Mayo Clinic announces Haiti relief efforts

The Mayo Clinic announced Monday it will donate $500,000 to international disaster relief agencies working in Haiti. The clinic hasn't made a final decision on which groups will get the cash donations.

Mayo has also allowed employees to take vacation time or request a leave of absence if they want to assist organizations in Haiti. About 20 employees have gone on their own so far.

Dr. Mike Harper, who chairs the clinical practice committee, says the clinic is preparing for the possibility of sending Mayo-sponsored teams to work on long-term medical needs in Haiti.

"I think we're moving into the stage where more attention is going to be paid to complications of injuries that resulted from the initial earthquake, and continuing health care needs," said Harper. "Patients with diabetes, patients with hypertension, other chronic illnesses that are going to need help."

Harper says the clinic is in regular contact with the State Department and USAID, and will make a decision shortly about which agencies will receive the donations.

Harper says Mayo is also offering about 200 beds to treat patients at the clinic's facilities in Florida and Arizona.

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