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Stamford, Conn. – May 23, 2014 – AmeriCares is helping a Mississippi health care center leveled by the April 28 tornado remain open, ensuring access to care for the 3,200 low-income patients who rely on its services.
The global health and disaster relief organization is funding a temporary facility for the Winston County Family Medical Center in Louisville that will keep it operating during the rebuilding process. The EF-4 tornado decimated the clinic, a federally qualified health center operated by Greater Meridian Health, Inc., that provides care to low-income residents and the uninsured. The nearby Winston Medical Center was also badly damaged in the storm.
Without help from AmeriCares, Greater Meridian Health Clinic CEO Wilbert Jones said patients would have to drive up to 30 miles to receive care – a hardship for those on fixed incomes and those who lost vehicles in the storm. The clinic plans to reopen at 199 Highway 15, Suite F, in Louisville in July.
“The hospital is not expected to return to full operation for approximately two years,” Jones said. “Without AmeriCares help to acquire the temporary medical facility, patients could not receive nearby medical care.”
The late April storms killed more than 30 people in the South and Midwest, including 10 people in Winston County, which includes Louisville. AmeriCares is focusing on Louisville because of the immense need – 37 percent of its 6,600 residents live below the poverty line according to the latest Census figures – and the extensive damage caused by the storm.
Supporting the clinic is just one aspect of AmeriCares response to the storms. In all, AmeriCares delivered more than $330,000 in medicines and relief supplies to hard-hit communities in Arkansas, Florida and Mississippi. AmeriCares support includes emergency kits for displaced families, bottled water, medicines for patients with chronic diseases and tetanus vaccine to protect first responders clearing rubble.
AmeriCares has delivered medical relief and humanitarian assistance to millions affected by natural and man-made disasters worldwide for more than 30 years. The aid organization has a long history of responding to U.S. disasters including the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Joplin tornado in 2011 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012. After a powerful EF-5 tornado in May 2013, AmeriCares delivered more than 50 aid shipments to the Oklahoma City area to help families recover.
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