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Sarasota Memorial stands ready to support Haitian relief efforts

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Jan/18/2010

SARASOTA - Sarasota Memorial Health Care System’s employees, physicians and volunteers extend their prayers and sympathy to the people of Haiti. We are prepared to do everything we can to support relief efforts.

Hospital officials remain in continual contact with state and county agencies and are ready to respond when called.

Like other hospitals around Florida, Sarasota Memorial is part of a state-wide emergency management network that coordinates response efforts. Our assistance efforts will flow through these official channels to ensure resources go where they’re needed most.

The U.S. government has asked hospitals and other organizations to coordinate their efforts in the donation of supplies to ensure that specific requests from Haiti are being met. Sarasota Memorial’s distribution center, LeeSar, will manage and coordinate our contribution of supplies. LeeSar has a longstanding partnership with Globus Relief, a nonprofit organization that provides a reliable, humanitarian supply of donated health-care items and equipment.

Hospitals throughout the state are keeping state officials apprised of bed availability in anticipation of requests for patient care. A number of medical staff from Sarasota and Manatee have or are planning to join relief efforts in Haiti.

A disaster of this magnitude will require assistance of all types for a long time to come. Many people are eager to reach out. Experts say donating money to reputable relief organizations is the best way for individuals to help at this time, so we encourage our staff and community members to contribute in any way they choose. We’ll keep our staff and the community updated on any requests that may come for volunteers and personal items.

Here are three of the many agencies accepting donations:

Hearts Afire
SMH staff and friends and their families can contribute to Hearts Afire, register as a volunteer and get additional information about future teams to Haiti by going to www.heartsafire.us -
or by calling 941-552-1584.

American Red Cross
redcross.org
1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-257-7575) The American Red Cross has also established an immediate way to contribute cash donations. Text messaging ‘HAITI” from a cell phone to “90999” will automatically donate $10 to assist with relief efforts.

Florida Disaster Recovery Fund
Floridians and neighbors across the country can contribute to “Neighbors to the Rescue” by going to www.FLADisasterRecoveryFund.org – or by calling 1-800-825-3786.

Date Published: January 18, 2010

Media Contact: Kim Savage
Phone: (941) 917-6271

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