnerable populations like mothers and babies.”
UCLA Medical Center is supporting Dahl’s trip by continuing to pay her salary while she is on the relief mission and by donating her airfare.
“I am very proud to be supported by the sponsorship donated by the UCLA system which is striving to heal humankind beyond the scope of their own communities,” she said. “I’m also very proud of being part of this particular disaster relief effort, as National Nurses United’s RNRN effort emphasizes the significance of community collaboration by partnering with healthcare workers of the Phillippines and empowering the local community there.”