Puerto Rican Relief Mission: 40 Volunteer Nurses on Donated Hispanic Federation Charter Flight; Critical Healthcare, Medicines and Supplies En Route

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 10, 2017

Contacts: Carl Ginsburg carl.ginsburg@nysna.org 917.405.1060
               Monica Tavares media@hispanicfederation.org 212.233.8955

**MEDIA ADVISORY FOR SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11**

PUERTO RICAN RELIEF MISSION: 40 VOLUNTEER NURSES ON DONATED HISPANIC FEDERATION CHARTER FLIGHT; CRITICAL HEALTHCARE, MEDICINES AND SUPPLIES EN ROUTE

Fourth mission from New York since Hurricane Maria devastated island; 60% of population remains without electricity; health emergencies continue; “lives to be saved”

Queens, NY - A volunteer delegation of 40 registered nurses of the New York State Nurses Association will depart JFK Airport on Saturday morning, November 11 – 11 AM, from General Aviation Terminal Building 145 (see driving instructions below and arrival information) on a chartered flight funded by the Hispanic Federation. Nurses will be deployed and medicines and supplies delivered for use in the most needed areas. The efforts of NYSNA and the Hispanic Federation will save lives on the devastated island, where many thousands are cut off in remote areas and in desperate need of medical attention.

Also contributing to this critical relief mission is the AFYA Foundation, which continues its donations to the people of Puerto Rico with a donation of supplies to be included on Saturday’s flight. The Greater Hospital Association of New York is once again doing its part, purchasing medicines and medical supplies.

“The people there touched my heart,” Jacqueline Algarin, RN, New York-Presbyterian, for whom Saturday’s trip will be her second, “when you walk in you see that they have nothing. Some are very sick, the elderly especially as well as family members caring for them. Medicines are gone. We need to be there to reinforce that people care for them- in every way. I want to thank the Hispanic Federation for making this trip possible.”

Since Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, Hispanic Federation has coordinated with community, government and philanthropic partners to coordinate eighteen relief aid flights to the island, transporting essential supplies, medication, medical equipment, medical personnel and first responders.

“We are immensely grateful to the nurses of the NYSNA for answering the call to provide vital medical care to the people of Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria,” said José Calderón, President of the Hispanic Federation. “The Hispanic Federation is deeply committed to Puerto Rico’s complete recovery from this unprecedented natural disaster, and NYSNA’s stellar nurses have been on the frontlines of the humanitarian crisis by saving lives on each medical deployment we have made.” NYSNA and the Hispanic Federation now constitute a “fourth wave” of aid sent from New York State, as Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio and other elected officials have banded together with unions, including 1199/SEIU, Physicians, Teamsters, Pilots, Construction Trades, State Troopers, TWU, and FDNY First Responders sent members. The AFL-CIO-initiated trip sent the union members shortly after the hurricane hit, with supplies sent in the trip’s wake with Gov. Cuomo’s send off.

As federal aid continues to fall short, NY efforts are stepping up. Greater New York Hospital Association with 1199/SEIU caregivers and NYSNA nurses in the Montefiore, Northwell, Mt. Sinai and New York-Presbyterian hospitals combined in a second wave of critical help on the island. The third wave of healthcare workers, including 21 NYSNA members, returned on November 7. This wave treated more than 600 patients in the course of their stay.

“We will keep going. We will send more nurses, more troopers, more doctors, and work more with the Hispanic Federation to save lives in Puerto Rico,” said Jill Furillo, RN, NYSNA Executive Director. “We are them. They are us.”

BEST TIME FOR JFK MEDIA COVERAGE: 9AM-10:30AM

DRIVING INSTRUCTIONS: To arrive by car: Take the Van Wyck Expressway towards JFK. Take Exit B (South Service Rd). You will reach a fork in the road, with a flashing yellow light. Bear left. Continue straight. At the first intersection, you will turn right onto General Aviation Way. Continue straight, you will see Building 145 on your right. If you arrive at a guard station, you have gone too far.

P.R. ARRIVAL INFORMATION: San Juan, PR – SJ, Pazos FBO Services, Central Sector, 226 E Ramp, Luis Munoz Marin International Carolina, Puerto Rico, 00983 787.791.7005

****EXCELLENT PHOTO, AUDIO AND VIDEO OPPORTUNITIES****

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The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) represents more than 40,000 members in New York State. We are New York’s largest union and professional association for registered nurses. For more information, please visit our website at www.nysna.org.

Hispanic Federation (HF) is the nation’s premier Latino non-profit membership organization. Following Hurricane Maria, HF established the UNIDOS Disaster Relief and Recovery Program to serve the immediate and long-term needs of families and communities in Puerto Rico. They have taken unprecedented action, helping to coordinate hundreds of donation drives in the U.S. mainland, distributing millions of pounds of food, water and essentials to those most affected by the storm, delivering emergency relief aid to over 40 hard-hit municipalities, and seeding an additional 3 million dollars to support emergency relief and recovery projects throughout Puerto Rico. For more information visit www.hispanicfederationunidos.org.

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