Currently, there are more than 50 million people in the U.S. living in poverty and an equal number unable to afford medical care due to a lack of health insurance. In spite of one of the highest expenditures per capita on health care in the world, health care access remains a major issue for many. The United States life expectancy of 78.4 years at birth ranks it 50th among 222 nations. The infant mortality rate of 6.06 per thousand places the United States 176th out of 222 countries. Obesity rates are among the highest in the world contributing to some critical health issues:
- Chronic disease including diabetes, cancer, hypertension and other cardiovascular conditions.
Throughout the United States, we are responding to the growing health care crisis by supporting more than 400 clinics in 41 states that serve the poor and uninsured, including three of our own primary care clinics in Connecticut. We provide a growing range of support services, medicines and medical supplies. In addition, we have responded with emergency aid in an increasing number of natural disasters from Hurricanes to wildfires.
We are committed to strengthening access to medicines and medical care. We work with safety net clinics in 41 states to build their capacity to serve more patients. Beginning with our work in the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina and the Oil Spill, we have expanded our work with clinic partners. In 2012, we delivered more than $153 million in medicines and supplies, which helped more than 2.1 million people get the health care they need. Nearly 3,000 patients now rely on our three free clinics in Connecticut for their primary health care.
The clinics we support provide primary care services to the uninsured and underinsured, including adult and pediatric exams; maintenance and monitoring of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, asthma and hypertension; vaccination programs, and in some instances gynecology, dental and mental health care.
Through a physician-based referral program, the Patient Assistance Program, AmeriCares oversees the allocation of medicines to those in the United States who would not otherwise have access to prescription drugs for chronic or long-term conditions. Since its beginning, this program has filled more than 3 million prescriptions, representing approximately $2 billion in donated products.
In 2001, we responded to the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks with over $10 million in aid.
In 2005 and 2010, a total of $24 million in medical aid and grants was committed to the Gulf region in response to Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
In 2011 and 2012, we responded to multiple disasters throughout the country: tornadoes, floods, wildfires, and drought.
In 2012, we committed to a large scale response and recovery effort in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
We are providing clinics with donated medicines, staff training, access to our online ordering system (USAccess) and patient education materials in English and Spanish. Ten clinics enrolled in the first year with more ready to join the program. Read More »
In the aftermath of disasters like Hurricane Katrina, we have worked closely with our emergency partners to help provide counseling and other mental health services for survivors in communities struggling to recover from catastrophic damage. Read More »
Medical Outreach Program
In the U.S. volunteer orthopedic surgeons performed 80 joint replacements in 2012. The replacement surgery program is the U.S component of our Medical Outreach supporting over 1000 medical volunteer medical teams to 83 different countries in the past year.