September 19, 2017
Voices From The Field: Françoise in Les Cayes, Haiti
In 2012, Hurricane Sandy struck the north eastern United States. It was one of the largest Atlantic hurricanes on record, killing 233 people in its wake and costing billions of dollars worth of damage to infrastructure. Doctors of the World USA, based in New York City, quickly mobilized after the storm to assess the disruption to healthcare services in the city. In the Rockaways, Queens we found hundreds of individuals unable to obtain medical supplies and unable to access much-needed prescription medications to treat serious chronic illnesses. The Rockaways, an isolated area of New York City with high rates of poverty and chronic disease,
had long been plagued by inadequate health services, but the situation became significantly worse after Hurricane Sandy. We soon began conducting emergency home visits in the months following the hurricane. But in order to address the long term medical needs of the Rockaway community, we knew we had to take further action. Therefore we opened a free healthcare clinic in October 2013 to offer primary care to those in need – regardless of their insurance or immigration status. We served 250 patients, connecting them to our volunteer doctors, and received over 700 visits.
In July 2017, we launched Mi Salud, an Interactive Voice Response/IVR and SMS/text service that connects people to life-saving, life-changing free or low cost medical care in their own neighborhoods in New York City.
The Affordable Care Act has increased access to health insurance for many, but a significant number of adults in the US – around 32 million – remain uninsured, and the ACA’s possible repeal will dramatically worsen the situation. Owing to various factors, such as immigration status, the lack of insurance is disproportionately high in Hispanic and Latino communities – which make up 19% of the US population and 30% of the uninsured.
We’ve launched Mi Salud with Spanish and English language options to bridge this healthcare gap by connecting Hispanic and Latino patients in need of care with the NYC clinics providing it. Simply call 646.759.9777, follow the prompts, and you’ll have the option to hear a listing of clinics near you or to have the list sent to you via a text to your cell phone.