OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente today announced a $1 million contribution to the CDC Foundation to provide immediate public health support in Puerto Rico following the devastation caused by recent hurricanes. Kaiser Permanente previously worked with the CDC Foundation after Hurricane Katrina and in response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
The CDC Foundation is an independent nonprofit created to mobilize philanthropic and private-sector resources to extend the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) lifesaving work. Kaiser Permanente's contribution to the CDC Foundation will support relief, recovery and rebuilding of public health infrastructure, and longer-term emergency preparedness.
"People are struggling," said Bechara Choucair, MD, senior vice president and chief community health officer for Kaiser Permanente. "They face a dangerous lack of water, food and power. If not addressed promptly, these are the conditions that create public health crises. It is vital to offer these communities support as they take their first steps on a long road to recovery."
The CDC Foundation is working with CDC in U.S. territories affected by this extreme hurricane season, tackling immediate and long-term health threats. Currently, CDC has a total of more than 50 experts on the ground involved in hurricane responses. Given widespread damage in Puerto Rico, ongoing lack of power and other challenging conditions, it is anticipated that public health needs will continue to be identified.
Funding from the CDC Foundation's Emergency Response Fund will be used to support and strengthen the public health infrastructure in states and territories. Kaiser Permanente's donation will be used to work with officials and partners in Puerto Rico to help these American citizens restart public health and health care clinics and facilities. The funds will also be used to reestablish communications systems and devices that were destroyed so that health professionals can address health challenges that come to light from mold in homes and buildings to mental health challenges that arise in the aftermath of a disaster.
"This hurricane season has been particularly harsh in the United States and devastating to our friends and neighbors in Puerto Rico," said Judy Monroe, MD, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation. "We appreciate the bold action of Kaiser Permanente for seeing the need and then working with CDC and the CDC Foundation to help rebuild and strengthen the health infrastructure in Puerto Rico. Their strong response is an important catalyst. Looking ahead, we must continue to marshal the resources and expertise of partners, like Kaiser Permanente, to boost response efforts aimed at saving and improving lives. The time to act is now."
While many organizations respond with aid during a disaster, the CDC Foundation's role is unique because it supports CDC's team as it tackles health threats that arise in the days, weeks, months and even years after an emergency.
Kaiser Permanente has actively contributed to relief and recovery efforts following the numerous natural disasters in recent weeks. On September 25, the organization donated to the International Medical Corps to help with immediate recovery efforts and on-the-ground assessments in Mexico following multiple earthquakes. Kaiser Permanente also donated to the American Red Cross and Mental Health America of Greater Houston on September 5 for hurricane relief.
About the CDC Foundation
The CDC Foundation helps the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) save and improve lives by unleashing the power of collaboration between CDC, philanthropies, corporations, organizations and individuals to protect the health, safety and security of America and the world. The CDC Foundation is the sole entity authorized by Congress to mobilize philanthropic partners and private-sector resources to support CDC's critical health protection mission. Since 1995, the CDC Foundation has launched nearly 1,000 programs and raised over $700 million. The CDC Foundation manages over 250 CDC-led programs in the United States and in more than 100 countries. Follow the Foundation on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America's leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 11.8 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.
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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente