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After Hurricane Harvey flooded their home, this young family sought shelter at Covenant House, which itself had been damaged in the storm. Americares, supported by the JJ Watt Foundation, made repairs to Covenant House. Here, JJ Watt made a visit.

With support from Americares, the Stephen F. Austin Community Health Network sent mobile medical teams to areas hardest hit by Hurricane Harvey.

In Refugio’s hospital, health workers dealt with damp and mold after Hurricane Harvey damaged the facility’s roof. Americares is now supporting hospital repairs.

Kate Dischino, VP, Emergency Response, and a local police officer assist a woman from Alvin, Texas. She was in desperate need of dialysis, and Americares transported her to a local dialysis clinic near the shelter where she is staying

Historic Catastrophe

On August 25, 2017, the first members of Americares response team arrived in Texas just ahead of Hurricane Harvey.  This Category 4 storm came ashore hours later in Rockport, Texas with 130 mph hours smashing everything in its path. Even as it was downgraded to a Tropical Storm, the torrential rains produced catastrophic flooding, particularly in the Houston area, with record rainfall of more than 50 inches in some communities. More days of unprecedented rains created a historic disaster, driving tens of thousands of people from their homes and leaving an epic path of death and destruction.

Americares set three goals for our response to Hurricane Harvey and our team continues to focus our work around them: restore health services for the most vulnerable survivors, expand health services to help survivors cope with stress and trauma, and prepare health facilities for future storms.

$13 million

total aid

150

shipments of medicine and supplies

70

partner organizations receiving assistance

Restore Health Services

Nearly a year after Hurricane Harvey first struck Texas, Americares  Houston team continues to expand recovery efforts, providing medicines, supplies, program and project assistance to 70 local partners in disaster-affected communities across Texas, from Corpus Christi to Port Arthur, including Houston, Beaumont, and many other communities. We have helped local health centers replace damaged medicines and supplies, repair facility damage, restore health services disrupted by the storm, and expand service through added staff and extended hours. Support has been provided to health centers for mobile medical services for hundreds of disaster survivors who lack access.  

In remote Refugio, Hurricane Harvey left the roof of the county’s only hospital damaged and leaking; Americares supported repairs, restoring health care for 7,000 county residents and a safe work environment for the 30 health workers who staff the facility.  

They got me back on my medicine for my diabetes. I’m able to work now. What you all did for the people of Texas during the hurricane was just awesome.” 

DeWayne, Hurricane Harvey survivor, Clute, Texas

Caring for the Most Vulnerable

In the midst of disaster, survivors require medicine for acute and chronic conditions, and Americares has provided a range, including asthma medicine, tetanus vaccine and, in the week following Harvey’s deluge, enough insulin to provide a month’s supply for more than 1,000 diabetic patients in the disaster-affected area. 

Before public transportation and other ride services had resumed in the Houston area, Americares provided transportation for dialysis patients to treatment centers—some patients had gone for a week without dialysis. Floods closed roads and shut down over 100 area dialysis centers, making routine visits impossible for many.

 “Thank God you all came out to get me and bring me to where I get dialysis,” says Beaumont, Texas, resident Melvin. “ They had to shut down everything here, the hospitals, everything. I have to get out to get dialysis and I’m blessed that you all are doing this for me. I really am.” 

Expand Health Services to Help Survivors Cope with Stress and Trauma

In Harvey affected communities, nearly every health worker is a hurricane survivor, living in a community recovering from floods and damage as well as caring for survivors dealing with trauma and loss. To support and retain health care staff, Americares has committed to educate 4,000 health workers to manage their own stress as well as care for patients whose mental health is affected by the storm. One year after the hurricane, Americares has trained more than 970, physicians, nurses, clinic directors, health aides and other health staff, along with first responders, expanding health care capacity and creating a more resilient health care community in Texas. The training and workshops will continue through 2019.

“The training was very helpful for my staff. We were struggling with a lot of emotions…we had to be strong for the community." - Charlotte Jackson, Executive Director, Just Do It Now

Prepare Health Facilities for Future Storms

To restore health services quickly during emergencies, health clinics must have and actively maintain a disaster plan.  Americares is conducting preparedness workshops throughout Texas to ensure that clinics and social service agencies have customized disaster plans that address continuity of operations, coordination and communication. Preparedness workshops equip local health partners with plans and training to facilitate decision-making in an emergency with the ultimate goal of enhancing the post-disaster health outcomes of disaster survivors, providers, and communities. The workshops will continue through 2019.

“Americares disaster preparedness workshop helped us see what had gone well during Hurricane Harvey and what we could have done better, so more survivors could have accessed health care more quickly.” – Lara Hamilton, director, Christ Clinic, Katy, Texas

Supporting Local Health Centers

Local health centers that serve low-income and uninsured patients asked Americares for medicine, supplies, logistical help and other support as they saw a surge of patients at the same time that their own staff was recovering from the floods. Some clinics opened their doors to all patients, dropping eligibility requirements and even fees to ensure that survivors have access to the health care they need.

In Beaumont, Texas, where flooding in every direction cut off access from outside communities, Lauren Rahe, who runs the Ubi Caritas free clinic in the city, said Americares was the first organization to help. Relief teams delivered essential hygiene products and baby care supplies for patients left homeless—items patients could not afford to purchase with businesses closed and paychecks halted. The clinic’s community health workers went door-to-door delivering relief items from Americares to families living in temporary housing.

“You were the first people to respond to us and get supplies to the people in need,” Rahe told Americares. “Our patients had trouble making ends meet before the storm. Taking away a job for even a month puts them behind.”

 “Americares provides a benefit to the community under regular circumstances, but having that relationship with an organization that is an expert in disaster relief and is able to provide boots on the ground is of tremendous value. I don’t think you can put a dollar amount on that."  

 

Heidi W. Bunyan, the chief operations officer of San Jose Clinic in Houston

Our Hurricane Response Partners in Texas

Our U.S Programs partner with an extensive safety net clinic network in all 50 states and Puerto Rico that allows us to build a rapid response to a disaster and build long term programs in support of health system restoration. In addition, we reach out to and identify new partners during a disaster to meet immediate community needs and establish sustainable relationships for strengthening health services.  All partners listed below receive emergency medicines and supplies.  Partners listed with ** are also receiving program and project support ranging from targeted health initiatives to operational assistance. 

**Amistad Community Health Center

Corpus Christi
Austin Travis County Integral Care Austin 
The Aransas Pass Fire Department Aransas Pass
The Aransas Pass Police Department Aransas Pass
Austub Travis County Integral Care/Integral Care  Austin
**Baptist Hospital of Southeast Texas Beaumont
Casa El Buen Samartino Houston
**Caring Place Community Clinic Mansfield
Catholic Charities Beaumont Beaumont 
Charlton Pollard Elementary School Beaumont
**Christ Clinic Katy 
**Christus Health Foundation of Southeast Texas  Beaumont 
**Christus Spohn Health System Corpus Christi
**Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi Metro Ministries Corpus Christi
**Covenant House Texas Houston
Covenant with Christ Indigent Healthcare Cleveland
Disaster Services Corp. SVDP-USA Irving
Divine Grace Medical Missionaries Houston
Douglass Community Clinic Plano
**Easter Seals of Greater Houston Houston
Feeding America El Pasoans Fighting Hunger (El Paso); Food Bank of Corpus Christ (Corpus Christi);
Food Bank of the Golden Crescent (Victoria);
Southeast Texas Food Bank (Beaumont)
Galveston County Health District  Texas City
Get Up Project Austin
Greater Killeen Free Clinic Killeen 
**Gulf Coast Health Center, Inc. Port Arthur
Harris Health System-Health Care for the Homeless Houston
**Healthcare for the Homeless - Houston Houston 
Heart to Heart International  Round Rock
Help! I'm Hurting Inc. Port Arthur
**Homeland Preparedness Project  Brazoria County
Hope Clinic - Asian American Health Coalition Houston
Hope Clinic  Houston
Houston Health Department Houston
**Ibn Sina Foundation Houston
Interfaith Community Clinic Conroe
Legacy Community Health Services Beaumont 
Lone Star Family Health Center Conroe
Luke Society Austin 
Matagorda Episcopal Health Outreach Center Program Bay City
Mission of Mercy Corpus Christi
New Beginnings Ministries of Rockport Rockport
North Dallas Shared Ministries Dallas
North East Partners in Power (P.I.P) Inc. Houston
North Jefferson County Clinic Pharmacy  Beaumont
Pasadena Health Center, Inc.  Pasadena
Port Aransas Texas EMS Port Aransas
Port Arthur Health Department  Port Arthur 
**Refugio County Memorial Hospital Refugio
**San Jose Clinic Houston  
**Smithville Community Clinic Smithville
**South Texas Family Planning and Health Corporation Rockport or Corpus Christi
Southeast Texas Food Bank Beaumont
**Spindletop Center Beaumont
Spring Branch Community Health Center Houston 
St. Vincent de Paul Sacred Heart Church Houston
St. Vincent De Paul Society Houston Houston
St. Vincent's Student Free Clinic Galveston
**Stephen F. Austin Community Health Center Alvin
Syrian-American Medical Society (SAMS) Houston
Tejas Health Care La Grange
Temple Community Clinic Temple 
**Texana Center  Wharton & Rosenberg
Texas Department of State Health Services Houston- multiple locations
**The Agape Clinic Dallas
The Salvation Army - Texas Division multiple locations (Houston, San Antonio, Fort Worth)
**Tomagwa  Tomball & Houston
**Triangle Area Network Beaumont
**Ubi Caritas Beaumont
United Health Partners Houston
**Vecino Health Centers Houston