Omaha Public Radio News
1:59 pm
Wed May 4, 2011

UNMC partners with the Omaha community and Japanese to provide culturally sensitive rebuilding efforts

Omaha, NE – The University of Nebraska Medical Center is teaming up with the Omaha community and Japanese organizations to provide rebuilding efforts in Japan.

UNMC epidemiologist Dr. Shinobu Watanabe-Galloway is the medical center leader for this effort and is helping to coordinate and centralize relief efforts at UNMC and with other organizations in Omaha. She says the magnitude 9.0 earthquake destroyed many villages and displaced thousands. Dr. Watanabe-Galloway says it was important for them to wait a little while before rushing in to try to assist after a disaster like this, "We learned a lot from Katrina, Haiti disasters, we want to do something right away, but oftentimes if we take an action without having a good plan that would end up as a waste of resources. So we took time to really understand the needs locally and in Japan so we can use our resources effectively."

Dr. Watanbe-Galloway encourages anyone who is interested to consider volunteering with organizations that are planning relief efforts, such as the Red Cross.