UPDATE REPORT ON TNA NYNJ ACTIVITIES: Message to all donors
On March 29th, 2020, with the alarming onset of New York City becoming the epicenter of the global pandemic of Covid-19, Tibetan Nurses Association (TNA) of New York and New Jersey started a Gofundme campaign in order to help all Tibetan nurses and health care workers working as frontline workers in the fight against Covid-19 under dire personal, social and familial circumstances. As soon as we starting seeing donations coming in, we started our work without wasting any precious time. This Gofundme campaign was started with the aim of providing aid to health care workers only, however, with the outpour of massive support from the public for this campaign, we have expanded our activities not only to the health care workers but also the general public who need help, both Tibetan and Himalayan
We would like to thank each and every individual donor who has provided financial support at this dire time of need. Every dollar we received has been used to serve the community and people most in need, we assure you that! The barrage of positive feedback we have received for our work is a testament to the amazing spirit of everyone who donated and sent us your goodwill in dealing with this unprecedented circumstance.
As the pandemic has not fully subsided as yet, we are still continuing with our activities of serving our community of healthcare workers and general public. Our Gofundme page is still active and we welcome people who want donate still.
We would like to give an update on the activities we have done with all the support we have received from all of you. Please be assured that we have made good use of all the money donated. Our generous act of benevolence has definitely made immense impact in our society.
Activities done till date:
1. At the onset of the emergency of the pandemic in New York City, TNA reached out to the Tibetan Community of New York and New Jersey (TCNYNJ) and held several coordinated meetings with them in order to form a consolidated Covid-19 response team in NYNJ for all Tibetans and people of Himalayan descent.
2. On March 30, in collaboration with TCNYNJ, TNA launched the free Tibetan and Nepali language Covid-19 helpline to help anyone needing medical and emotional guidance on Covid-19 related issues. The helpline team consist of 6 nurses and medical doctors who speak Tibetan and Nepalese language and a data analyst collecting and preparing reports. Until today (25th April), the helpline has had over 200 callers requiring 68 effective actions, including referring cases for free psychiatric consultation with our Tibetan volunteer Psychiatrist. We have continued to provide daily and weekly update of this report on our social media pages (TNA facebook and TNA Instagram). The program is ongoing.
3. For people diagnosed as Covid-19 that we found out through our helpline or otherwise, our nurses have made daily follow up communication via phone or other means to track their status and worked with them to develop healing goals and goals to become healthy again, many of which has been
4. Since TNA members stretch out to many major hospitals in New York City, we have assigned individual nurses to their respective hospitals in order to help Tibetan and Himalayan inpatients and their families in providing informational, medical, and emotional support. We have over 17 nurses assigned to 9 major hospitals in New York City. They have been helping families of Tibetan and Himalayan people admitted in their hospitals by caring for them, providing them information on their status to their families, and guidance on medical processes.
5. We have had instances where patients were at their final stage of life at hospital and since family members were not allowed to come in contact with the Covid-19 patients, our nurses have arranged for virtual end of life support as per our Buddhist tradition via phone. Family members have been able to talk to their loved ones and Tibetan monks have been able to provide traditional final religious rites via virtual route.
6. TNA has collaborated with various Tibetan medical Amjis (Tibetan traditional Sowa Rigpa doctors) around NYC to help find alternative symptom management plans for COVID. We have received donations of Tibetan medicines to TNA from Amjis which we distributed to the general public as needed.
7. With the money that we have raised, we were able to purchase 1500 N-95 masks at a most crucial time when hospitals around NYC were lacking in PPE and were unable to protect the health workers properly. We have distributed these masks to all Tibetan health care workers to protect themselves. Hundreds of nurses and health care workers received our N-95 masks.
8. We also purchased and distributed more than 500 medical supplies like Tylenol, thermometer and general masks among Tibetans who don’t have these supplies at home. All of these distributions were done by delivering these products to people homes through our TNA members and volunteers.
9. We coordinated and collaborated with the non-profit organization “Himalayan Elders Project” to ensure that all Tibetan and Himalayan elders that they usually take care of are healthy, and in sound health during this crisis and provided medical supplies to them.
10. For the purpose of public health education on Covid-19, we have produced various recorded educational videos and have shared them on social media via our various platforms. We have produced over 13 educational videos and clips on our social media in Tibetan language for the public.
11. Elmhurst being the ground zero of the Covid-19 infection, various community actors and volunteers have reached out to us in order to coordinate various modes of individual contribution to the health care workers as well as to the general public. We have entertained and collaborated with everyone who were willing to be a part of this communal effort to remove stress and promote sense of unity at this time of dire need.
FUTURE PLANS AHEAD:
1. As precaution and preparedness is always the wisest route of containing chaos in any kind of emergency, TNA is planning to buy a few thousand more N-95 masks and save them for future use in case a second pandemic arises later in the year as reported by many news media, scientists and government.
2. As depicted clearly by the situation of this current chaos, we have realized the need of our community to produce more strong and caring nurses. Therefore, we are developing plans to help sponsor nursing students yearly among Tibetans students who are unable to pay their nursing college tuition fees as a scholarship.
3. We would also like create scholarship programs to educate and empower younger generation of Tibetans to pursue career in medical field both in US and in India.
Thank you everyone
TNA NYNJ Team.
- Ki Bang
- Michael Diamond
- Sonam Bura
- Sonam Tsering