Health centers are used to lending a helping hand – both as a source of primary health care to people in their communities and wherever else they’re needed in times of emergency. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Clinica Sierra Vista (CSV), in Bakersfield, CA, stayed true to that mission. The health center dispatched two 44-foot-long mobile medical and dental vans to Houston, TX, to provide life-saving medical equipment and aid (including water, hand sanitizer, and other necessities) where it’s needed most.
Two of CSV’s vans – which feature state-of-the-art equipment and restrooms – filled up with supplies and set off for Texas on August 31, just days after the hurricane made landfall. CSV is coordinating with the Texas Association of Community Health Centers (TACHC) and the international relief organization, Direct Relief.
“CSV stepped up after Katrina in ’05 and we went to East Texas,” said CSV CEO Stephen W. Schilling in a press release. “We have an obligation to do the same now. Many of our neighbors have roots in Texas, and our health center colleagues there need us today.”
Both mobile vans arrived in Houston and set up at impacted area health centers. The units will be deployed as needed by the health centers and TACHC to areas of the city that still lack services.
“To be given the opportunity to continue the long legacy of selfless service that health centers have long provided to this nation is an honor we cherish,” said Schilling in an memo to CSV staff.
Of Texas’ 75 health centers, 44 had locations in Hurricane Harvey’s path. Most of the damage, however, has been aimed at health center staff, many of whom had homes that were destroyed or damaged by Harvey.
Anyone wishing to donate to the health centers impacted by Hurricane Harvey may do so through TACHC’s website.
NACHC continues to monitor the latest developments regarding Hurricane Harvey. Resources are available on NACHC’s Emergency Management/Continuity of Operations page, which will be updated as more information becomes available.