Dec 18, 2017

FedEx + Direct Relief Team Up for Irma Relief

More than $11 million worth of critical aid is in the hands of relief workers in Florida and more than 150 dogs and cats are in a no-kill shelter in San Francisco thanks to FedEx, Direct Relief, Heart to Heart International, the Miami HEAT and the Golden State Warriors. FedEx dedicated a special flight in September 2017 to make the emergency response possible.

The FedEx Express MD-10 was loaded in Memphis with medicines and medical supplies to assist Direct Relief’s humanitarian efforts for the people and communities affected by Hurricane Irma. The resources will be delivered to community health centers and clinics throughout Florida, in close coordination with the Florida Association of Community Health Centers, as well as to hospitals in Anguilla, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, U.S. Virgin Islands, and British Virgin Islands. The cargo jet was also carrying more than 4,000 hygiene kits for Heart to Heart International as well as employee relief supplies and generators.

The relief supplies were unloaded upon arrival in Miami, and more than 150 dogs and cats from Miami-area shelters were loaded on board the MD-10. The animals were then flown to Oakland, Calif., where they were delivered to no-kill shelters in the San Francisco area.

“On behalf of our 400,000 FedEx team members, we take great pride in using our global network to deliver hope and help in times of crisis,” said David J. Bronczek, president and chief operating officer of FedEx Corp. “We are inspired by the passion of these organizations and their drive to make a difference in the world. All of us at FedEx remain committed to working closely with humanitarian and disaster relief organizations to provide support and deliver supplies to assist those hardest hit by these storms.”

Direct Relief for Those Who Need It Most

FedEx has worked with Direct Relief for more than a decade to deliver medical resources during times of disaster. “Hurricane Irma’s toll on lives and livelihoods in Florida and across the Caribbean has been steep, while at the same time damaging to the health facilities and infrastructure that are essential for recovery,” said Thomas Tighe, president and CEO, Direct Relief. “That’s why the leadership of FedEx in logistics and transportation is critically important and serves as a lifeline to the people and communities still at risk.”

Teaming Up to Save Shelter Animals

Hurricane Irma also created a pet emergency, with shelters becoming quickly overcrowded due to displaced dogs and cats in hard-hit areas. Members of the Miami HEAT heard about the overcrowding crisis at local shelters and collaborated with the Golden State Warriors to come up with a plan. The NBA teams reached out to FedEx to assist.

“As residents of South Florida, we have experienced our fair share of hurricanes through the years and we are keenly aware of the challenges before, during and after a storm,” said Eric Woolworth, president of The HEAT Group’s Business Operations. “Displaced or abandoned pets are helpless and heart-breaking casualties of a hurricane’s aftermath. This cross-country airlift wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of our friends at FedEx and the Golden State Warriors. I speak for everyone at the HEAT and AmericanAirlines Arena when I say our hope is two-fold: to reunite lost pets with their owners and to encourage South Floridians to consider adopting a furry friend who is in desperate need of a new home.”

“It’s been eye-opening to learn about all the animals affected by natural disasters like Hurricane Irma, so when I heard about this event, I knew I wanted to be involved,” said Warriors center Zaza Pachulia. “I’m proud to represent my teammates and the Warriors organization as a part of this great collaboration, and I’m looking forward to hearing about all these dogs and cats finding loving homes in the Bay Area.”

Providing Shelter

As part of their efforts to assist animals impacted by Hurricane Irma, the ASPCA is providing Miami-Dade Animal Services with sheltering assistance and helped facilitate the transport of hundreds of displaced homeless animals from Miami area shelters to the West Coast. The ASPCA is providing ground transportation for approximately a hundred animals upon their arrival at the Oakland International Airport to the Marin Humane Society and the Humane Society for Southwest Washington, where they will eventually be made available for adoption. In total, the ASPCA has helped transport more than 1,000 animals out of communities impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and continues to provide search-and-rescue and sheltering assistance in Florida and Texas.

“The ASPCA is pleased to be in a position where we can assist animal shelters in Florida by helping move homeless cats and dogs out of impacted communities to free up much-needed space for owned pets displaced by the storm,” said Dick Green, senior director of Disaster Response for ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “The animals transported to the West Coast today will have a second chance to find safe and loving homes thanks to destination shelters opening their doors for Florida cats and dogs in need.”

This special relief flight is part of the company’s FedEx Cares initiative, through which FedEx will invest $200 million in more than 200 global communities by 2020 to create opportunities and deliver positive change around the world.

Oct 27, 2017

Emergency Relief Helping to Improve Health

On October 27, 2017, Direct Relief airlifted 150,000 lbs. of urgently-needed medical resources to health facilities in Puerto Rico, where severe medical shortages persist one month after the devastation of Hurricane Maria. The Direct Relief-chartered MD-11 cargo jet landed in San Juan with $21 million (wholesale) worth of medications and supplies, including extensive quantities of intravenous solutions, nutritionals, and prescription medications for a range of acute conditions and chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension.

For more than eight years, Direct Relief has supported a network of nonprofit clinics throughout Puerto Rico on an ongoing basis. Prior to Hurricane Maria, Direct Relief had been coordinating with the Department of Health to assist with the medical evacuees from neighboring islands after Hurricane Irma two weeks prior.

Over the past two months, Direct Relief has delivered 148 tons of medications, vaccines, and medical supplies valued at $64.7 million (wholesale) in 560 emergency shipments to 143 partner organizations in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, USVI, and seven Caribbean countries.

In addition, Direct Relief has provided and committed financial support in the form of grants totaling over $2.7 million to 43 nonprofit health centers and clinics and their associations in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico.

These relief efforts have been made possible due to the tremendous outpouring of generosity from individuals, foundations, and companies to help support people as they recover from the impact of these massive storms

Jul 31, 2017

Direct Relief Provides Overdose-Reversing Naloxone

Naxolone Sent to Clinics Nationwide
Naxolone Sent to Clinics Nationwide

In response to the opioid epidemic in the United States, Direct Relief is working with Pfizer to make up to 1 million doses of overdose-reversing Naloxone available at no cost to community health centers, free and charitable clinics, public health departments and other nonprofit providers nationwide.

“Pfizer has a long-standing commitment to improving health outcomes by expanding access to medicines and ensuring patient safety through educational activities,” said Caroline Roan, vice president, Corporate Responsibility, Pfizer. “Our support of Direct Relief’s work to increase community education about the risks of opioid abuse and recently expanded Naloxone Access Program underscore our dedication to helping address the growing opioid overdose epidemic.”

Since 1999, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids ­– including prescription opioids and heroin – quadrupled, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Naloxone can rapidly revive normal breathing in an individual who has overdosed on heroin or prescription opioid medications.

To gauge demand for the drug and obtain perspectives from clinicians working in primary care health settings, Direct Relief surveyed thousands of health centers, free and charitable clinics, and public health departments nationwide.

The survey revealed that community health centers and clinics are dealing more frequently with opioid-related overdoses. Respondents also requested more than 45,000 doses of the medicine, which has long been used in hospital emergency rooms.

Direct Relief began delivering the donations in March 2017. The initial distributions to facilities in 38 states included 36,790 doses of the drug, with priority given to communities with the most overdoses and to providers with existing programs and training in place.

“America’s nonprofit community health centers and clinics are on the front lines of the opioid overdose epidemic, as they are in every major public health issue,” said Direct Relief President and CEO Thomas Tighe.  “Direct Relief is deeply thankful for Pfizer’s expansive commitment of Naloxone, which will not only avert tragedy and save lives but also help the safety-net health centers lean into the critically important preventive and education measures at which they excel in their communities.”

Direct Relief operates the nation’s largest charitable medicine program, is licensed to distribute prescription drugs in all 50 states, and is the only humanitarian nonprofit designated as a verified-accredited wholesale distributor by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

Future shipments will include needles, syringes and alcohol swabs, which BD has donated to support the effort.

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