Local News

Dec 3, 2013 12:47 PM by Rachel Cole - rcole@kristv.com

Nursing Professor Heads to Philippines to Help Victims

CORPUS CHRISTI - A Professor of Nursing from Texas A&M Corpus Christi is on her way to the Philippines. Doctor Patricia Olenick will be there for much of December. She's part of a team of medical volunteers who will be providing aid to survivors of last month's deadly typhoon.

"Surgeons, primary care doctors, nurses, pediatric nurses, therapists," Dr. Olenick

Dr. Olenick is one of the volunteers with "Project Hope," a group of medical volunteers on a 15 week mission to provide some relief to victims devastated by typhoon Haiyan in early November.

"We will be further inland, in a smaller town where they had a community health clinic, a birthing center, a hospital that was all pretty wiped out pretty devastated, right now there's no roof on the hospital, there's rain pouring in the hospital because right now were still in monsoon season," she added.

She says their focus will be on Western Visayus, one of the area hardest hit by the storm.

"A lot of mud, devastation, exhausted traumatized people who are very resilient the Filipino people are very resilient.>

Resilient and full of pride but desperate for relief. Dr. Olenick says especially pregnant women, who she will be tending to.

"Maternity care, I'll be working shoulder to shoulder with the local midwives and they're exhausted, there's women giving birth in the rubble, and I'll be helping to relieve them in terms of medical practice," she said.

She says the relief operation was organized last week, but the medical team has been prepared for a crisis for some time, thanks to previous projects.

"The motto of the mission was preparing in calm for times of crisis and now we have the crisis so now were back," Dr. Olenick said.

She will be in the Philippines for three weeks assisting and aiding victims in need. She also mentioned feeling blessed to be able to lend a helping hand to a place she called home for a time, as a child. Dr. Olenick also added that "Project Hope" is fully funded through donations, their website is WWW.PROJECTHOPE.ORG.

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