Health-care union VP volunteers in Nepal; HSAA donates $10,000 for relief efforts

The Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) will donate $10,000 to help victims of the earthquake.

  • Tue May 5th, 2015 10:00am
  • News

The Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) will donate $10,000 to help victims of the earthquake in Nepal, while a member of its board is already in Nepal as part of a medical relief team providing aid in the country.

“We’re very proud that our vice-president of human resources, Mike Parker, an Edmonton paramedic, is using his skills to help those in need in Nepal. A disaster like this is precisely why, some years ago, HSAA established a Humanitar- ian Fund. As health-care professionals, we understand as well as anyone the desperate need created by the earthquake, and our contribution will make a difference,” says Elisabeth Ballermann, president of HSAA, which represents about 23,000 paramedical, technical, professional and general support employees in health care.

Parker is in Nepal as a member of Canadian Medical Assistance Teams (CMAT), a Canadian charity that provides humanitarian relief.

HSAA’s board of directors approved a donation of $5,000 to CMAT and a further $5,000 to Oxfam Canada from its Humanitarian Fund.

Parker and his wife, Beverly, a member of the United Nurses of Alberta (UNA), previously served with CMAT helping victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013, and in Pakistan, after the devastating floods of 2010.

HSAA also donated $10,000 to CMAT to coincide with Parker’s mission in the Philippines.

At that time, he said: “I’m grateful to be part of a union that recognizes the need to help out people even

if they are a long way from home. I’m sure the sizable cash donation is something all of our members support. I’m also grateful to my employer, Alberta Health Services (AHS) for making it possible for me to go. Our members do great work saving lives in Alberta every day. It’s only natural that we want to help save lives over- seas when disaster strikes.”

The earthquake in Nepal has claimed nearly 6,000 lives. About 600,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged, with at least two million people in need of tents, water, food and medicines.