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Stamford, Conn. — Nov. 18, 2020 — Americares has awarded $250,000 to nonprofit organizations responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Twenty-five free and charitable clinics were each awarded $10,000 grants.
The funds will be used to purchase critically needed personal protective equipment, increase COVID-19 testing and screening capabilities, implement telehealth services, hire additional medical staff and offset the cost of other pandemic-related expenses. Health care providers in 16 states were awarded funding including, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.
Americares, a health-focused relief and development organization, sought funding proposals from its network of 1,000 partner clinics and organizations in the U.S. expanding access to health services in communities hard hit by the pandemic. Many of the projects will benefit patients disproportionally impacted by the virus, including Black and Hispanic patients, and patients experiencing homelessness.
“Clinics across the country are struggling at a time when patients need them more than ever,” said Americares Vice President of U.S. Programs Edith Lee. “Many are seeing an influx of new patients while facing increased staffing costs to fill jobs previously done by volunteers and increased costs for PPE. These grants will help ensure that health centers serving low-income, uninsured patients have the resources they need to fight COVID-19 and keep their communities healthy.”
With the rising numbers of families in poverty nationwide, the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics reports 74 percent of clinics have seen an increase in new, unemployed patients inquiring about care since the start of the pandemic. At the same time, nearly two-thirds of clinics canceled planned fundraisers that provide critical operating funds, according to a recent survey of the association’s 1,400 member clinics nationwide.
The grants are part of Americares global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has reached 26 countries with critically needed protective gear, training and emotional support for frontline health workers. Worldwide, Americares has delivered 300 tons of infection-control supplies including masks, gowns and disinfectants to combat the spread of the virus. In addition, Americares is training thousands of health workers in infection prevention and control, disaster preparedness and mental health and psychosocial support.
In the U.S., Americares is the largest nonprofit provider of medical aid to organizations serving low-income and uninsured patients. Americares provides medicine, supplies, education and training to a network of more than 1,000 partner clinics nationwide. Americares U.S. Program helps partner clinics increase capacity, provide comprehensive care, improve health outcomes and reduce costs for patients. Americares responds to approximately 30 natural disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide each year, establishes long-term recovery projects and brings disaster preparedness programs to vulnerable communities. Since its founding more than 40 years ago, Americares has provided more than $18 billion in aid to 164 countries, including the United States.