Hurricane Harvey has had a devastating effect on the greater Houston area and the entire southeast Texas region. More than a million Texans lost their homes, transportation, and more in the record flooding. The patients of San José Clinic, many of whom are low-wage, hourly workers, are among those most affected and in need of immediate help.
Since the Clinic facility did not sustain any damage during Hurricane Harvey, we were the first charity clinic in the greater Houston area to respond to the disaster.
To reduce the community’s financial and logistical stresses during this difficult time, we removed all restrictions and costs for care for the weeks directly after Hurricane Harvey. Dozens of Harvey-impacted patients have been seen at the Clinic since our expanded re-opening on August 30th. We have distributed medical supplies to shelters and other disaster sites, and joined forces with other safety-net clinics, Federally Qualified Health Centers, and charity care clinics in the Houston area to ensure that our community is adequately served in this time of need.
By leveraging our established partnerships with Americares, Project HOPE, and others, we also expanded our reach and created a temporary satellite location including a mobile eye clinic in Rosenberg, TX to serve the hard-hit residents of Fort Bend County. On September 25th, a second satellite location was established in Angleton, TX to bring care to the underserved recoverees of Brazoria County. More than 1,000 visits were delivered in these rural, hard-hit areas.
In Harvey’s wake, San José Clinic has delivered nearly 3,000 patient visits and filled more than 2,000 prescriptions, with more patients coming in every day.
Recognizing the significant trauma resulting from Harvey, we have increased our focus on mental health services including additional training and support for our staff. We have also provided vital medication refills, eye exams and glasses, tetanus shots, and emergency dental care, as well as primary and specialty medical care.
These services are a God-send for families like the Estradas.
During Hurricane Harvey, Stephanie, José, and their 4-year-old daughter Genesis fled the storm with only a week’s worth of clothes before their apartment filled with floodwater. Stephanie shared, “It was just such a horrible experience to lose everything like that after being trapped for three days.” The Estradas found a local shelter to stay in after they were rescued, but then did not know where to turn when José began experiencing severe gum pain. After calling dozens of local dentists, they were referred to San José Clinic, where he was examined right away and given antibiotics for an infection along with diabetes medication. “She still asks us, ‘Why can’t we go home?’” Stephanie said. “She doesn’t understand we don’t have a home.”
The Clinic will remain available for the area’s recovering vulnerable individuals and families like the Estradas as long as we are able. However, one quarter of the Clinic’s annual budget comes from patient contributions, which have been waived in the wake of this disaster. Hurricane Harvey is just one of the many storms San José Clinic has weathered since 1922. While we were able to respond with agility and speed before the hurricane thanks to partnerships new and old, your support and generosity is needed more than ever before.
We will continue to stand strong for our community with your investment in our future and the health of our patients.
- Disaster Relief - Stories of Response Efforts - NAFC – The National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics, August 30, 2017
- Mass General Staffers Are Helping Hurricane Victims - Boston Magazine – Boston Wellness Blog, September 6, 2017
- Medical teams provide free clinic for Riveredge residents - Community Impact Newspaper, September 8, 2017
- Hurricane Harvey and pharmacy’s call to action- American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy – September 9, 2017, Will also be published in November 2017 print issue of AJHP
- San José Clinic steps up to help the community - Texas Catholic Herald, September 12, 2017
- Midtown’s San José Clinic offering affordable medical care for uninsured Harvey victims - Houston Chronicle, September 13, 2017, Featured in Kaiser Health News Morning Briefing, September 14, 2017
- Hurricane Harvey: Stories from the Flood - Americares, September 14, 2017
- Rosenberg and other overlooked communities digging out from Harvey too - Houston Chronicle, September 14, 2017
- MGH Team In Texas To Treat Patients Hit By Harvey And By Chronic Health Problems - WGBH News and Houston Public Media, September 18, 2017
- Response Team Expands Efforts with Local Partners, Helping Survivors of Hurricane Harvey’s Catastrophic Impact - Americares, September 18, 2017
- Hope shared on an international scale, care in their own backyard - TMC News Online, September 22, 2017
- San José Clinic brings the country together for post-Harvey revitalization - Texas Catholic Herald, September 26, 2017