Missouri Tornado: Direct Relief Delivers Emergency Aid

Missouri Tornado: Direct Relief Delivers Emergency Aid
Emergency Medical Supplies and Cash to Joplin, Missouri; Organization Makes $52 Million in Medical Inventory Available, Commits $200 Thousand Cash for Broader U.S. Storm Response

SANTA BARBARA, CA – Direct Relief, the largest provider of medical aid to community clinics across the U.S., has responded to the most recent devastating tornado in Joplin, Missouri, on Sunday. Direct Relief has rushed medical aid to Access Family Care, a Joplin-based nonprofit community health center treating persons injured and/or displaced, providing them with urgently needed medicines.

Direct Relief has committed an initial $200,000 in cash to the effort and made available $52 million in medical inventory to assist people in Missouri and other communities affected by recent weather emergencies.

Direct Relief also today provided $25,000 in emergency cash assistance to Access Family Care, whose staff includes four persons whose homes were destroyed.

Direct Relief is the only nonprofit organization licensed to distribute prescription medications in all 50 states and maintains an ongoing support program with more than 1,000 nonprofit clinics and health centers across the country, including 168 facilities in the six states affected by recent tornadoes.

Over the past four weeks, Direct Relief has delivered more than 30 shipments of medicine, medical supplies, and personal care items for people affected by tornadoes and storms throughout the Midwest and South. The deliveries are valued at more than $400,000 (wholesale).

Direct Relief’s emergency effort in Joplin this week is the most recent in a widespread response to weather-related emergencies that have affected communities throughout the South and Midwest. Direct Relief is delivering urgently needed medical aid for people affected by devastating tornadoes in Missouri to nonprofit clinic partners in the area who are treating an influx of patients as well as the people who have lost their homes.

The initial emergency shipment to Missouri, based on detailed requests from clinical staff, contains 67 cartons of antibiotics, wound-care supplies, chronic disease medications, medical supplies, and personal care products, will arrive at Access Family Care’s Joplin health center tomorrow.

An additional four-ton shipment of requested products, including medicines, hygiene products, basic care items, and saline solution will be delivered to Access Family Care’s Joplin health center on Friday.

Direct Relief is coordinating its activities with Access Family Care, which is part of the public emergency response effort in Missouri, and also with federal agencies responding to the emergency.

Direct Relief staff has been in frequent contact with clinic partners on the ground responding to the needs of the affected, and every hour brings new information. While the exact number of people affected is still being determined, Access Family Care has shared its initial estimate that between 12,000 and 15,000 people need assistance.

In addition to treating patients, Access Family Care staff has been allowed access to the hardest-hit areas in Joplin and will distribute personal care packs door-to-door to families and to shelters.

Direct Relief continues to respond to requests as they come in from clinics, state associations, and national-level responders. Janice Pirner of MOPCA reports a need for personal care items and tetanus vaccines. Direct Relief is working to source needed materials from donor companies if not available in current inventory.

To help the people in Missouri who have been affected by the tornadoes Direct Relief has extended offers of aid through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), the Missouri Primary Care Association, the American Diabetes Association (ADA), and to individual partner clinics in the region.

About Direct Relief International Direct Relief International is California’s largest medical relief organization, active in all 50 states and 70 countries. It works with more than 1,000 health clinics across the U.S. to assist in emergencies and an ongoing basis, providing them with free medications for people in need. The organization has been among the world’s largest medical suppliers in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, has top charity ratings, including four-star and “top-notch” rating from Charity Navigator, and a 100% fundraising efficiency rating from Forbes magazine.

Emergency response experts from Direct Relief are available for print, radio, and broadcast interviews, and have full fiber optic and satellite transmission capability.

CONTACT: Kelley Kaufman, Communications Manager – (805) 637-2491; kkaufman@directrelief.org

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