In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, our Disaster Response Team is dedicated to supporting our team in Puerto Rico that operates our 28 clinics. We are working quickly and tirelessly to provide for the approximately 6,000 patients in Puerto Rico who need dialysis to survive, as well as the approximately 1,000 Fresenius Medical Care employees based there.
“The damage in Puerto Rico is truly devastating,” said, Ron Rodgers, Executive Vice President, Fresenius Medical Care North America and President, Fresenius Kidney Care. “Our dedicated corporate, regional and local teams are doing everything in their power to ensure continuity of care for our patients and we are flying in resources to meet the needs of our patients and employees.”
We immediately teamed up with Staples, business solutions provider based near Boston, to transport much needed medical supplies as well as water filtration systems, generators, wheelchairs, defibrillators, cots, privacy screens, folding chairs, tables and thousands of ready-to-eat meals and water to our clinics in Puerto Rico. In addition, our staff is cooking warm meals for patients who are coming into clinics hungry. We sent rice, canned tuna, canned chicken and portable stoves on a cargo plane to the island.
We are also caring for patients who evacuated to South Florida. After Hurricane Irma, we had 89 patients who evacuated from St. Thomas to Puerto Rico, and soon after, they evacuated to the Miami area as Hurricane Maria approached. We had just finished construction of a brand new clinic in Perrine, FL, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services helped us open the clinic in a matter of days to accommodate the patients. Michael Christensen, Director of Market Development for Fresenius Medical Care, commented on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services helping to open the Perrine clinic quickly.
“On average, it’ll take about 90 days after we notify them that we’re ready,” said Christensen. “But with the group from St. Thomas on its way to Miami, government regulators worked to get the clinic operational in a matter of days.”
Most of our clinics in Puerto Rico are open and operating on generators, but the situation is ever-changing as our centers rely on power, fuel and water. If you are a dialysis patient affected by Hurricane Maria, please contact our Disaster Response Team at 1-800-626-1297 for scheduling assistance and the latest information on open clinics.