Immediately after the storms hit last week, Direct Relief USA began providing medical assistance to the Midwest communities impacted by the deadly tornadoes. The first shipments of medical supplies – including tetanus vaccines, first-aid, and chronic care medications — are being used by health facilities in Kansas and Southern Illinois to help the many families who have been displaced from their homes. Additional shipments are being delivered to Missouri and Illinois to help care for tornado ravaged communities like Puxico and Oak Ridge, where more than 3,200 residents have been displaced by the storms. Direct Relief USA has worked closely with nonprofit clinic partners in the impacted communities over the past six years and is now in touch with 100 nonprofit clinics and health centers in affected areas.
As the severe storms unfolded, Direct Relief alerted nonprofit clinic and health center members in the impacted area that its current inventory of over $60 million in medical supplies and pharmaceuticals was available and would be delivered immediately if needed. The robust inventory was due to contributions from healthcare companies who support Direct Relief’s humanitarian and emergency-response programs.
The clinics receiving assistance are among the more than 1,000 nonprofit clinics and health centers nationwide enrolled in the Direct Relief USA network, through which medical product donations are provided to assist low-income, uninsured patients on an on-going basis and in response to emergencies.