USF Health donates medicine, supplies to storm-torn Bahamas hospital

Shortly after Hurricane Dorian finally turned northward and away from the Bahamas, teams from USF Health quickly mobilized and secured approximately 600 pounds of medications and medical supplies.

Those medications and medical supplies were delivered Sept. 9 to Rand Memorial Hospital on Grand Bahama, and a second shipment of 700 pounds of medications, including those provided by Moffitt Cancer Center, plus four generators, were sent Sept. 11, with more being planned for early next week, said Asa Oxner, MD, assistant professor of medicine and vice chair for the Department of Internal Medicine in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine.

“Our pilot was able to land directly in Freeport and truck transport on the ground got to Rand Memorial Hospital,” Dr. Oxner said. “And, depending on weather conditions with the current track of a tropical storm, more shipments of medications are being collected and will be sent next week, ordered through Hope and Health Project.”

Medical and humanitarian supplies were delivered to Solrelief.org, a brigade of volunteer pilots who are authorized to fly and deliver to the Bahamas Nassau Island. From Nassau, helicopters are taking supplies to Grand Bahamas and Abaco Islands.

In addition to the medical donations, USF Health is also collecting and shipping other much-needed items, such as hand sanitizers, infant formula, first aid kit, bleach tablets, antiseptic wipes, shampoo, toothbrush, soap, sanitary pads, adult and infant diapers, Ensure/Boost/Glucerna, and blankets.

The USF Health effort is organized by USF Health International in response to the devastation caused by hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas. In a cross-discipline effort, USF Health International has pulled together faculty and staff from across the USF campuses to pool their expertise and ingenuity to help the residents of the Bahamas.

In addition to faculty, staff and students from USF Health colleges, which include Medicine, Nursing, Public Health and Pharmacy, teams from Engineering, Multicultural Affairs, Behavioral Health Sciences USF World and other areas are also involved, including the many students, faculty and staff volunteering to sort and box up donations to prepare for shipping.

YOU CAN HELP

If you wish to contribute, the most valuable way will be a monetary donation to help purchase specific medications and medical supplies. You may donate to the USF Health disaster relief fund.

Faculty who wish to participate in our long-term response can contact Dr. Asa Oxner aoxner@health.usf.edu in MCOM or Elizabeth Dunn eadunn2@mail.usf.edu

Students who would like to volunteer to sort, pack, and transport supplies, please contact Jesse Casanova (jcasanov@health.usf.edu).

Video and photos by Allison Long, USF Health Office of Communications.