8/15/06 - American Nephrology Nurses' Association Helps Lead Effort to Gather Volunteers for Future Disasters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Janet D’Alesandro

janetd@ajj.com

856-256-2422

American Nephrology Nurses’ Association Helps Lead Effort to Gather Volunteers for Future Disasters

Nurses and other health professionals who want to respond to emergencies are encouraged to sign up here.

Pitman, NJ – As part of a national program to gather names of nurses and other professionals who could be mobilized quickly after a disaster, the American Nephrology Nurses’ Association (ANNA) has posted forms for volunteers to sign up on its Web site, www.annanurse.org.

ANNA is one of 26 organizations that are members of the Kidney Community Response Coalition (KCRC), a multi-disciplinary organization that is seeking nephrology nurses, patient care technicians, social workers and dieticians who would like to participate in disaster relief efforts.

Nurses and other professionals who want to volunteer may go to the ANNA Web site, click on “Disaster Preparedness Information Center,” and fill out the form that corresponds to their practice area. The coalition will use the names to identify and call upon volunteers for future emergencies or disasters. The form specifies that not all volunteers will be called for every disaster that occurs, only those who are needed. Volunteers are also responsible for their own transportation.

KCRC consists of eight work groups, according to Sue Preuett Cary, MN, RN, NP, CNN, ANNA’s representative to the Coalition. Cary, who chairs the work group that coordinates nursing and technical volunteers, said there are 19 members on the work group representing 11 professional organizations. Many of these organizations have links to ANNA’s Web site encouraging their members to volunteer for disaster response including the National Kidney Foundation Web (www.kidney.org), the National Association of Nephrology Technicians/Technologists (www.dialysistech.net), the National Renal Administrators Association (www.nraa.org), and ESRD Network 7, (www.esrdnetworks.org).

Those who sign up online are asked for their contact information, professional background and experience, and type of task they are willing to perform. Cary said ANNA and the other KCRC members will be collecting names indefinitely and will be calling on volunteers for all types of national disasters and emergencies.

The disaster volunteer project is one of several relief initiatives ANNA has spearheaded in the last several years. The association is administering a grant from AMGEN that offers financial assistance to victims of Hurricane Katrina. ANNA also published a special issue on disaster preparedness in its official journal, Nephrology Nursing Journal, in October 2001 (Volume 28, Number 5). Several articles from that issue are available for free download at www.annanurse.org. ANNA has provided outreach to members who were affected by the 2005 hurricanes and offers extensive information on its Web site about disaster relief efforts, resources and nephrology patient support services across the country.

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ANNA is a professional nursing association with over 12,000 members. Its mission is to advance nephrology nursing practice and positively influence outcomes for patients with kidney disease processes requiring replacement therapies 
through advocacy, scholarship and excellence.