Kaiser Permanente Pledges $1 Million for Typhoon Haiyan Relief and Recovery Efforts

Nov 25, 2013, 13:29 ET from Kaiser Permanente

OAKLAND, Calif., Nov. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente announced today a charitable contributions pledge of up to $1 million, which includes support to five nonprofit agencies for humanitarian relief and deployment of trained emergency volunteers following the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines on Nov. 8.

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A total of $200,000 will be issued immediately to five organizations: the American Red Cross, for the benefit of the Philippine Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, Mercy Corps, Relief International and Team Rubicon. The remaining funds will be available to support recovery and rebuilding efforts in the affected areas.

"The devastation to many communities and the impact on people living in the Philippines have been profound, and our hearts go out to all of the people, the families affected by this typhoon," said Bernard J. Tyson, chief executive officer, Kaiser Permanente. "In addition to providing much needed support for immediate relief, we know there will be thousands of people who will need to have homes, farms and fishing businesses restored. Even more, we need to make sure their health-related needs are taken care of during the recovery and rebuilding period. That is why we have set aside funds for long-term recovery, when those specific needs are determined and the best ways to address them are clear."

Kaiser Permanente is providing $200,000 immediately among the following organizations:

  • American Red Cross, for the benefit of the Philippine Red Cross - $100,000
    The American Red Cross is the intermediary agency for U.S.-based donations to the Philippine Red Cross, and has been distributing relief items, repairing and rebuilding shelters, providing health care and ensuring access to clean water and sanitation systems. The Philippine Red Cross has deployed assessment, rescue and relief teams to evaluate the damage and to support rescue efforts.
  • Doctors Without Borders - $25,000
    Doctors Without Borders is an international medical humanitarian organization whose mission is to provide medical relief to the victims of war, disease and natural or man-made disasters, without regard to race, religion, or political affiliation. Through the use of boats, planes and helicopters to reach some of the areas that were in the storm's path, teams are able to evaluate the damage and medical needs of the residents and coordinate with the Philippine Red Cross and other first responders.
  • Mercy Corps - $25,000
    Mercy Corps works to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities across the globe. Mercy Corps has deployed a team of seasoned experts from the Philippines, Indonesia, the United Kingdom and the United States to the impacted regions of the Philippines to support the emergency response effort. Mercy Corps will work with a network of local partners to help meet immediate needs, as well as begin assessing the longer-term needs for a full recovery.
  • Relief International - $25,000
    Relief International is a humanitarian organization that aims to serve the needs of the most vulnerable worldwide by providing emergency relief, rehabilitation, development assistance, and program services. Relief International has a current humanitarian response effort in the Philippines to assist survivors by providing emergency needs and primary medical care. Funds will support clinical staff costs and defray travel costs for medical volunteers who are otherwise unable to travel, due to financial constraints.
  • Team Rubicon - $25,000
    Team Rubicon unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. The organization engages hundreds of U.S. military veterans, many returning home after fighting in wars, to find a sense of purpose for their skills and experiences through an approach to disaster response that combines skills cultivated on battlefields with those in emergency medicine.

Kaiser Permanente volunteers in the Philippines

Additionally, because Kaiser Permanente's workforce includes many physicians, nurses and logistics experts who are trained in disaster relief, several people with those skills have already left for the Philippines with the aid organizations with whom they are affiliated, to volunteer to serve in the affected areas.

More than 250 physicians, nurses and other employees have volunteered to help with disaster relief.

"The response from Kaiser Permanente physicians, nurses and staff has been amazing," said Joshua Weil, MD, a Kaiser Permanente emergency physician and volunteer coordinator for Kaiser Permanente's Typhoon Haiyan disaster relief efforts. "Right now we do have some volunteers on the ground with folks from partnering aid organizations, trying to determine next steps. We know the area of Tacloban has limited food and no electricity; it's in such a terrible state that the Philippines government is making a major effort to evacuate everybody."

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America's leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve approximately 9.1 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.

For more information:
Kyra Nead, kyra.k.nead@kp.org, 510.267.2884

SOURCE Kaiser Permanente