Stamford, Conn. – Sept. 30, 2015 – AmeriCares released a new disaster preparedness planning guide for free and charitable clinics today to help these important safety net facilities continue operating during emergencies. The guide gives clinic administrators instructions on steps they can take in advance to ensure their clinics respond effectively and recover quickly despite power outages, facility damage and other obstacles.
The project was generously funded by the GE Foundation. Providing resource toolkits to build clinic capacity is one of the GE Foundation’s core strategies.
Free and charitable clinics serve low-income and uninsured patients, and large-scale natural disasters have the potential to disrupt health care services, placing patients further at risk. AmeriCares Disaster Preparedness Planning Guide for Free and Charitable Clinics aims to help reduce those risks by providing practical preparedness guidance to clinics that play a critical role in providing primary care to vulnerable populations, but often do not have the resources to invest heavily in preparedness and mitigation activities. The guide is a step-by-step manual for emergency readiness, providing clinics with preparedness resources, practical approaches and response templates.
“This new guide introduces free and charitable clinics to the basic elements of preparedness and enhances overall readiness with minimal time and financial investment,” said AmeriCares Associate Director of Emergency Response Kate Dischino, who oversees the organization’s responses to domestic emergencies. “This is part of an ongoing effort to support safety-net institutions to be more prepared. I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to put AmeriCares more than 30 years of expertise in emergency preparedness to work for clinics serving the most vulnerable families.”
The guide is part of AmeriCares commitment to improve health services for the uninsured and underinsured across the U.S. The emergency response and global health organization is the nation’s largest provider of donated medical aid to the U.S. health care safety net, last year delivering more than $117 million in aid to a network of clinics and health centers serving 5 million patients in need. AmeriCares made 6,100 shipments to U.S. clinics and health centers last year, delivering enough medication to fill nearly 2 million prescriptions. The program helps health care providers to increase capacity, provide comprehensive care, improve health outcomes and reduce costs for patients. AmeriCares also operates four free clinics of its own in Connecticut and routinely deploys its mobile clinic to help damaged clinics remain operating during hurricanes and other emergencies.
The new AmeriCares Disaster Preparedness Planning Guide for Free and Charitable Clinics is available on AmeriCares Safety Net Center website, safetynetcenter.org