USF Health doctors to visit Puerto Rico, help Maria victims

By Dalia Dangerfield, Reporter
Last Updated: Wednesday, October 04, 2017, 4:05 PM EDT

A team of USF Health doctors will head to Puerto Rico to help in the relief effort after Hurricane Maria.

  • Group of USF Health doctors will leave Tampa Saturday
  • IV fluids, supplies will be taken to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico
  • Dr. Asa Oxner has made similar trips in past
  • Related: How to help Puerto Rico victims

"One of the biggest needs is going to be treating patients who have chronic diseases who are starting to see complications of those diseases, because they aren't having their medicine," said USF Health Dr. Asa Oxner.

Oxner specializes in Internal Medicine and is part of the group traveling to the San Juan Bautista Medical Center in Puerto Rico.

"We're taking a bunch of IV fluids and IV supplies, a lot of medicines for diabetes, high blood pressure and for infection," Oxner said.

This is not the first time Oxner has traveled to help patients who are suffering.

In 2014, she spent more than a year in Sierra Leone. Oxner helped patients who were infected with Ebola.

Making these trips are important for her.

"It is the main reason that I went to medical school, actually, is to go to do global health and to help patients who don't have resources that we have here," Oxner said.

Oxner will leave Tampa on Saturday.

The team expects to spend at least a week helping patients in Puerto Rico.