Throughout the recovery, Direct Relief worked closely with the Texas Association of Community Health Centers (TACHC) and longstanding partners the National Association for Community Health Centers (NACHC) and the National Association of Free Clinics (NAFC) to address priority medical needs. Direct Relief’s focus with partners is always on the people and organizations who not only step up in the immediate event, but those that will also be a significant part of the healthcare safety net in the months and years ahead. These partners directly provide care to the vulnerable people and communities affected by the storm, and out the critically needed medical products that Direct Relief delivers to use.
In total, since Hurricane Harvey made landfall nearly a year ago, Direct Relief has delivered 981 emergency shipments to 76 partner facilities in hurricane-affected communities in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. These relief and recovery shipments, valued at $21 million wholesale, consisted of more than 200,000 pounds of critically needed medications, insulin, tetanus vaccines, first aid and general clinic supplies, diagnostic medical equipment, antiseptics and disinfectants, and personal hygiene products. The donated products contained a total of 9.1 million defined daily doses or the assumed average maintenance dose per day for a drug used for its main indication in adults.
Long-Term Rehabilitation Support for Affected Communities
In addition to providing critical medical material aid and supplies, as well as emergency operating grants, Direct Relief extended its collaboration with NACHC, NAFC, TACHC and other associations to provide cash funding through the establishment of the Hurricane Community Health Fund. The fund was set up in the aftermath of the hurricane to be used solely for the benefit of hurricane-affected communities and people – particularly those who have low incomes, lack insurance, and are among the region’s most vulnerable residents.
To date, Direct Relief has awarded $4.9 million in cash grants aimed at helping partners in Texas with near, intermediate, and long term purchases including mobile medical units, generators for backup power, and backup refrigeration for temperature-sensitive medicine that must be kept cold, as well as fund repair or replacement of storm-damaged roofs, floors and equipment, helping them become more resilient for the upcoming hurricane season. Another round of funding will be distributed by the end of 2018.
The extensive and widespread effects of Hurricane Harvey will be felt for many years to come. Both the unfathomable destruction, and the beauty of people coming together to help and support each other in their time of need, will not be easily forgotten. In response to the historic devastation caused by the storm, over the past year, Direct Relief has worked alongside healthcare providers rooted in affected communities to bring proven approaches to emergency response to an unprecedented scale, adapt to the evolving needs on the ground, and enhance the effectiveness of preparedness efforts along the U.S. Gulf Coast to ensure even more effective responses to future storms.
It is thanks to the generous support of individuals, corporations, foundations, and healthcare companies that Direct Relief has been able to deliver critically needed medical products and financial support to medical providers caring for thousands of people affected by Hurricane Harvey.