After the immediate disaster response to Hurricane Maria in 2017, Heart to Heart International found ways to support local organizations that were providing care for their own communities. We partnered with Ponce Medical School Foundation and supported their emergency medical services program, Clinica del Sur, with donated medicine and medical supplies.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Clinica del Sur partnered with the Public Health Department at Ponce Health Sciences University through a project called Epi-Net. Heart to Heart International joined this partnership by providing a grant for the program to continue. The program’s goal is to increase acceptability and uptake of COVID-19 testing and prevention practices in socially vulnerable communities in Puerto Rico and provide vaccination in those areas.
The Epi-Net team reach out to communities to provide COVID-19 training and testing. After that initial session, the team comes back with the mobile medical vehicle to offer vaccinations.
In August, the team reported that they had vaccinated 78 patients in three outreach visits to socially vulnerable communities in the south of the country.
“We are very happy with your [HHI’s] support and thrilled to have the opportunity to reach out to disadvantage communities in the South,” said Laura T Domenech, MD, Senior Medical Officer at Ponce Medical School Foundation, Inc.