More than 1,000 Puerto Ricans will benefit from a shipment with medical supplies that arrived yesterday as part of the efforts of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) and the “Hamilton” run in Puerto Rico.
30,000 pounds of medical supplies, including hospital beds, ambulation devices, general primary medical supplies, exam tables, stretchers and adult diapers were unloaded yesterday from a Boeing 737, donated by Jan Soderberg, of Pearl Aircraft and Swift Air.
Clinton Global Initiative was founded by President Bill Clinton after leaving office in 2001 to address issues related to education, climate change, human rights, poverty and improving opportunities for girls and women.
Kevin Thurm, CEO of the Clinton Foundation, told El Nuevo Día that after Hurricane María, Puerto Rican leaders contacted Clinton to visit the island and see the damage caused by the hurricane. The CGI Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery is helping in recovery efforts on the island.
He stressed that these medical supplies will mainly help "more than 1,000 senior residents in Puerto Rico, who have medical conditions and who remain in hospital unable to go home because they do not have the necessary medical equipment." He explained that the elderly have seen their access to care compromised due to the hurricane and the lack of resources for equipment.
Afya airlifted the items. This New York-based foundation is a medical supply recovery organization (MSRO) that collects surplus medical supplies and delivers these materials to public health missions worldwide, in this case, Puerto Rico.
The Greater New York Hospital Association funded the transportation and airlift of these supplies.
Acción Social, a social service agency, will distribute the equipment to home care providers which has already started yesterday.
According to this is one more than 30 commitments involving medical supplies, energy and other issues focused on the island´s recovery.
The shipment will be distributed to home care providers in Hatillo, Arecibo and Utuado. The donation preceded the arrival of Bill Clinton and his wife, former first lady and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. They will convene the third meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery this Tuesday and Wednesday.
Yesterday, the Clintons kicked off their visit with the last performance of “Hamilton” in Puerto Rico. Their agenda includes a meeting with Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares and visiting several organizations including the Cosechas Tierra Viva farm in Las Piedras; the Foundation for Puerto Rico, in Humacao; and Para la Naturaleza, in Ceiba.
The Clinton Global Action Network will bring together more than 500 leaders from government, business, and civil society, said Thurn.
The event will focus on discussing the current recovery efforts, the progress to date, and ongoing challenges for the recovery of Puerto Rico.
Luis Miranda, father of actor and playwright Lin Manuel Miranda, recalled that the estimate of federal aid needed in Puerto Rico totals more than $ 90 billion.
Miranda, one of the most influential Latino voices in New York and founder of the Hispanic Federation, said that Puerto Rico has not received those funds and that everything helps for recovery. However, he stressed that these efforts do not mean that “we will not fight for the federal aid we need. That´s why we invited 33 lawmakers to see the reality in Puerto Rico.”
He also recalled that with a Democrat-controlled House and the perseverance of Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, Puerto Rico will have "a voice".
He stressed that they will continue to help Puerto Rico despite the fact that “Hamilton” last performance was last night.
"From the beginning, for Lin Manuel and for the family, bringing Hamilton here had to be a catalytic agent for many good things that Puerto Rico needs, so this initiative comes from that vision," he said.
And he added that this is an initiative to bring medical supplies for people who need them to leave hospitals and to have the equipment necessary at home. “On one hand, it is always better to recover at home, and on the other hand, home care is less costly when you have the necessary tools,” he explained.
He also recalled that before bringing “Hamilton” to Puerto Rico, the Hispanic Federation raised $42 million that were distributed among at least 100 community organizations, while the “Hamilton” run left $ 15 million for art institutions in Puerto Rico through the Flamboyán Foundation.