Direct Relief today committed an initial $250,000 in cash and made available its current inventory of more than $85 million in medications and other medical products in response to the continuing emergency in Florida caused by Hurricane Michael, which has resulted in at least 26 deaths across four states and caused thousands to evacuate.
Many health centers and free clinics in Florida have sustained damage to their facilities, are lacking power, and have staff who remain displaced.
Direct Relief is providing emergency operating grants to be used immediately to enable these facilities to continue services. Health facilities in neighboring states impacted by Hurricane Michael may also apply for grant funding.
The grants are meant to cover repairs to storm-damaged health facilities, the purchase of mobile health units, generators and other costs incurred by health centers and free clinics that are non-reimbursable through insurance.
Direct Relief offered similar support to clinics in Texas and Florida after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, as well as after Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
In addition to cash support, Direct Relief delivered requested medical supplies to facilities responding to the crisis, including emergency health kits containing essential medicines and supplies, as well as medicines to manage chronic conditions, like high blood pressure, diabetes, and asthma.
Direct Relief is working to supply facilities in the area with requested medications to keep people out of local emergency rooms, which have been seriously impacted by high patient volumes.
Direct Relief staff have been coordinating response efforts with the Florida Association of Community Health Centers and the Florida Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, whose members operate more than 148 clinics and health centers throughout the state, providing primary care services to more than 1.6 million residents annually.
Direct Relief has worked closely with state health associations and their members for the past nine years and has furnished more than $65.3 million in medical material aid and financial assistance to 147 health centers and free clinics in Florida.