Direct Relief is tapping into its standing inventory to equip partner clinics in Tennessee with medical aid needed following record flooding this month. Direct Relief’s emergency response team is coordinating efforts with national and state clinic associations, including the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) and the Tennessee Primary Care Association (TPCA) to determine and fill needs.
According to Mollie Melbourne, director of emergency management at NACHC, most-needed items are medications to treat physical and mental health conditions, personal care items, and cleaning supplies for patients’ homes.
Images from news agencies illustrate the extensive flooding in Nashville after the Cumberland River overtopped its banks this week. Melbourne reports that street teams are reaching out to the homeless population in Nashville through mobile medical units; hundreds of people have also been displaced from their homes as floodwaters rose. Uninsured patients are being sent to community health centers, causing an increase in patient load at these facilities and an increased need for resources.
The Direct Relief team is sourcing appropriate materials from its inventory to provide to partner clinics and health centers with the materials they need to help people affected by the Tennessee flood.
In addition to its extensive emergency response work in the U.S., Direct Relief also provides ongoing support to more than 1,100 clinics sites across the country. The organization also supports facilities with emergency preparedness materials such as Hurricane Preparedness Packs for clinics and Medical Reserve Corps packs to equip medical volunteers. Since 2004, the organization has provided more than $180 million (wholesale) in medicines, equipment, and supplies to U.S. clinics and health centers.