UNMC/Nebraska Medicine aim to help Nepal

by Elizabeth Kumru, UNMC public relations | April 30, 2015

Image with caption: The earthquake has left many families without homes.

The earthquake has left many families without homes.

UNMC and Nebraska Medicine are forming a multifaceted response to the crisis in Nepal caused by the magnitude-7.8 earthquake on April 25. This effort is led by the Nepalese students and employees at UNMC.

What you can do

Donate funds: Donate directly at the University of Nebraska Foundation or UNMC's Nepal Relief page. For questions, contact Karen Levin of the University of Nebraska Foundation at 402-502-4921.

There may be opportunities for medical and other volunteers to offer service in coming months. UNMC and Nebraska Medicine will be coordinating efforts with the American Nepal Medical Foundation.

The earthquake near Kathmandu that toppled temples and triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest has killed more than 5,000 people and left up to 1.4 million people in the affected area without shelter, food, water and medical assistance. "The people who are UNMC and Nebraska Medicine are caring and generous people. We have many outstanding volunteers who want to go to Nepal to help," said UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D. "Please donate to the effort and know that the university will actively support these efforts." Ward Chambers, M.D., is coordinating the UNMC/Nebraska Medicine Nepal Relief Effort 2015 with support from Atul Rayamajhi, Shinobu Watanabe-Galloway, Ph.D., Alison Freifeld, M.D., and Vijaya Bhatt, M.B.B.S. Poonam Joshi, M.B.B.S., deployed on Wednesday to assist in relief efforts. The UNMC team is working with sister NU campuses in Omaha and Lincoln, as well as Boys Town, to raise funds, organize response teams, and gather/purchase medical supplies. Rayamajhi and Dr. Bhatt also are working with the Health Foundation Nepal, Nebraska Nepalese Society, and other national and local community partners to coordinate relief efforts. The Nepal Relief Fund, established by the University of Nebraska Foundation, to buy medicine and supplies for Nepal and deploy volunteer staff has been kick started by a donation from Dr. Gold and College of Public Health Dean Ali S. Khan, M.D., M.P.H. Counseling services also are available free-of-charge to enrolled UNMC students, residents, faculty and employees who may experience distress as they witness via media the aftermath of the disaster, said Dr. Watanabe-Galloway. Faculty and employees can contact the campus assistance program (FEAP), a confidential service designated to assist faculty, employees and their families in addressing personal or work related problems. FEAP counselors help with grief, loss, depression and anxiety. Students may call David Carver, Ph.D., director of the student counseling center, at 402-559-7276 to make an appointment. Nebraska Medicine employees can use the Employee Assistance Program. Updates for the UNMC/Nebraska Medicine Nepal relief effort can be seen at the Yammer Nepal Relief Group and UNMC's Nepal Relief page. Inquiries about the response and other offers of assistance can be directed to Dr. Chambers.