Hurricane Sandy: Urgent Supplies Bound for East Coast Clinics in Need


Direct Relief is operating at full speed this morning to process urgent requests from partner clinics affected by Hurricane Sandy who are treating patients in need on the East Coast.

Last night, 50 cases of Abbott nutritional supplements such as Zone bars and Pediasure were sent to William F. Ryan Community Health Center, which operates a network of clinics in New York City, including one in Lower Manhattan.

“Our downtown center…has been in the dark with no electricity since Monday. This has placed tremendous stress and pressure on all the residents who live in high rise, low-income housing…food and water are becoming scarce due to lack of refrigeration and accessibility,” reported Lorraine Leong, director of external affairs at the Ryan Community Health Center.

In addition to the nutritional supplies—which will be provided for the clinic’s pediatric and elderly patients—a shipment of 360 personal care packs will also be sent to Ryan Community Health Center today.  The packs contain basic hygiene supplies such as lotion, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and other toiletries.

Ms. Leong said all of their clinics are operating; however some are under limited hours because several medical staff are unable to get to Manhattan due to transportation limitations.

Direct Relief is also working on shipments for Zarephath Health Center in Sommerset, N.J., the Henry J. Austin Health Center in Trenton, J.J., and the Ann Silverman Community Health Clinic in Doylestwon, Pa.

“People came to the clinic yesterday. Diabetics cannot get insulin. Many are suffering from allergies, asthma and bronchitis. We are a densely populated area and can serve many hundreds of people,” wrote the medical director from Zarephath Health Center.

The center reported that most living in the area they serve are without power and internet. The lines to get gasoline wind around the corners—some 50 to 100 cars long. Many others are standing in long lines with portable gasoline containers, hoping to power their generators for another day. Those with wells cannot pump their water.

The other partner, Ann Silverman Community Health Clinic in Doylestwon, Pa. said, “Many here are still without power (myself included) and we have found some primary care practices unavailable to their patients. Our community hospitals have additionally been experiencing a spike in Emergency Department activity as many persons are presenting either because they can’t reach their primary care doctor or due to an increase in minor injuries as a result of the storm’s aftermath. Our clinic has extended assistance to community members with acute but minor medical conditions who cannot receive care from their Primary Care Physicians and who cannot afford the high deductibles or co-pays for emergency room visits.”

Direct Relief continues to reach out to health-center partners in 23 states and D.C. and has been in touch with emergency management agencies in New Jersey and New York.

To support Direct Relief’s emergency preparedness and response efforts, donate here.


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