Ironton area nurse to help with Katrina relief efforts

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 29, 2005

Janice Bellville wants to offer aid, comfort and some tender loving care.

The Ironton area nurse is among those locally who are lending a hand in the storm ravaged areas of the South.

Bellville, a registered nurse, is one of more than 30 members of the Scioto County Medical Reserve Corps who are or will be taking part in the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. She departed Tri-State Airport in Huntington, W.Va. Wednesday for Montgomery, Ala., where she will serve for at least three weeks.

Email newsletter signup

"It's exciting," she said. "I'm looking forward to it. I feel like I'm blessed to be able to go and hopefully make a difference."

A Medical Reserve Corps is a group of medical professionals who volunteer for quick response in the event of an emergency. MRC's are registered through the office of the U.S. Surgeon General, which issues deployment orders.

Since Bellville has worked in Scioto County, she is a member of the MRC in Portsmouth. She received her orders to go to Alabama Aug. 31.

Chris Smith, chairman for the Scioto County Citizens Corps Council, said the Scioto County MRC is a relatively new organization and the Katrina effort is its first official assignment.

"We've been registered for about a year and we've been going only about two years. We sent people last year to help with the hurricanes but this is our first actual deployment," Smith said.

As far as volunteer work under less-than-ideal circumstances goes, Bellville is an old pro: A couple of years ago she volunteered for service as a medical missionary in a rural area of the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan through Lutheran World Relief.

Bellville said her hope is that she can bring some comfort and relief to those whose experiences lately have been anything but comfortable.

"Just getting in there and seeing the people and making them feel better and then knowing that I have been able to help," she said. "I just hope I can give them some kind of peace in the eyes of the people I meet. If in any way I can help, then what I do will be worth it."