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Direct Relief has donated $3M to Puerto Rico during pandemic

Nonprofit organization Direct Relief confirmed it has committed more than $3 million in Puerto Rico during the past ​five ​months due to the emergency due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In our ongoing commitment to facilitate medical access in Puerto Rico to those most in need, and even more so in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, Direct Relief invested more than $3 million throughout the island, thus facilitating access to the health of all Puerto Ricans,” said Ivonne Rodríguez-Wiewall, executive advisor for Puerto Rico at Direct Relief.

The entity’s main initiatives include:

  • Granting of $900,000 in cash subsidies to 18 health centers with federal qualification in Puerto Rico, each of the centers received the amount of $50,000;
  • Granting $250,000 in cash to 15 health centers to administer COVID tests in nursing homes located in their communities ​throughout the island; 
  • Donating more than $1 million in grants to 16 primary health centers throughout the island for the implementation of telehealth platforms to make health services accessible during social distancing;
  • Donation of essential medical equipment for H.U.R.R.A. Hospital in Bayamón, the Trauma Center, the University Pediatric Hospital and Buen Samaritano Hospital. The equipment includes: mechanical ventilators, portable X-ray machines, video laryngoscopes, hemodynamic Cheetah monitors, blood pressure gas analyzers, ​operating room lamps, tents and medications for intensive care units, PAPRs, among others;
  • $22,000 donation to ​the Ponce Medical School Foundation for the acquisition of molecular tests ​to detect SARS-Co2 (COVID);
  • Donation of 20 medical tents in several parts of the island for testing first responders;
  • Donation of 53 tents for triage and screening of suspected COVID patients to FQHCs across the island; 
  • Paying for transportation for medical appointments of kidney and cancer patients, ​to receive dialysis and chemotherapy through Var Med Transport and Uber Health. This initiative has impacted 30 patients, making 548 individual trips;
  • Personal protective equipment for primary health centers, free clinics and hospitals valued at $180,000.
  • In preparation for the hurricane season, Direct Relief has placed Hurricane Preparedness Packs in 14 municipalities, which include among others, essential medications to treat chronic conditions during the emergency.

Direct Relief is a nonprofit organization with the mission of improving the quality of health of people who are affected by poverty and in cases of emergency.

This entity has been providing aid in Puerto Rico for 10 years, and after the passage of Hurricane María, it established an office on the island. In the past two years, it has awarded more than $100 million in grants to nonprofits and health centers across Puerto Rico.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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