SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Sept. 30, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Direct Relief today committed an initial $250,000 in cash for community health centers in Puerto Rico to aid recovery efforts in Hurricane Maria's aftermath. Direct Relief also committed $50,000 to support the work of La Asociación de Salud Primaria de Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico's primary care association, which represents the 20 member nonprofit corporations that operate 62 clinical sites in 53 municipalities and care for nearly 350,000 patients annually.
"Direct Relief is deeply concerned for our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico and understands from experience how this massively disruptive situation puts many more people at risk," said Direct Relief President and CEO Thomas Tighe. "As always, the priority during the emergency is the safe evacuation and shelter of those in harm's way, so we are mobilizing to avert the serious health complications that arise rapidly if not addressed."
Today's commitment of cash support follows the delivery of nearly $2 million in medical material aid this week to the Puerto Rico Department of Health. The shipments contained medicine to treat a range of chronic and acute health conditions. The organization also is providing emergency shipments of specialty drugs for less common conditions – a delivery of Bioverativ's therapies for Hemophilia A and B, for instance, arrived this week at the University Pediatric Hospital in San Juan.
Direct Relief also has been coordinating with the National Association of Community Health Centers, the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters, as well as local public health officials.
Contributions to support emergency response efforts in Puerto Rico can be made by selecting "Puerto Rico" on Direct Relief's donation page. All contributions designated for Puerto Rico will be used solely for relief and recovery efforts in Puerto Rico.
About Direct Relief: Founded in 1948, Direct Relief is a California-based nonprofit organization that provides humanitarian medical aid in all 50 states and more than 80 countries, with a stated mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergency situations. Among other distinctions, Direct Relief has been named among the world's ten most innovative nonprofits by Fast Company, received the CECP Directors' Award, the President's Award from Esri for Excellence in GIS mapping, and the Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation. Of the more than 8,000 charities rated by Charity Navigator, Direct Relief is one of only 49 to receive a perfect overall score of 100. Direct Relief has worked closely with NACHC, NAFC and their members since 2005 and has delivered more than $650 million (wholesale) in support to over 1,300 facilities.
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SOURCE Direct Relief