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PEF-represented nurses volunteer to assist Hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico

Six registered nurses who are represented by the New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF) are on their way to San Juan, Puerto Rico to offer their medical expertise to the victims of Hurricane Maria.

The nurses, who are using two weeks of their vacation time to help in this humanitarian mission, are Carolyn Cole, a community mental health nurse who works at the state Office For People With Developmental Disabilities; Justin Farrier and Llamara Padro-Milano, RNs at SUNY Upstate Medical College; Douglas Massey and Patricia Trowbridge, RNs at SUNY Stony Brook University Hospital; and, Susan Williams, a RN at the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center.

The team left from Newark Airport at approximately 11 a.m. heading to a dire situation where living conditions have been called “close to genocide” by San Juan’s mayor. The round trip charter flight is being paid for by the American Federation of Teachers and the AFL-CIO. The nurses will spend two weeks attending to those in need of critical and emergency care, and will stay at the San Juan Coliseum where they will sleep on cots.

“I am extremely proud of how our PEF members always step up to the plate when a natural disaster occurs, and how they help others with their areas of expertise,” said PEF President Wayne Spence. “PEF nurses have shown the same dedication and compassion during a crisis that they show daily in their jobs. These six people are extraordinary individuals as they will be working in an area where the Zika virus is flourishing, and the living conditions will be harsh.

“I also wish to acknowledge all our members who have made donations or who are playing a role in this massive and crucial undertaking. Our members have worked with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s relief and recovery efforts, along with other unions, medical foundations and associations to bring health response teams and shipments of vaccines and medical supplies to the island.

“To these six nurses and our other members who are helping, I commend your sense of duty to your brothers and sisters in need and generous benevolence. Your actions are what make PEF a proud union.”

For updates and to see the PEF-represented nurses leaving live from Newark Airport, visit Facebook.com/PublicEmployeesFederation.

If you would like to donate to the PEF Hurricane Relief Fund, click here

For more information, contact PEF Director of Communications Jane Briggs at gro.f1513283794ep@sg1513283794girbj1513283794 or call 800-342-4306 ext. 277.

Download Press Release

PEF Members:

Our nurses arrived safely in San Juan, Puerto Rico yesterday and have started their work to bring medical relief to the residents of the hurricane ravaged island. We will be documenting their two week mission on the PEF website, Facebook and Twitter pages, so check back often to see photos and videos of our PEF nurses who answered the plea for help.

Below are links to a video and some news items featuring our PEF nurses on their humanitarian mission:

https://www.facebook.com/AFTunion/videos/10155314628224160/

http://www.syracuse.com/health/index.ssf/2017/10/pr.html

http://www.wkbw.com/news/local-nurse-uses-vacation-time-to-help-hurricane-victims

http://www.timesunion.com/news/article/State-workers-with-PEF-volunteer-in-Puerto-Rico-12252601.php

http://www.brooklyneagle.com/articles/2017/10/11/aft-nurses-travel-puerto-rico-help-relief-efforts

What nurses and teachers see in Puerto Rico

What's really going on in Puerto Rico? Randi Weingarten and AFT nurse Llamara Padro-Milano join CNN New Day to tell the truth of the devastation our members are seeing on the ground.

Posted by AFT – American Federation of Teachers on Sunday, October 15, 2017

PEF Nurse Carolyn Cole in Puerto Rico – The Oneonta Daily Star

Thank you for all you do. Together We Win!

In unity,
Wayne Spence
PEF President