What is the mission of your organization?
lives and improves health for people affected by poverty or disaster, so
they can reach their full potential. We reach more than 90 countries,
including the United States, with life-changing health programs, medicine,
and medical supplies. Americares is the world’s leading nonprofit provider
of donated medicine and medical supplies.
What is the role of your organization in a public health
Americares responds to approximately
30 natural disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide each year,
establishes long-term recovery projects, and brings disaster preparedness
programs to vulnerable communities.
A health-focused relief and
development organization, Americares restores access to care for vulnerable
children and adults. Our Emergency Response Team delivers critically needed
medicine and relief supplies, deploys medical teams, and helps repair
damaged health centers. Americares support helps local health centers keep
their doors open to serve existing patients as well as meet the surge in
demand for care during emergencies.
For more information about our
emergency response work, please visit https://www.americares.org/en/what-we-do/emergency-programs/.
How do you plan for emergencies?
maintains readiness by stocking an emergency pharmacy of critical medicine
and supplies, building strong relationships with an extensive network of
hospitals and clinics worldwide, and providing ongoing training to a global
roster of more than 300 response professionals who can deploy at a moment’s
emergency pharmacy includes medicine, medical supplies, and relief
items most frequently needed in the aftermath of disasters. Products
are staged in global distribution hubs for rapid mobilization.
organizations are always the first to respond in emergencies.
Americares has strong relationships with more than 4,000 health
centers worldwide and coordinates closely with the National Voluntary
Organizations Active in Disaster during domestic emergencies, ensuring
quick and effective responses.
maintains a global roster of experienced personnel, including medical
professionals, staff members from different programs, and logistics
experts who participate in ongoing training and capacity-building
activities to maintain readiness.
What is one experience or lesson learned that you have
from an emergency response?
Americares has been responding to
disasters worldwide for 40 years. Our experience has taught us to think
global but act local, applying best practices to the unique disaster
context. We focus on supporting local health care providers, whether
through training, staffing support, emergency shipments of medicine and
supplies, or grant funding to meet immediate needs.
For example, during Hurricane
Michael in 2018, Americares delivered more than $4 million in medicine and
relief items to local partners in storm-impacted communities and provided
grant funding to restore health services for survivors. Americares also
opened a temporary medical clinic in Panama City, Florida, staffed by more
than 30 volunteer doctors and nurses from a neighboring community to
provide free primary care services to more than 800 patients. Working with
local health workers provided valuable insight into the community’s needs
and the challenges survivors faced.
What is one piece of advice that you would give to other EPIC partners?
advice is to invest in your team. Prioritize the time and energy needed to
train and build the capacity of employees and volunteers to respond to
emergencies, so team members have the resources needed to effectively—and
safely—carry out their mission.