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As Hurricane Season Begins, Direct Relief Grants $3.1 Million to Bolster Texas Health Centers

The funds will help health centers repair from Hurricane Harvey damage and become more resilient for the upcoming hurricane season.



Direct Relief’s Damon Taugher speaks with Triangle Area Network Director Dena Hughes at TAN's clinic in Beaumont, Texas, in 2017 after Hurricane Harvey made landfall. (Lara Cooper/Direct Relief)

With the 2018 hurricane season underway, Direct Relief today announced more than $3.1 million in grants to 15 community health centers in Texas to increase their resiliency against storm destruction and repair remaining damage from Hurricane Harvey.

The funds will help the health centers purchase mobile medical units, generators for backup power, and backup refrigeration for medicine that must be kept cold and will fund repair or replacement of storm-damaged roofs, floors and equipment, helping them become more resilient for the upcoming hurricane season.

“With storms becoming more powerful and destructive as ocean temperatures rise, community health centers in Texas and other coastal states are the healthcare safety net helping prevent natural disasters from becoming health crises,” said Damon Taugher, Director of U.S. Programs for Direct Relief. “The tremendous outpouring of support from donors, small and large, in response to last year’s hurricanes is ensuring that health centers remain strong and resilient as we head back into hurricane season.”

The grants capped a full month of activities in preparation for the 2018 hurricane season:

  • Direct Relief and the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (NAFC) announced more than $1.8 million in hurricane recovery grants to 20 free and charitable clinics in Texas and Florida.
  • On May 22, Direct Relief received a $50 million donation from AbbVie to help rebuild and strengthen Puerto Rico’s primary healthcare system, better preparing it to withstand future hurricanes and outages of power or water. Direct Relief will support more than 60 community health center sites and local healthcare facilities over a three-year period.
  • On May 10 and 11, Direct Relief held a workshop for Texas community health centers on crisis mapping and communications to better inform relief efforts should a hurricane make landfall this year.
  • Direct Relief also moved into its new headquarters and warehouse in Santa Barbara, quadrupling the volume of medicines and medical supplies it can collect and stockpile for distribution.

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