In 1995, Jacquelyn (Jacky) Nally, RN, program manager for MGH Center for Disaster Medicine, deployed to St. Thomas following Hurricane Marilyn as a nursing supervisor of a disaster response team. Since then, she has taken as many opportunities as she can to support disaster relief and training efforts in the U.S. and around the world.
“After that first mission, I was just hooked,” says Nally. “I love the opportunity to share my knowledge and nursing skills and to help others in their times of most need. I am exposed to so many experiences and get to meet and work with great people.”
Nally, who also assists in the planning and execution of hospitalwide HazMat and emergency preparedness drills and exercises,has responded to more than 25 national and international disasters in the past 20 years, including response and training in the Middle East, medical care post-disaster response in Nepal, the Philippines and Indonesia with the MGH Global Disaster Response team.
Some of her most meaningful missions were 9/11 and the Haiti earthquake. “9/11 was the first mission directly related to an attack here in our country,” says Nally. “And we were among the first U.S. medical teams in Haiti. There was such widespread devastation, but what stood out most was the resiliency of the people. They cared so much about each other. I think I get more out of these missions than I give, and it is hugely rewarding to teach and share my clinical skills with student nurses from other countries.”
Read more articles from the 05/06/16 Hotline issue.