The Free Press, Mankato, MN

November 1, 2012

Mayo donates $5,000 to Red Cross for East Coast relief efforts

Hospital employee heads east as part of Disaster Medical Assistance Team

By Robb Murray
The Free Press

MANKATO — Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato has given $5,000 to the South Central chapter of the American Red Cross for relief efforts on the East Coast.

"Cash is really king when it comes to this," said Bob Meyer, CEO of the South Central chapter. "It helps us fund our training, helps us spread our wings a little."

As of right now, there are 14 Red Cross volunteers from south-central Minnesota who have been sent to the East Coast for relief efforts. They are part of 3,311 volunteers deployed nationally. There are 231 emergency response vehicles, including one from the Mankato office. Last night, the Red Cross housed nearly 7,000 people in 115 shelters in nine states.

The Red Cross also is dealing with another issue. The storm canceled more than 300 scheduled blood drives resulting in the loss of 13,000 units of blood. They're calling on people around the country to consider giving blood to replenish the supply.

In addition to Mayo's donation, Kevin Burns, regional director of public affairs for the Mayo Clinic Health System in the Southwest Minnesota Region, said one of the hospital's paramedics has been called to duty as part of the national Disaster Medical Assistance Team.

Carie Weller is one of 50 Minnesotans who are part of that team. She is at  Queens College in New York working in a unit that is similar to an urgent care setting, helping disaster victims.