Health Center News, Uncategorized

More Notes on Hurricane Sandy

Refuah Health Center in Queens, NY, November 5, 2012

By Amy Simmons Farber

Hurricane Sandy has long blown out of here but now there is the clean up and restoration to begin.  We’re also hearing a lot about how our health center friends answered the call to help — and these unsung heroes deserve some recognition:

Despite losing power at three sites, Refuah Health Center used their mobile medical vans to continue providing care to patients.   Five shuttle buses also provided free transportation to the vans.  “Within minutes of their power being restored, the health center answered a call from the New York State Department of Health to send a van to a community devasted by the storm. Refuah President & CEO Chanie Sternberg said in a release issued by the Community Health Care Association of New York State  (CHCANYS).   “Of course, we would send vans — that’s what health centers do and it’s certainly what Refuah does.” Two vans went to Queens  and one to Brooklyn.

Urban Health Plan also sent a mobile medical van to hard hit Queens and Brooklyn.  “The new health care system is supposed to be about coordinating care for patients and we showed we can do that together in an emergency,” said Paloma Hernandez, President and CEO.

All told, eight Community Health Centers in New York dispatched 12 mobile medical and outreach vans to provide health care in area communities devastated by the storm: Acacia Network, Inc., Children’s Health Fund, Community Healthcare Network, Greater Hudson Valley Family Health Center, Refuah Health Center, Urban Health Plan, William F. Ryan Community Health Network. and Callen-Lorde Community Health Center.

Community HealthCorps also joined in the effort to help.  HealthCorps Navigators (AmeriCorps volunteers) stepped out to help their neighbors clear out flooded basements in New Jersey homes.  Hurricane Sandy also unloaded a sludge of debris, mud, and fallen branches at Hudson River Park and Prospect Park and the navigator team joined 100 other volunteers who turned out to  help clean it up.  You can check out their blog post on the United We Serve web site.