New Exhibit @Miner: “Postcards from Puerto Rico”

Hurricane Maria sliced through Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017.

We’ve all heard the sound bytes:

  • The worst natural disaster on record to affect Dominica and Puerto Rico
  • Winds at 175 mph
  • 70,000 homes leveled
  • 3 million people without power or water
  • Health care system in tatters

As an Upstate New York resident, I have a hard time relating to these numbers and to this level of devastation.

“Postcards from Puerto Rico,” an exhibit highlighting some of the people from University of Rochester and our community who came together to support Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, brings it home for me.

Last October, 11 providers from the UR Medical Center departed for Puerto Rico. They joined about 70 other physicians and nurses from across New York state. They assisted with emergency operations and health care planning at medical sites, provided hands-on patient care, and more. They spent two weeks on the island at a time when it was largely without power and adequate supplies.

Read more>> https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/5165/urmc-providers-join-forces-for-relief-efforts-in-puerto-rico.aspx

Life Straw water filtration system

Wendy Allen-Thompson, Luis Rosario-McCabe, Tim Dye, and others shared their photos and first-person narratives with us, which are displayed as postcards.

Now, I can connect faces and voices to the devastation. It’s personal.

Tim wonders, “How could people survive what must have been an incredibly traumatic 10-hour blasting of this storm?…How could anyone recover from such a trauma?”

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season began June 1. And I can’t get Tim’s words out of my head.

According to Sheri Fink (The New York Times, May 29, 2018), “As hurricane season begins this week, experts are still trying to count the number of deaths caused by last year’s devastating Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. The latest estimate: roughly 4,600, many of them from delayed medical care.”

Experts disagree on predictions for the 2018 hurricane season. But, as Marshall Shepherd said in his June 2 Forbes article, “Irrespective of how many storms are predicted, it only takes one storm to cause a human tragedy.”

September 20, 2017, was…and still is…a human tragedy.


Additional resources, provided by Tim Dye
•  WXXI News
Connections: An update on the crisis in Puerto Rico, and cultural competency in medical care (50:16) http://wxxinews.org/post/connections-update-crisis-puerto-rico-and-cultural-competency-medical-care
•  Our mobile clinic concept (0:56) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaGBwkZ6FAY 
•  Sobre las conciencias de los hombres: A medical ecological view on post-Maria Puerto Rico
http://tinyurl.com/conciencias1 (Part 1)
http://tinyurl.com/conciencias2 (Part 2)
https://tinyurl.com/conciencias3 (Part 3)

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Edward G. Miner Library is open Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

This article was submitted by Susan Andersen

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