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Franciscan nurses assist with care of Afghan evacuees at Camp Atterbury

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Posted at 10:44 PM, Sep 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-17 10:56:28-04

INDIANAPOLIS — A local nurse is going above and beyond to help evacuees at Camp Atterbury settle in. She, along with a team of five others from Franciscan Health spent the day providing medical care and vaccination needs to the more than 6,000 Afghan evacuees at Camp Atterbury.

"Any opportunity you have to serve whether it's going to Camp Atterbury or helping them out within your community, I would encourage them to do so," Angela Bratina, Administrative Director for Women's and Children's at Franciscan Health in Indianapolis and Mooresville. "I would go back in a second if they need me."

Bratina, along with a team of five others from Franciscan Health spent the day providing medical care and vaccination needs to the more than 6,000 Afghan evacuees at Camp Atterbury.

She said it started with a call to assist last week.

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"I felt like it was just the right thing to do," Bratina said. "We were able to actually see a couple of people in our clinic. They were able to bring their family. But for vaccinations, hundreds. We saw that within a revolving door."

And in this climate, finding a team of six doctors proved to be difficult with the surge in COVID-19 cases.

"We're all stretched pretty thin, but I was able to easily find six people," Bratina said. "They did it with smiles on their faces and a lot of joy in their hearts to where we are making a difference."

As of Tuesday, officials at Camp Atterbury said more than 11,600 vaccinations were given to evacuees, including vaccines for measles and mumps.

"We heard from the people who were on base there that getting them vaccinated and those screenings is really one of the first steps of getting them off in a more normal life," she said, adding that she's grateful to play a role in assisting the evacuees in their new home.

"I have a passion for families, for mothers and babies and that's the work we get to do every day. But to do it outside of the hospital walls in the community is just something I felt called to do."

And, if asked again to help, Bratina said that without question, she and her team will be there.

"If they need help, we're here for them," she said.

Bratina explained that she is in contact with officials at Camp Atterbury and the Indiana State Health Department.

"For me, it was just a little bit of an eye opening experience to say we have way more than we need, and number one, share with people who don't, and two, maybe try to spend a little more with people and experiences than try to focus on things," Bratina said.

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