Caribou Region

Cary Medical Center nurse preparing for humanitarian work

CARIBOU, Maine – Deb Gorham, RN, a nurse in Cary Medical Center’s One Day Surgery department is preparing for humanitarian work in Przemysl, Poland on the border of Ukraine.

The organization she is working with, Making a Difference in Uganda, was started by Beth Haley who is a travel nurse herself. The organization includes nurses from all over the United States who regularly volunteer in Uganda between travel nurse assignments. During the two weeks Gorham will be away she will be assisting refugees with whatever they need.

“I was told to be prepared to do whatever is needed at the time. It may include tasks that require nursing skills, but really, it could be anything,” Gorham said. 

Gorham has been working to gather supplies to help aid the needs in the area she is traveling to. She is able to take one suitcase with 50 pounds of medical supplies with her, additional supplies will be shipped to affected areas. She has been working with Johnathan Anderson and Dick Fortier who work in Central Supply at Cary to secure the supplies needed. 

“I contacted Partners in Health, located in Bangor and Portland. They do a lot of shipping of supplies for circumstances like this,” Fortier explained. “Everything came together really quickly, I reached out to Mark Bailey who was eager to help, he offered to get the supplies to Bangor or Portland at no charge.”

Gorham is grateful for the support she has received. “My manager, Lona Griffeth, RN, and all my coworkers have been encouraging and supportive. I am grateful to be part of such a wonderful team and given the time away from work to follow my heart,” Gorham said. “For me the best parts of a very long nursing career have been the times I was able to help others in need. When I heard of the opportunity to help Ukrainian refugees my heart was fully in before my mind had a chance to object.”

Gorham will be leaving for Poland on May 13.

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