Stamford, Conn. – March 23, 2023 – Americares has awarded $300,000 to Samaritan Health and Wellness in Cape Coral, Fla., to support the charitable clinic in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. The funds will be used to help offset salary costs of health care providers at the clinic to ensure that low-income, uninsured and underinsured patients in southwest Florida continue to have access to health services.
On Sept. 28, 2022, Hurricane Ian made landfall as a Category 4 just south of Tampa, Fla., hitting the southwest coast of the island of Cayo Costa near Fort Myers and Cape Coral. It was deemed the worst Atlantic hurricane on record since 1935, leaving destruction in its wake. Ahead of the storm, Americares reached out to nearly 150 local partners in Florida supported by Americares on an ongoing basis with offers of medicine, medical supplies and hygiene products.
Shortly after the hurricane hit, Americares had emergency response teams at work on the ground in Florida, conducting outreach and offering support to partner organizations in affected areas. Americares response has focused on supporting 15 health clinics and nonprofit organizations who have the least resources to recover from the major hurricane—providing support to help them repair storm damage, fuel generators, replace damaged medical equipment and defray the cost of staffing to meet increased demand for services.
“Thousands of families in Cape Coral still rely on health care services provided by Samaritan Health and Wellness—which had to relocate to a temporary facility due to damage from Hurricane Ian,” said Americares Director of U.S. Emergency Response Mariel Fonteyn. “This funding will ensure they have providers available to continue to offer services to survivors.”
“Following Hurricane Ian, we knew we needed to find a way to address the increased need for health care services for survivors,” said Samaritan Health and Wellness Executive Director Sue Hook. “This funding from Americares will help our clinic with the urgent need of staffing support to meet that heightened need.”
Americares has a long history of responding to emergencies in Florida and the Gulf Coast. The organization has been on the frontlines of recovery efforts following major hurricanes in the region in recent years, including Hurricanes Irma, Dorian and Michael. After Hurricane Michael, a Category 5 storm that devastated the Florida Panhandle in 2018, Americares delivered 61 shipments of medicines, medical supplies, hygiene products and other relief items and operated a temporary medical clinic in Panama City, Fla., that provided primary care services for more than 800 survivors.
Americares responds to more than 30 natural disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide each year, establishes long-term recovery projects and brings preparedness programs to communities vulnerable to disasters. Americares relief workers are among the first to respond to emergencies, helping to restore health services for survivors. After disasters, we often stay for months—or years—helping communities recover.
Read more about our recovery work after Hurricane Ian.
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