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ADA and ADA Foundation efforts underway to provide Typhoon Haiyan relief


Helpers: Dr. Anthony Marcos, his wife, Arlene, and their children help to prepare supplies to send to the Philippines for Typhoon Haiyan relief.
The ADA and the ADA Foundation have plans in place to support disaster relief in the Philippines for dentists and members of the dental community adversely affected by Typhoon Haiyan, which struck Nov. 8.

In a Nov. 18 letter to Dr. Fernando M. Fernandez, president of the Philippine Dental Association, ADA Executive Director Kathleen O'Loughlin expressed concern on behalf of ADA members and asked that the Association be kept abreast of immediate needs for dental services and personnel, the status of the dental community and how oral health services have been affected by the disaster.

"It is in times of great need that organizations need to come together to strengthen and rebuild what has been lost. Your colleagues in the United States are thinking about your country and hope to hear from you in the near future," Dr. O'Loughlin wrote.

The ADA Foundation is accepting donations to help disaster relief efforts in the Philippines, specifically for dentists and others providing dental care in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. The Foundation will combine donations and make a grant to the ADA's Division of Global Affairs, which will identify and work with a reputable nonprofit to distribute the funds appropriately to serve the greatest need. The ADA Foundation is not accepting applications for individual grants related to Typhoon Haiyan.

Donations may be made at ADA.org/4572.aspx or by sending a check to ADA Foundation, 211 E. Chicago Ave., Suite 2100, Chicago, IL 60611. For Typhoon Haiyan relief, write "Philippines" in the memo field of remitted checks. Funds not used for Typhoon Haiyan relief will be used for future international disaster relief purposes.

ADA member Dr. Carliza Marcos, a past president of the San Mateo County Dental Association and chairperson of the Leadership Development Committee at the California Dental Association, sorted through many emotions as the story of devastation unfolded in the Philippines. "Everyday we're hearing things," she said. "The whole sadness of it all."

Though safe in the United States, Dr. Marcos and her family felt the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan hit home personally because of family ties to the region. She and her brother, Anthony, practice together in San Carlos, Calif. But they, like their parents, were born in the Philippines. The siblings grew up in California, where their mother also practiced dentistry.

They have a host of cousins and extended family directly affected by the natural disaster. "Filipino families are like branches," said Dr. Marcos, explaining how ties to the area run wider and deeper than just immediate family.

A first cousin who also lives in California and her husband flew to the disaster zone to help days after the typhoon hit. "As soon as they heard the news, they took off," she said.  Dr. Marcos and her family later learned details of her cousin's trip through social media. "We're just actually hearing what's going on with them through Facebook," she said. "They had a family business there that was destroyed.

Missing family members in the region have been accounted for, Dr. Marcos said.  Meanwhile, Dr. Marcos and her brother do what they can to help provide alleviation to those affected, whether directly related or otherwise. "My brother and his church have a big donation drive that they've been organizing and we're sending things often," she said.