Iraq crisis calls for medical volunteers, supplies

News and Press Release
Originally published
Three medical volunteers and two staff member with Northwest Medical Teams are prepared to travel to Iraq to provide life-saving humanitarian aid. The relief agency has also packed $40,000 in medicines to send with the team, and has forwarded $20,000 to procure supplies locally in Iraq.
Volunteers Dr. Mike Pendleton, and nurse Jackie Gust, both veteran volunteers who served in Afghanistan with Northwest Medical Teams, are equipped to leave with 24-hours' notice. Dr. Catlin Goss, a volunteer in Albania and India, joins Northwest Medical Teams' staff Joe DiCarlo and Lorie Baker in northern Iraq.

"Our staff in Iraq have identified three camps where our volunteers will serve thousands of people displaced by fighting that may take place," says Bas Vanderzalm, president of Northwest Medical Teams. "We'll send our volunteers to work in these camps as soon as the area is secure. We've worked for weeks to be ready to care for the innocent children and families who will need medicines and medical care."

Last week, Northwest Medical Teams sent $20,000 to its local office in northern Iraq. The staff is purchasing medicines, blankets and tents to help the thousands of Iraqis expected to arrive in the area from other parts of Iraq to escape fighting and other hardships.

Northwest Medical Teams has been working in northern Iraq since 1991 when medical volunteers were sent to care for Kurdish refugees during the Persian Gulf War. The organization is currently conducting a $330,000 development program to improve the health of Iraqi children.

To support the Iraq Relief Fund, call 1-800-959-4325, mail gifts to Northwest Medical Teams, P.O. Box 10, Portland, OR 97207, or give online at our secure Web site: Donations can also be made at any USBank office in the area.