National Nurses United

National Nurse magazine April-May-June 2021

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12 N A T I O N A L N U R S E W W W . N A T I O N A L N U R S E S U N I T E D . O R G A P R I L | M AY | J U N E 2 0 2 1 W hen the registered Nurse Response Network (RNRN) call went out in Febru- ary for RN volunteers to vaccinate the underserved South Los Angeles commu- nity, nurses immediately answered the call. The RNs were eager to help the pre- dominantly Latinx and Black community who had been hit hard by Covid. The need was urgent: In February, the Los Angeles Times reported that only 5 per- cent of the community's residents had been vaccinated. In contrast, the Times noted, 25 percent of residents in wealthier areas on the westside of Los Angeles County had already received their first shot. RNRN, a disaster-relief project of the California Nurses Founda- tion and National Nurses United, began sending a team of RN volunteers every week from March 1 until the end of May to assist with the administration of Covid-19 vaccines in South L.A. The vac- cine clinic was a project of International Medical Corps (IMC), which partnered with RNRN. The two organizations, along with Kedren staff and community volunteers, have helped administer more than 100,000 doses at Kedren Community Health Center. International Medical Corps, a global humanitarian organization that offers medical services and training to people affected by con- flict, disaster, and disease, had previously partnered with RNRN in 2019, when Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas, and in 2018, provid- ing Hurricane Michael relief in Florida and treating people in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. "The fall surge in Los Angeles was terrible and so was the surge in our Central Valley," recalled Sandy Reding, an RN at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital and a president of California Nurses Association/ National Nurses Organizing Committee. "We saw the horror of people dying in record numbers. We shut down our operating rooms at the DOSE of HOPE RNRN volunteers help administer vaccines to thousands in underserved Los Angeles community. BY CHULEENAN SVETVILAS

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