HealthproMed invests $1.5M in new health facilities in Vieques
Private nonprofit health care provider HealthproMed announced a $1.5 million investment to open a primary care clinic on the island municipality of Vieques, which has a population of 9,000 and has been lacking medical facilities.
The clinic located in the Isabel II sector will be staffed by a total of 25 health professionals, including clinical support staff, to provide attention in the areas of pediatrics, gynecology, behavioral health, and oral health, among others.
“Vieques is a priority for HealthproMed and we’ve shown it for years and now more with this modern and avant-garde health center,” said HealthproMed Executive Director Ivonne Rivera-Hernández.
“The people of Vieques will have services of general medicine, pediatrics, gynecology, behavioral health, oral health with state-of-the-art equipment, health education, nutrition, vaccination, clinical laboratory, internal medicine and optometry clinics, in addition, it will have its first optician, among others,” she added.
HealthproMed is part of the US government’s primary medical services network and operates under section 330 of the US Public Health Act. It is a Federally Qualified Health Center that receives grant funding from the US Bureau of Primary Health Care and is protected under the Federal Tort Claims Act.
Aside from the $1.5 million investment, HealthproMed received a $300,000 donation from Direct Relief, which were combined to buy and remodel the new facility and buy equipment.
“Direct Relief’s mission is focused on improving the quality of life and health of vulnerable people affected in the event of an emergency or poverty,” said Direct Relief Executive Advisor Ivonne Rodríguez-Wiewall. “Direct Relief has assisted Puerto Rico in several initiatives that directly impact health services.”
Direct Relief’s donation bought oral health equipment, equipment to reinforce the clinical laboratory area, refrigerators to store vaccines, vehicles to mobilize patients and staff, as well as a power generator that “will guarantee the continuity of health services in the clinic,” she said.
Meanwhile, Vieques Mayor José Corcino said 80% of the Vieques population benefit from the government’s Health Plan, known as Vital, and “who in most cases have to travel to the main island to receive specialized services. Now, with this new facility they will get more clinical services, such as eye and dental health.”
“Vieques has never had a health center at this level and HealthproMed has made it a reality,” he said.
In 2017, Hurricane María tore through the only hospital that Vieques had, which has yet to be rebuilt.