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San Juan gets $21M in FEMA funds to repair diagnostic and treatment centers

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved an obligation of more than $21 million to repair six Diagnostic and Treatment Centers (CDT, in Spanish) in the municipality of San Juan.

In addition to repairing the buildings, the funds include hazard mitigation measures for these centers to be better prepared to face future disasters, the agency confirmed.

These medical facilities have emergency rooms, provide primary care and pediatric services, obstetrics, and gynecology, apart from preventive services like radiology, laboratories, and vaccination. They also provide specialized services to homeless people, and some offer mental health services at specific times.

“The health sector in San Juan will be transformed with this unprecedented allocation. And to help prevent that another storm causes similar damage again, the federal share includes nearly $1.7 million for work that will strengthen the roofs and protect electric equipment,” said FEMA’s Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator, José G. Baquero.

The health centers that will benefit from this obligation are the José S. Belaval CDT, Más Salud Dr. Gualberto Rabell Center, Dr. José López Antongiorgi CDT, Dr. Olivera Guerra CDT, Dr. Enrique Koppisch CDT and the Dr. Manuel Quevedo Báez CDT. To date, FEMA has obligated more than $168 million to the Municipality of San Juan for emergency and permanent work.

“Today is a great day for the residents of San Juan and for public health in Puerto Rico. The obligation will allow us to update important centers that provide comprehensive and accessible care to the individuals and families of the Capital City, whether residents, neighbors, or visitors, regardless of their financial situation or migratory status,” said San Juan Mayor Miguel Romero.

“[They] offer direct services that are essential to accomplishing the quality of life that we aim for our town. This will also allow us to improve the work areas of our talented and committed medical faculty, as well as administrative staff, essential to continue improving the service to our town,” he said.

For the Más Salud Dr. Gualberto Rabell Center in Santurce, which specializes in mental health services, over $10.4 million are earmarked to remove doors, the acoustic panels, the air conditioning units, and the condenser, among others.

These works have already been completed and lighting work, the installation of membranes on the roof, waterproofing of windows and improvements to the drain systems to prevent leaks are pending.

Over at the Dr. Enrique Koppisch CDT in Río Piedras, some works were completed like the repair of the emergency generator, the removal and replacement of the air conduits, acoustic panels, luminaries, among others. The $2.8 million allocation approved for this facility includes $460,000 to address hazard mitigation measures like the installation of membranes on the roof, the federal agency confirmed.

Meanwhile, the residents of the Sabana Llana area will have a repaired health center, as the Dr. Olivera Guerra CDT, which has offered services for more than 55 years, has completed part of its repairs, like the replacement of the air conditioning units. The work will continue with the replacement of gates, LED lighting and windows with more than $2.7 million assigned.

The projects for the S. Belaval CDT and Más Salud Dr. Gualberto Rabell Center are covered under the Bipartisan Budget Act, which ensures that Puerto Rico rebuilds its critical services facilities according to the current industry standards without having to consider their conditions prior to the disaster.

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

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