Albany Med employees from the Philippines shared stories of anguish and worry for loved ones — and thanked the Medical Center and colleagues for support — in the wake of Super Typhoon Haiyan.
"I’ve been in my unit less than a year, and my manager and co-workers have been so comforting," said Jesuit Paul Nugas, RN, who works on M-4. "They have been checking on me. It’s wonderful here."
Fifteen of the 182 Albany Med employees working at Albany Med through the Philippine Recruitment Program were directly affected. Two were in the Philippines on their honeymoon when the devastating storm hit, but were reported safe. The storm that struck Nov. 8 was one of the most powerful ever recorded. The death toll was in the thousands.
Four employees highlighted in a Times Union article all grew up in or around the hard-hit city of Tacloban.
"It’s gone. Where is my happy memory now?" said Michelle U. Tubis-Corrales, RN, who lost three relatives to the typhoon.
"It’s like losing a part of you," said Gemma Lour Nayra, RN, comforted by her husband, Rogelio T.R. Nayra, a patient care associate.
Since 2002, the Philippine Recruitment Program has brought 414 health care workers to Albany Med as a way to address a national nursing shortage with highly qualified workers.
"Albany Med has been very supportive," Tubis-Corrales said. "We are loyal to them. They are loyal to us."
Albany Med held a week-long fund drive to assist victims through the American Red Cross. The effort, combined with a bake sale, raised more than $10,000.