Mount professor spearheads typhoon relief effort

November 22, 2013

Newburgh, NY -

SagarAs Typhoon Haiyan ripped through the Philippines, Mount Saint Mary College nursing professor Priscilla Sagar knew she had to aid the people of her home country.

Sagar, whose brothers and extended family live in the Philippines, said the news of the natural disaster was “very shocking. I couldn’t believe the destruction, and it devastated me just looking at it.”

The professor is a longtime member of the Philippine Nurses Association of New York, a chapter of the Philippine Nurses Association of America, Inc.

Sagar partnered with the organization – comprised of Filipino-American nurses from across the country – to help with relief efforts.

“Many, many people need help,” she said. “Not just now – when current efforts are done, they will still need so much.”

Donations will be given to the PNA chapter in the Philippines, to be used for food, medical supplies, water, and other necessities.

To donate, make checks payable to Philippine Nurses Association of America and send to:

Jeanette Livelo
20 Woodcliff Road
Holbrook, MA 02343

“I’m really very thankful to the Mount community for helping out,” said Sagar.

Sagar is an expert in transcultural nursing.

Her second book, Transcultural Nursing Education Strategies, will be released in December 2013. Book contributors include six Mount faculty members, a former faculty member, and two May 2013 graduates.

Faculty, staff, and students at Mount Saint Mary College have a long history of quickly responding to local and national crises.

When Colorado was slammed by massive flooding early this semester, Mount students gathered more than $300 for food and water donations in less than a week.

Last semester, about two dozen Mount students made a humanitarian trip to the Dominican Republic. The group gave away more than 600 “health packs,” which contained soap, a tooth brush, toothpaste, and adhesive bandages.

In January 2014, students will return to the Dominican Republic to give another round of aid.

They welcome donations of vitamins, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, and gift cards to local merchants, which can be dropped off at the nursing office, Aquinas Hall, second floor, 330 Powell Avenue, Newburgh, NY between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm, through December 15, 2013.

Mount students actively serve the local area through club participation in Big Brothers Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity, the MSMC Serves initiative, Knights in the Community, and more.

The Mount’s International Education Week took place only days after the typhoon, and Emily Marmo, director of international studies, used the opportunity to focus students on relief efforts.

International Education Week celebrates the benefits of education and idea exchange worldwide. This joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education promotes programs that prepare Americans for a global environment.

This is the third year Mount Saint Mary College has participated in the event, which included a discussion of international health issues and introductions to Irish and Spanish dance.

Amanda Alexander, a nursing major, had never played the African drums before Mount Saint Mary College’s recent International Education Week introduced her to the instrument.

As her hands swept over the skin of the African drum, Alexander’s song was a rhythmic heartbeat, pumping sound and soul through the crowd.

The Filipino people can recover, said Sagar, with a little heart from local donors, and some soul of their own.

Drum Circle Fall 2013

Amanda Alexander, a nursing major from Queens, NY (left), and Nkenge Simms, a biology major from Brooklyn, NY (right), play African drums during the Mount’s International Education Week.