The health department in San Francisco is committed to helping a town in Puerto Rico still without power and still in crisis, by providing doctors and nurses for a week.
Hurricane Maria left Puerto Rico in chaos, it's people--confused. They were told the recovery would take a very long time.
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The lackluster response from the federal government has crushed any hope of a quick recovery, especially in remote areas of the island.
"The hurricane happened on my birthday, so that was really intense to see this island destroyed," revealed Dr. Ann Dallman, a San Francisco physician whose husband has family on the island.
Meet Richard Santana, a nurse at SF General Hospital. He will be traveling to #PuertoRico with a medical team from the SF Dept. of Health to help patients in Hatillo and Utuado. @SF_DPH @abc7newsbayarea pic.twitter.com/AsjayKngpr— Lyanne Melendez (@LyanneMelendez) April 3, 2018
On April 6 she and a team from the San Francisco Department of Health will travel to Hatillo and Utuado, two small towns in the northwest part of the island.
Health Director Barbara Garcia has been working on the week-long trip for the past six months.
"We have a large staff of Puerto Rican descent and we know that they have had great concerns. I've spoken to some of them individually who have had families impacted, so for us this is a humanitarian effort from San Francisco to Puerto Rico," explained Garcia.
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The group will be comprised of 15 people. They will be divided into two groups. One will work at a clinic in Utuado and the other group call the roaming medical team will go door to door to provide medical care to those who can't make it to the clinic.
The San Francisco contingency will give doctors and nurses there a much needed break.
Meet Dr. Ann Dallman, a San Francisco physician with the SF Dept. of Public Health. She and 14 others from @SF_DPH will travel next week to #PuertoRico to help at a clinic in Utuado. #SFhelpingPR @abc7newsbayarea pic.twitter.com/st2wxCmxXI— Lyanne Melendez (@LyanneMelendez) April 3, 2018
They expect to treat many people with chronic diseases.
"A lot of high blood pressure, a lot of diabetes," said Dr. Dallman.
"We're going to see what they need and we're going to come back and report to the community as a whole and the county to let them know what else if needed, told us Richard Santana, a nurse at San Francisco General Hospital. His parents were born in Puerto Rico.
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He says they were given a lot of opportunities when then moved to New York.
"It doesn't mean much to you if you can't share it and I've been given the opportunity to go back. How could I say no," expressed Santana.
Their mission has always been about taking care of the most vulnerable.
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