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30,000 Pounds of Requested Medical Supplies Airlifted to Puerto Rico

Climate Change & Disaster Recovery | 8 Minute Read

For Immediate Release: January 27, 2019

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30,000 Pounds of Requested Medical Supplies Airlifted to Puerto Rico

Airlift today by Afya Foundation, Clinton Foundation, Swift Air, and GNYHA kicks off visit by President Clinton and Secretary Clinton for Clinton Global Initiative Action Network meeting in San Juan

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO – Today, 30,000 pounds of requested medical supplies were unloaded from a 737 at the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan, and distributed to home care providers and a Federally Qualified Health Center in Hatillo, Puerto Rico. This airlift kicks off a visit this week by President Bill Clinton and Secretary Hillary Clinton to Puerto Rico, where they will host the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Action Network meeting with more than 500 leaders from business, government, and philanthropy to make commitments to support recovery on Puerto Rico and across the Caribbean region.

The 30,000 pounds of requested supplies includes hospital beds, ambulation devices, general primary medical supplies, exam tables, stretchers and more. Accion Social will distribute the equipment to home care providers that service for over 1,000 older adults throughout the 76 municipalities, and to Federally Qualified Health Centers in Hatillo, Arecibo and Utuado that care for over 16,000 patients per year.

Today’s airlift was organized by the Afya Foundation, which has made previous commitments through the CGI Action Network. The transportation and airlift of supplies is funded by the Greater New York Hospital Association and Jan Soderberg of Pearl Aircraft; Swift Air, which donated the cargo space on the 737 jet; StratAir, which is assisting with the cargo buildup, breakdown, and ground handling; and coordination and support by the Clinton Foundation. In addition, Jan Soderberg has separately transported over 1,000 pounds of medical equipment through a separate flight on Saturday. Accion Social, a large social service agency, will distribute the equipment to home care providers and the Federally Qualified Health Center in Hatillo, Puerto Rico.

For photos from today’s airlift, please visit: (Photo credit: Megan Maher, Clinton Foundation. Please email [email protected] for identification of any individuals in these photos.)

“We are grateful for our many partnerships that come together quickly and thoughtfully to make the delivery of vitally needed supplies a reality”, said Danielle Butin, Afya’s Founder and CEO. “The items packed and shipped will create a significant shift in the ability of families and communities to care for loved ones at home”

“The Clinton Foundation’s work in Puerto Rico and across the region is based in the idea that everyone has a responsibility to do what they can to help people,” said Kevin Thurm, CEO of the Clinton Foundation. “Our CGI Action Network builds on an approach that we know is effective – bringing leaders together from government, business, and civil society to make new, specific, and measurable commitments to help those in need. Today’s airlift is a terrific example of how different groups can come together to make a difference, and I’m looking forward to seeing dozens of new commitments like this come together this week.”

“New York’s hospital community is honored to partner with Afya on this important humanitarian mission, which will vastly improve health care delivery in Hatillo, which continues to struggle from the impact of Hurricane Maria” said GNYHA Executive Vice President Lee Perlman. “Afya is an extraordinary organization that literally saves lives throughout the world, and GNYHA is proud to be a longtime partner.”

“Puerto Rico is the primary destination with our cargo aircraft and plays a critical role within our cargo network,” said Jeff Conry, CEO of Swift Air. “Swift Air is honored to work with Afya, the Clinton Foundation, Pearl Aircraft Corporation and all the other organizations and volunteers that have come together to assist the people of Puerto Rico and this worthy cause.”

“My company, Pearl Aircraft Corporation, is headquartered in Puerto Rico. I have a vested interest in the country and the well-being of the Puerto Rican people,” said Jan Soderberg, Chairman of Pearl Aircraft. “I feel it is my civic duty to give back to my fellow U.S. citizens, that is why I have provided my own private aircraft to ship the medical supplies that the Afya Foundation has so generously donated. I want to thank Jeff Conry and Swift Air for donating a cargo plane and pilots to fly these medical supplies from Miami to Puerto Rico, and the Afya Foundation for making this experience so positive and seamless.”

This shipment is one of many made possible by Afya’s long-term partnership with GNYHA.  Since Hurricane Maria, the two have partnered to send more than $6 million in medical and other supplies to health and social service providers throughout the island. This shipment is a follow-up to a November 2018 visit to Hatillo and is part of an ongoing campaign of support. In addition to its response to medical needs in Puerto Rico, Afya has shipped over 9 million pounds of supplies, valued at $36 million to 83 nations and territories.

This Tuesday and Wednesday, President Clinton and Secretary Clinton will convene the third meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery, bringing together leaders from government, business, and civil society to make commitments to help communities impacted by the 2017 hurricane season. At the meeting, participants will discuss the current recovery efforts in the region, progress to date, ongoing challenges, and progress on commitments that address critical issues such as food security, access to healthcare, small business support, sustainable tourism, and renewable energy. Over 30 new Commitments will also be announced, focused on continuing recovery and building resilience in the region.

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About the Clinton Foundation

Building on a lifetime of public service, President Clinton established the Clinton Foundation on the simple belief that everyone deserves a chance to succeed, everyone has a responsibility to act, and we all do better when we work together. For nearly two decades, those values have energized the work of the Foundation in overcoming complex challenges and improving the lives of people across the United States and around the world.

As an operating foundation, we work on issues directly or with strategic partners from the business, government, and nonprofit sectors to create economic opportunity, improve public health, and inspire civic engagement and service. Our programs are designed to make a real difference today while serving as proven models for tomorrow. The goal of every effort is to use available resources to get better results faster – at the lowest possible cost.

We firmly believe that when diverse groups of people bring resources together in the spirit of true cooperation, transformative ideas will emerge to drive life-changing action.

About the Afya Foundation

Afya is a unique medical supply recovery organization (MSRO) that collects surplus medical supplies throughout the United States and delivers these critical materials to public health missions worldwide. A regional network of medical suppliers and volunteers enables Afya to meet immediate humanitarian needs in countries devastated by natural disasters, international conflicts and supports our long-term programs to address chronic health disparities in developing nations. By reducing the amount of unused medical supplies generated in the US, Afya promotes efficient and environmentally aware healthcare practices at home while sustaining life abroad.  Since its founding in 2008, Afya has recovered and shipped over 9 million pounds of donated supplies to 83 countries and territories. The organization has been recognized by United Hospital Fund, Clinton Global Initiaves, Eli Lilly, GreatNonprofits and the United Nations. For more information on the Afya Foundation, go to