Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Friday, May 27, 2011

UMHS joins with Red Cross to provide aid for tornado victims

The U-M Health System is working with the American Red Cross to provide volunteers who wish to help victims of the tornado that decimated much of Joplin, Mo., recently.


Other ways to help

• To donate to the Red Cross, go to, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or text the word "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation via your mobile phone bill.

Click here to donate to AmeriCares online, or call 1-800-486-HELP to donate by phone.

• To find out about donating blood, go to and enter your ZIP code or the U-M sponsor code 'goblue' to find a donation opportunity. The Ann Arbor Donor Center on Packard Road will be open today, Saturday and Monday.

In an email message to UMHS faculty and staff, Tony Denton, chief operating officer of U-M Hospitals and Health Centers, outlined the Red Cross' needs and how those who are interested can help.

"Our colleagues in Joplin have suffered an unspeakable tragedy — as have others in the southern U.S. hit by recent severe weather," Denton says. "Working with the American Red Cross, our Health System has a chance to help."

Needed are nurses, physicians, emergency medical technicians, clinical psychologists, and clinical social workers, as well as volunteers to provide nursing and medical oversight and behavioral health services in mass-care shelters or during field assessments.

Deployments of 10 days or more should be expected, and volunteers will receive training through the Red Cross before deployment. The Red Cross anticipates deployments during the months of June and July. Those interested in volunteering with the Red Cross for a deployment will need to coordinate the time off with their department as paid time off or vacation time.  

Denton notes there will not be an official UMHS deployment to Joplin or other areas hit by the extreme weather.

For additional questions regarding volunteering, please send a message to