The crisis in Puerto Rico after the recent hurricanes expected to continue for several months, and USF Health doctors are traveling to the island to assist in relief efforts.
Three doctors will be leaving this week with another nine joining them over the next several weeks. The doctors — who speak Spanish — are expected to stay in Puerto Rico for at least two weeks. They’ve responded to other international situations before, such as the Ebola outbreak in Africa.
“For USF Health, making life better isn’t just a slogan, it’s a way of life,” said Dr. Charles J. Lockwood, senior vice president for USF Health and dean of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. “Our physicians, who are already well-versed in international disaster response will be in Puerto Rico this week.”
Additionally, USF has been contacted by Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU) in Puerto Rico and has agreed to allow medical students from PHSU to finish their semester in Tampa. The deal still needs to be approved by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. The group consists of 85 first-year medical students, 85 second-year medical students and 70 graduate students studying health sciences.
USF would provide access to classroom and lab space when its not in use by USF students and faculty would be available to provide teaching support.