Sunday, January 31, 2010

According to CNN at 5PM The White House has said that Medivacs WILL restart within Hours...Stay posted (click the title)

EMERGENCY SITUATION : MEDIFLIGHTS Transporting Critical Haitian Patients to the US have been Suspended for Questionable Reasons

MediVacFLights have been suspended from Haiti Since Wednesday, this was not made public until Late Friday Night.And the Whitehouse Spokesperson and the Governor of Florida are giving very different accounts of the situation. More Importantly this situation needs to be resolved ASAP.Lives are at stake.
Update Sunday 1.31.10 Partners in LongStanding Organized respected Health Organization in Haiti arranged transport of three critically ill children out of Haiti. They have been in Haiti with Dr.Farmer for many years, and understand HOW to get things Done. Please do support their work and Doctors Without Borders.This situation will still need Public OutCry. DO call the White House 202-456-1414 on Monday. Please do read this CBS News Article about How the Doctors with Partners in Health did get the Children flown out for medical care.
Partners in Health has also launched a new website exclusively focused on their Haiti Work, it is called Stand With
(1) If People Live in Florida- Please have them Call MEDIA and Write and Call Gov.Christ's Office and Complain, that they do not support his Decision or Actions. The FINAL Decision should be made as a JOINT Decision between USaid Office (DC) and UN and The Military ( esp. as they are in charge of ground control- it sounds as if they were not consulted or the USSComfort or the Navy, please note that ALL the press releases do not mention the Military's Response).

Please do read this BBC article as to how the US Halt on Medial Transports will cause Patients to die....But raises More questions about WHO made this decision.It implies it was a Whitehouse Decision, yet most articles here in the States are saying it was a decision instigated by the State of Florida.

Also Please do read Mirela's Post about this troubling issue that threatens to harm more lives and add to the misery of the Haitians. ( Mirela is on Twitter and is an amazing source for information and news, @mirelamonte )

{{*** This article explains the UN's role in Emergency Care of Disaster Refugees, And it is worth the read. .It raises some questions regarding a Governor inserting himself into an International Humanitarian Crisis.)

It is NOT appropriate that Gov.Christ is refusing for his state, when NO statement has been made by USAID or issued by the key DC Coordinators. It makes ALL of the US look bad- by tomorrow when this reaches Foriegn Press that Patients were turned away due to "Homeland Security Concerns/FEMA" or "Cost"-it will Shame the US, and all of the fine work being done by thousands of Americans. ( THIS is a Diplomatic Nightmare, and people in other countries DO KNOW the Word "FEMA" and do remember Katrina).

*** Please See in the articles of 2nd email that there are Hospitals in Florida who are STILL willing to recieve and care for Critical Patients, especially Pediatric,Burn,Neuro and Trauma. These patients need more care than the Comfort can provide for extended time.Please do read this article regarding Hospitals in Florida still wishing to accept Patients from Haiti, it has more details of the situation in Florida.

(2) DO Write the USSAID offices in DC, and our President and demand that these Patients as Guaranteed by the Policies of the UN, providing Emergency Medical Care for Disaster Refugees be still allowed to come to the United States. That We as Americans want them to receive the BEST Humanitarian Medical Care possible.
USAID Contacts:::
MAIN Haiti Director for USAID : Raj Shah
{{ Please address letter to him,also DO CC: Dr.Ron Waldman-Medical Director of USAID :International Medical Aid,Anne Veneman,UNICEF Director for Children,Katherine Bragg,(OCHA ) Director of Humanitarian Affairs,Dr.Margaret Chan of W.H.O ( World Health Organization) as they are working with him to address this International Humanitarian Crisis.}}
Please call one of our agency telephone information specialists at (202) 712-4810. The number to fax us your question is (202) 216-3524. The agency's main telephone number is 202-712-0000.

General inquiries via postal mail that are not directed to a specific person:
Information Center
U.S. Agency for International Development
Ronald Reagan Building
Washington, D.C. 20523-1000
To contact an employee, see the information below.
If you are a member of the press, you may contact our press relations office at:

U.S. Agency for International Development
Office of Press Relations
Ronald Reagan Building
Washington, D.C. 20523-0016
Telephone: 202-712-432
UN Contacts:
801 2nd Avenue Suite 600
New York, New York 10017
Tel: 212.370.4840
Fax: 212.661.8698
(3)Do contact ONE large Hospital in your state, Ask to speak to the Admissions Director or the PR Rep. Explain calmly and politely what is needed, Beds for Critical patients from Haiti that are suffering from Burns, Ortho injuries, Neuro Injuries or Trauma. That we hope Each and every state will step up to assist this Massive Emergency Health Disaster. If your state has a Separate PEDS hospital do call them as well.

(4) DO call Media after you have called your State's Governors Office and Hospitals.( Especially if they are responding in an affirmative Humane Caring way)

(5) If you live in a Community or City with large Haitian population please do make contacts,Boston, Montreal and Miami,New York (Brooklyn) are some of the cities that the Haitian Community will want to know their relatives are possibly being turned away or will not get much needed medical care. They would want to know that their Communities would be there to welcome Injured Haitians.
Other Articles on the Situation
Article in Relief Web crossposted from Alternet and Reuters.
New York Times takes another slant on the situation siting "Space" as as the reason for the Change in policy.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Haiti Quake Update : Friday January 22nd

Amazing Video about Haiti, "You Are Not Alone", that is being shared on Twitter ,a song with images from the region,stunning, and yet the message of Compassion is strong. This Video is being shared on Twitter by World Vision. (music by Naomi Wachira)

And here is Faydra Field's amazing Relief List if you need to know who to give to that is helping in Haiti.
One of the stories this week on CNN that has been heartrending is an Shattered Nursing Home situation where Seniors have lost everything and need Care desperately.Gary Tuchman of CNN has been reporting it so beautifully it must be seen. Please do see the video and hear the story.I have contacted more than 40 NGOs and Relief Orgs attempting to get this Situation Help. I will keep you posted of the results as well.
The Other Situation that needs Critical Attention and much more Help is the Distribution of Supplies, Food and Medical Supplies and Medicine, Dr.Gupta is and has been trying to get Supplies out of the Airport to the People. Please do watch Dr.Gupta's Struggle to get Meds from the Airport, this video needs to be sent far and wide, UN and USAID offices. ( the code to Tweet is : Please do read the Story down further about the Doctors Without Borders work and struggles as well.

All of the CNN crew has been doing an amazing job reporting on Haiti, all of them,Soledad O'brien,Gary Tuchman and Dr.Sanjay Gupta and so many others. Today Anderson Cooper posted a a Critical Map of Food Distribution Centers in Haiti, we sent it far and wide on Twitter, hoping it will help people find food.
One of the most amazing Developements that happened this week that is momentous , was that the Coast Guard worked to rebuild a new Pier as the Port at Port-au-Prince suffered signifigant damage, and the Port is needed to bring in almost ALL AID.
This wonderful site is a Resource Site for for Medical Workers, Relief Workers, and Journalists that is amazingly organized addressing many needs.
If you are going to Haiti to do Relief Work, I wrote a post earlier in week full of information and tips, that is mostly for medical workers to help the transition and be prepared.

An assessment of the situation in Haiti as of January 21,Doctors are worried as the numbers of dying swell and there are more dying.Survivors dying or treatable injuries,illness and dehydration.

Doctors Without Borders is doing amazing work in Haiti.setting up Hospitals and clinics in the streets after their facilities there were damaged and destroyed. Please do support their fine work, and explore their website that is full of the on the ground Updates. These Medical Organizations have much to cope with at this time, including Supply Shortages and lack of staff,even lack of food. There is a critical need for the bottleneck at the Airport to stop the holding the Deliveries back. MSF has also had a horrible week with the Airport refusing to let them land, they finally have had to resort to other methods to get their Supplies into Port-au-Prince. It is critical that the world see that these Critical patients are suffering without proper pain meds or antibiotics. It is truly like watching Civil War Medicine,harrowing and worrisome Street Medicine being rendered for thousands. Especially as the heat persists and people are dehydrated and starved and wounded there is huge risk for this Medical Situation to worsen rapidly with a new onslaught of Diseases such as Fevers,Malaria and or Cholera from lack of clean Water.It truly could be a Death by Survival for those left without meds or shelter or food and water.
Creativity is now spreading in the Relief and Internet Community as more and more Tweet and Spread information on Facebook. Today I learned about This great organization that is Connecting Needs to Donators, almost like a very organized compassionate version of Craigs List, Please do see WeHaveWeNeed.They are also on Twitter by the same name.
Motorola has made an amazing donation to and Red Cross to assist in Haiti, donated much needed Communication Equipment.

Soledad O'Brien from CNN gives a young boy a hug....which from the sad look in his eyes he needed so much.
CNN reporters have shown grace under fire this week reporting while aftershocks shook them, while seeing such devastation. Their reports have been compassionate and honest and insightful. They have become part of the story as they reported the Damage but also tried to improve Aid and Relief.

((Please do follow me on Twitter as @watergatesummer as I try to connect ground people with NGO's and Media, this may the most important work I ever do as a Blogger and a Nurse. I will try to update here as well. The first 10days I have not been able to update as frequently,while I worked Twitter for Haiti Relief.My apologies.))
Look for Updates in the Comments Thread...and here as well.

1.23.10 Updates

(1) Ed Pilkington of The Guardian has daily reports here from Haiti that really give an up close view of the events on the ground...
(2) Wired of SF shows how 3D FLYOVER can really help....

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Latest Photos from Haiti Day 10 after Earthquake

Makeshift OutDoor Hospitals....Orphans sleeping outside due to continuing aftershocks....and children being fed, please see how stunned,shellshocked they look waiting so quietly in line....Please do continue to give. ( Photos : CARE,MSF,and Soledad Obrien )

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Post for Medical Workers Considering Traveling to Work in Haiti

Many of us that are Medical, especially Doctors or Nurses are wrestling with the decision to go to Haiti, I have been getting emails about this, so I decided to write a post about the actual decision process.And remember above all else, you can give from here and it does matter, and does help. Please see this list to get ideas how to help ( Relief list compiled by Faydra Deon), this list has many ways to help and WHO to give to to help the Haiti Survivors. There are many fine medical Organizations that are doing an amazing job in Haiti, from the Red Cross to Doctors Without Borders, or Medicine Sans Frontiers, to Partners in Health, who have set up a Haiti Page to UNICEF. Please give what you can.
Introduction About Rendering Aid in a Diaster Zone
As a nurse of over 20 years I have worked disasters, and also rendered aid during Disasters. But all of my experience was on American Soil, and working with Groups such as the Red Cross or a Medical Group. I am an RN that has ER/PICU/PEDS/NICU/AIDS experience.l am also EMT trained and have work on an ambulance in a rural area, as well as worked and trained in an Urban setting(including crush and severe injuries and gunshot wounds).But even with all of these experiences, if I was to consider going I would ask myself many questions. {{ As I am living,caring for a teenage son, I am not planning to go at this point, I am working on twitter/cellphone as an intermediary connecting messages to aid.In 2005 with the Tsunami and Katrina I did the same thing to help the Disaster Refugees.}} But as someone who has worked Disasters I do want to help those planning or thinking of going to Haiti. ( Please do follow my twitter page @watergatesummer to learn more about Haiti on the ground).
Part One: What the Medical Needs are In Haiti ?
At this point most of the injured are severe, Many broken bones, head injuries, crush injuries.People that have experience in Orthopedics, Surgery, Neurology are all severely needed at this time. The work in the Tent Clinics is brutal, guerrilla medicine.People that have worked in this kind of setting or in dire circumstances need to be aware that meds,equipment, and supplies are all limited.Dehydration and Wound Care are only part of what is being provided and with limited resources.( 2.5 Million People are without shelter, this includes the people caring for them, there is limited Shelter, Those caring for the patients are sleeping with the Tent Facilities,and there is limited Relief Staff).The staff at these facilities are not just providing care, they are providing comfort,food and water. There is limited food,water and such necessities as IV equipment,pain meds,surgical equipment,antibiotics,and sterilization processes.There are at this point 5-7 operating Hospital Facilities (these are mostly open air Clinics near Damaged Hospitals at this point). The USS Comfort has arrived as of tonight, which can care for 350Beds,7 Operating Rooms. Medical Care is also being provided at Sea by the USS Vinson,and Critical patients are being transferred to Miami as well.
Part Two: What do you ask yourself if you want to go?
(1) Have you ever done guerialla Medical Care, Street Care, or worked in an urban or rural setting that lacks resources? Do you consider yourself creative ? Can you MacGuyver yourself if you are in need ? IE. Have you ever made a splint out of a cardboard box ? or cared for an injury on a Hike or a car accident ? ( with limited resources ?)
(2) Have you ever worked Trauma ? ER ? Surgery ? Neuro ?ALL of these areas are needed in Haiti- and will be for months.
(3) Have you ever worked 24 hour days, with limited rest or relief for days on end ?
(4) Have you ever had to share a setting with your patients ?
(5) Have your ever worked mass trauma with Thousands of grieving families ?
(6) Are you physically strong enough to go ? ( You might even want to consider getting a physical before you go, and make sure all of your meds are up to date, do take extra Antibiotics -ie, Month supply of cipro for wounds or Stomach ailments).
(7) Are you spiritually strong enough to deal with such devastation and loss and also chaos ? Are you strong under pressure?
Ask yourself what is the worst even you ever went through and how you got through it ?( Remember you will mostly be with people that you do not know in a different culture).
(8) Do you speak any other languages ? There is French and Creole, some spanish there as well. French especially would be helpful.
What to take and how to prepare if you plan to go to Haiti
There are many fine organizations in Haiti. Doctors without Borders (MSF) is there, and has been there for many years, even though their facilities were heavily damaged they have set up mobile facilities, and tent clinics and hospitals. Partners in Health and Red Cross are also there, and you can call them as well and offer your services and ask questions.

If you do go do check with the Organization you go with, and check if you are aloud to bring Blackberry or Iphone so you can communicate.Do bring extra meds for self. Protein Bars,Peanut Butter,Dried Fruit. Do bring Sturdy Shoes or boots,like hiking boots. Spare Contacts or glasses.Do bring a bible, 80% of the Injured are Catholic, you will need to pray with them. Do be prepared to sing with them and pray with them, regardless of their religion. Their culture does also embrace voodooism, which means they are very spiritual and seek comfort from the earth and animals around them, you will have to be open to their beliefs.

If you do decide to go to help the Disaster Refugees and Quake Survivors, and need any more information please do email me if I can help more.

Photo by Soledad O'brien
Update 1.20.09
The Guardian has latest update on 6.1 aftershock/Quake this am. BBC and The Guardian are still doing an amazing job covering the quake, and CNN has huge team there as well. Reuters is also doing a good job.

Photos from First Week of Haiti Quake

(Photos from International Red Cross, and MSF: Doctors without Borders)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti Earthquake....The First 72 Hours ( Updates)

Anderson Cooper on First 24 hours of Haiti Crisis::

Petionville ( Before and after photos show utter devastation)

Post below has much info on Relief Efforts and Information, I am mostly on Twitter right now, trying to relay tweets from people on ground to Media. That is where I feel I can help most.So my apologies that this blog is not updated enough. I will update blog this weekend with more Haiti information.
Friday in the afternoon CNN showed the most amazing footage of the people in Haiti keeping their spirits up, singing...chanting...really stunning.

So last night DrsanjayGupta and his crew went to see a Field Hospital that was set up caring for about 25 patients, and suddenly right before the story was to be aired by Anderson, the UN came and removed the Medical staff -siting security concerns. Do see the story linked her-astounding... Sanjay Gupta and his crew took care of these patients all night, as of 5am their generator went out,but they said they were doing ok.Thank you to Danielle as well for staying with them.
Boston Globe has more this am about how the Medical System has been overwhelmed.

I will update this post tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Major Earthquake In Haiti near Port-du-Prince, Extensive Damage....Awaiting Reports

Video from World Vision, right after the Quake Rarely viewed taken by cellphone ( only viewed 23 times),

A Quake measuring between 7.0 and 7.3 hit near Haiti at 6PM this evening, Below is the photo of their Palace at Port-du-Prince. ( Imagine if our Whitehouse looked like this). The Quake lasted over 30 seconds.

10PM ::( I am collecting Data,photos off Twitter, will post when I get it all collected and collated. You can follow me on twitter @watergatesummer . I am posting reports directly from Haiti).Port-du-Prince is a city that is crowded and impoverished,buildings and city was never set up for the 2.5Million people that live there. There is great concern about their safety and welfare and Disaster preparedness and supplies. As of tonight it CNN is reporting that Military in Panana is mobilizing supplies to send to the scene. Below I have Updates, Resources, and phone numbers if you need to check on family or send Aid.
Real Time Video immediately after Quake ( If you speak French or Creole please leave Translation in Comments)

The Palace is heavily damaged, It is also reported that the two Hotels that are where UN is stationed are heavily damaged.
CBS Footage below::


Phone Numbers & Important Contacts
State Department has a # for Americans seeking info about family in #Haiti: 1-888-407-4747
Natl Emergency hotline,family&friends of travelers visiting #Haiti 800-576-5172 Int'l collect 603-328-1924 RT
IMPORTANT Facebook Page ::::MSNBC created a safe list for those impacted by the Haiti quake. Survivors can reach out to loved ones at at this Facebook Page.
Public Health Earthquake Survival Guide to Share
Links,Resouces and Updates Below
{1} Amazing thread with updates and reports.
{2} Pierre Cote LIVESTREAM on Ustream from Haiti, Updated and worth seeing for live reports
{3} USGS updated 2 hours late But did update their site at 10PM, initially there was a NOAA Tsunami alert /Watch that was downgraded with damage ,Quake was also downgraded to 7.0, and there have been atleast 6 aftershocks with 3 that were greater than 5.0
{4} Good People to follow on Twitter that is Port-de-Prince @RAMhaiti @firesideint @IsabelleMORSE @troylivesay @fredodupoux @InternetHaiti
{1} RED CROSS of course needs all of our help, The International Red Cross has already set up a page for DONATIONS
{2} Great List of Charities and Aid put together by Faydra Deon on Twitter Grat list Unicef,Salvation Army, etc...
{3} Please do follow @wyclef he is raising awareness and funds, Text YELE to 501501 to donate $5 to #Haiti Earthquake relief RT #CNN @Rob_Madden @Flipbooks #Help
Photos From Haiti as of 1AM
NPR is thoroughly covering the situation and has a thread on Twitter as well.
BBC is covering the Quake with videos,footage and updates
The Guardian is Liveblogging Quake
Greg Mitchell has more from HuffingtonPost
NYT has more liveblogging coverage.
Reuters is also doing a good job covring the issues and updating situation.
5am Update:::
LATimes is updating that there is extensive damage and grave concern over not being able to get more information and more contacts.Sadly since 2 of the main hotels where UN personnel are located there is grave concern, as these two hotels have suffered huge damage, as as the World bank and the ONLY hospital.As daylight comes the full extent will be seen. Through the night the Twitter folk reported hearing people singing and praying. There is much rubble and many pancaked buildings.
It is important to understand Haiti is a Country the size of Maryland, with Hait's capital Port-Du-Prince is very very poor and there are many Relief groups there providing care and aid, as well as Orphanages for AIDS victims.People from around the world do work there helping this impoverished Country,one of the poorest in the world.
Please Check Comments for Updates and Twitter Updates

More Photos of Haiti ( by 1AM)/Anderson Cooper Video

Hotel Morel



Late Night Hell Breaks Loose: Read Conan's Letter below Just released this Afternoon

{{{ Just now this afternoon Conan O'Brien released a Stunning Amazing Well Written Letter about the NBC Mess, and I am also posting a link here to a NYC Columnist's Translation ( thank you to Brian Stelter on Twitter for posting both, and Don Lemon on CNN for Breaking The Information. TRANSLATION HERE. (( Conan is a very classy sensitive man, who worked very hard and moved ALL of his staff and crew to make the Tonight Show happen and continue- NBC should be ashamed.))
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Conan O'Brien released the following statement.
People of Earth:
In the last few days, I've been getting a lot of sympathy calls, and I want to start by making it clear that no one should waste a second feeling sorry for me. For 17 years, I've been getting paid to do what I love most and, in a world with real problems, I've been absurdly lucky. That said, I've been suddenly put in a very public predicament and my bosses are demanding an immediate decision.

Six years ago, I signed a contract with NBC to take over The Tonight Show in June of 2009. Like a lot of us, I grew up watching Johnny Carson every night and the chance to one day sit in that chair has meant everything to me. I worked long and hard to get that opportunity, passed up far more lucrative offers, and since 2004 I have spent literally hundreds of hours thinking of ways to extend the franchise long into the future. It was my mistaken belief that, like my predecessor, I would have the benefit of some time and, just as important, some degree of ratings support from the prime-time schedule. Building a lasting audience at 11:30 is impossible without both.
But sadly, we were never given that chance. After only seven months, with my Tonight Show in its infancy, NBC has decided to react to their terrible difficulties in prime-time by making a change in their long-established late night schedule.
Last Thursday, NBC executives told me they intended to move the Tonight Show to 12:05 to accommodate the Jay Leno Show at 11:35. For 60 years the Tonight Show has aired immediately following the late local news. I sincerely believe that delaying the Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting. The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn't the Tonight Show. Also, if I accept this move I will be knocking the Late Night show, which I inherited from David Letterman and passed on to Jimmy Fallon, out of its long-held time slot. That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy.
So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it. My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn't matter. But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.
There has been speculation about my going to another network but, to set the record straight, I currently have no other offer and honestly have no idea what happens next. My hope is that NBC and I can resolve this quickly so that my staff, crew, and I can do a show we can be proud of, for a company that values our work.
Have a great day and, for the record, I am truly sorry about my hair; it's always been that way.
SOURCE Conan O’Brien

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Friday, January 08, 2010

Snowbound...and yes, my midwinter Respite is over....for now

So sorry friends...I needed a break..from many things...especially here in Twitterland and on the blogs,and hatemail...the hatefest and bickering (and you all know what I am talking about)...and yes the Health Care Battle left me disgusted and disheartened,and grappling with the reality about WHO we are as a I cleaned my house (which it sorely needed)...and yes I hung out with my son...I learned he likes Robert Frost and Walt Whitman....and we watched the Twilight Zone Marathon and I realized he knows ALL the episodes,his future is definently in film,movies. ....every line,really amazing...yes, this is what happens when one is Snowbound...for days on end...the TV is a friend..and so are books...and comfort food....Again my apologies....But be glad I was not here...when I blog I have to blog from my heart..and my heart was not here.

(and yes, I have been working hard on the book...I would say Hell will freeze when the damn book is done...but if you know Cleveland in would already think the book is done....and it is send me warm flipflop thoughts...that might help...)