Monday, September 8, 2008

MEDICC Appeal for Isle of Youth

Rebuilding a Dream: MEDICC Needs Your Help

ATLANTA, GA, September 5, 2008 -- The Isle of Youth was one of two Cuban regions hardest hit by Gustav, the worst hurricane to ravage Cuba in the last 50 years. The small island south of the mainland is well-named: it is home to over 5,000 students of medicine, about half Cuban and half students from low-income families in Latin America and the Caribbean who have pledged to serve in poor communities when they graduate.

While all the students and faculty are safe, their Faculty of Medicine was totally destroyed by the winds - blasts so fierce they riveted pieces of roofing into tree trunks and chair legs into door frames.

Picking up the pieces, the most urgent tasks for the Isle are restoring sources of food, electricity and water. Next, rebuilding their homes: of 25,000 houses, 20,000 were at least partially affected, 10,000 roofs blown away. But the bigger task ahead is to restore the Isle’s institutions, the livelihoods of its 85,000 residents—and its schools.

The Faculty of Medicine, even in temporary facilities, desperately needs to replenish stocks of reference textbooks lost when its buildings were destroyed.

MEDICC (Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba) already has one shipment of books on the way: help us send at least five more.

Thanks to the Free Trade in Ideas Act, medical literature is exempt from the otherwise draconian US embargo on Cuba, so these books can be airlifted directly to Cuba as soon as they can be purchased.

Send your tax-deductible donation to MEDICC, Hurricane Fund, 1902 Clairmont Road, Suite 250, Decatur, GA 30033. Make your check payable to ‘MEDICC’. Or donate online at Check the “Textbooks & Journals to Cuban Medical Schools” program, which will be dedicated exclusively to the Isle of Youth Medical School through the end of 2008.

The future physicians of Cuba, Latin America and the Caribbean will surely join your dollars with their good works to make a difference in the communities they’ll serve.


Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba (MEDICC) is a US non-profit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia and Oakland, California working to enhance cooperation among the US, Cuban and global health communities aimed at better health outcomes. Founded in 1997, MEDICC supports education and development of human resources in health committed to equitable access and quality care, providing the Cuban experience to inform global debate, practice, policies and cooperation in health.

MEDICC’s Textbooks & Journals Program for Cuban Medical Schools has shipped multiple copies of over 100 latest-edition books to Cuba’s 23 medical schools over the last five years.

For a look at MEDICC programs, visit: See also: MEDICC Review’s current issue, which we have made available FREE online, outlining Cuba’s Strategies for Disaster Management, at

Press Contacts:

Murlean Tucker

Program Manager

Phone: 678-904-8091

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