Press Release-Minnesota nurses heads to the Philippines to aid disaster victims

Minnesota Nurse Heads to the Philippines to Aid Disaster Victims

As usual, Duluth registered nurse Anna Rathbun is spending her holidays caring for others, but this year she will be half a world away from her hometown, as she tends to victims of a hurricane-ravaged country. She is joining the third wave of nurses to be sent to the Philippines by the RN Response Network (RNRN), coordinated by National Nurses United. Rathbun is serving in Roxas City, on the Panay Island to provide medical support for those affected by the Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.

“They’ve lost everything,” Rathbun said, “and the place where I hope to go is one of the impoverished areas of the Philippines.  The people there need help more than anyone else.”Rathbun, an RN at St. Luke’s Intensive Care Unit was chosen for her experience helping the most serious patients that come through the hospital, even though she’s been a nurse for only three years.”I’ll do whatever’s needed to save somebody’s life.  I have the skills to help people in need,” Rathbun said, “I may be bandaging wounds or administering medicine, but even if I can just be a listening ear that helps make a difference.  You never know who will come forward to help.”Rathbun responded to a call for help from the Registered Nurse Response Network sent through the Minnesota Nurses Association-National Nurses United.  Rathbun is part of the third deployment of nurses from around the country and joins nurses from Massachusetts, Arizona, California, and Maine selected to make the trip this week.  In some parts of the islands, the situation has gotten worse.  An oil spill situation that occurred off the coast of Estancia was inflamed by the typhoon.  Citizens on the coast and now inland are facing dramatically worse health hazards than just those brought by the typhoon.Rathbun leaves Monday, December 9, and won’t return until the end of the month, which causes her to feel torn about leaving her current patients in Duluth.”I decided to go because I know the nurses I work with,” Rathbun said, “and I know our patients will be well taken care of.  I think I can use my skills in a place that really needs help.”So far, more than 3,000 RNs from all 50 states and 19 nations have volunteered through RNRN of NNU to assist with the relief project for Haiyan/Yolanda. Donations for care can still be accepted through this link:


Anna Rathbun, RN

Rathbun, an ICU nurse at Duluth’s St. Luke’s hospital, is headed to the Philippines to help typhoon victims. 

About MNA:

With more than 20,000 members in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin, MNA is the leading organization for registered nurses in the Midwest and is among the oldest and largest representatives of RNs for collective bargaining in the nation.  Established in 1905, MNA is a multi-purpose organization that fosters high standards for nursing education and practice, and works to advance the profession through legislative activity.  MNA is an affiliate of National Nurses United.

About NNU:

National Nurses United, with close to 185,000 members in every state, is the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in U.S. history.

NNU was founded in 2009 unifying three of the most active, progressive organizations in the U.S.—and the major voices of unionized nurses—in the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, United American Nurses, and Massachusetts Nurses Association.

RNRN graphicHelp send more nurses to help victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.  Many nurses have volunteered, but organizational funds are needed to sponsor them.  Donate now

By mail: Make checks payable to CNF/RNRN and mail them to: CNF/RNRN, 2000 Franklin St. Oakland, CA 94612.


RNRN is a project of the NNU and the California Nurses Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.