An Update from the President and CEO - Harvey Relief
September 2, 2017
Dear friends, supporters, and funders,
Hurricane Harvey has had a devastating impact on Houston and the surrounding region. According to several news outlets, floods have forced at least 35,000 people out of their homes into shelters, and tens of thousands of homes have been destroyed in Houston alone. While many Houstonians are blessed to have the resources needed to rebuild their homes, many others are in situations that will remain extremely precarious in the coming weeks and months.
Low-income workers are now struggling to avoid economic instability, as so many go unpaid for time spent waiting out or recovering from the storm. As these workers often live and work paycheck-to-paycheck, any time —let alone several weeks— without income places their families in even greater need of economic help. The need in our community for the comprehensive healthcare services of San José Clinic is now greater than ever.
We have already begun to expand and accelerate our efforts in assisting the local community. As Houston’s original safety-net clinic, we are prepared to help the local underserved, uninsured community in any way we can. In anticipation of the heightened need for our services, we have already collaborated with Americares, Direct Relief, and other corporate partners to provide vital healthcare services in Harvey’s wake. Our partners at Americares will be working on-site at our Clinic to help us to distribute medical supplies to shelters and disaster areas. We expect the first large shipment to arrive this weekend with distribution beginning on Tuesday, September 5. We are also joining forces with other safety-net clinics, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), and charity care clinics in the Houston area to ensure our community is adequately served in this time of need.
We re-opened the Clinic this week to provide pharmacy services, primary medical care, emergency dental services, and mental health counseling, as well as our full range of diagnostic services. We have also resumed our regular operating hours in order to continue providing high-quality healthcare to low-income, uninsured people in the most vulnerable corners of Houston.
This week, we have waived eligibility requirements in order to accommodate the loss of identification and other important documents due to the storm. We have also waived patient contributions until further notice, as we realize that many of our patients have lost several critical days of income.
Because of these changes to our procedures in respect of our patients' altered circumstances, we now have an even greater need than usual to fill and will be in need of financial support from the community. Thanks to the support of our community, the Clinic has become a strong organization with the agility to respond to this urgent need. With your support, we will be able to strengthen our community and help Houston’s most vulnerable populations while they rebuild after this natural disaster. Your generosity is most appreciated.
Paule Anne Lewis
President and CEO