On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall centered east of New Orleans and traveled along the Louisiana-Mississippi state line, carrying 145-mile-per-hour winds. The subsequent breaching of the New Orleans seawalls and devastation caused by the vast storm surge created a disaster of unprecedented proportions in the United States Gulf Coast region. Storm-related injuries and illnesses, loss of medical infrastructure and overwhelming numbers of displaced families drew a massive public and private humanitarian response, in which Project HOPE was proud to play a role.
Our relief efforts in the first year following Hurricane Katrina included
- Soliciting, receiving and shipping donations of antibiotics, pain medicines, bandages, first aid kits and other critical items requested by health officials in the region
- Caring for hurricane survivors aboard the USNS Comfort, docked at Pascagoula, MS, with the help of 75 medical volunteers from around the country
- Supplementing nursing care with the help of 25 volunteer nurses from February to June 2006 at the Coastal Family Health Center in Biloxi, which had suffered both structural damage and personnel losses due to evacuations
- Re-establishing a fully operational primary care center, the Moss Point Clinic, through cash and in-kind donations worth more than $1 million
- Equipping a mobile dental clinic to serve low-income populations impacted by Katrina along the Gulf Coast – the only such mobile clinic serving the area
At the encouragement of Governor Haley Barbour in 2011 Project HOPE signed a memorandum of understanding with the Delta Health Alliance (DHA), a nonprofit primary care practice that serves the 400,000 residents of the Mississippi Delta, many of whom are underinsured or uninsured. Since that time, Project HOPE has obtained products donations in the form of medical equipment and medications to support DHA clinics and initiatives from many of our corporate partners. Also, many of Project HOPE’s corporate partners have begun supporting DHA through their own charitable foundations, benefiting DHA’s health initiatives tremendously.
“Since Project HOPE introduced us to its corporate partners and they began supporting DHA independently, DHA has been able to hire its own registered dietician,” said Jane Calhoun, the Director of DHA’s Leland Medical Clinic. “This never would have been possible without Project HOPE; the addition of a dietician to our staff has made a tremendous difference for our patients.”
In June 2014, Project HOPE renewed its commitment to assist the Delta Health Alliance for an additional three years through 2017. Whenever the Delta Health Alliance has a need for donated medicines or medical equipment, Project HOPE does its best to fill that need. In the last year Project HOPE has shipped donations of items such as diabetes medication, arm slings, medicated ointment and medicine to treat an enlarged prostate to the Leland Medical Clinic, which is run by DHA.
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