To provide relief to storm-battered medical facilities in Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay, N.Y., the Afya Foundation and Global Links have partnered to launch the Sandy Doctors Recovery Project
The project’s goal is to replace damaged medical equipment, supplies and furniture in 30 clinics in the Southern Brooklyn communities. The effort is being conducted in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Project Chernobyl, Aidmatrix, American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN), American Forum of Russian Jewry and support from New York City and state public officials.
The effort started when FEMA’s Eric Phillipson and Igor Branovan of Project Chernobyl identified a sudden decrease in availability of medical services to an ethnic community in Southern Brooklyn due to devastating flooding of physicians’ offices after Hurricane Sandy. They created a coalition of donor organizations to help resolve the problem.
Having gained momentum over the last month, the Sandy Doctors Recovery Project aims to restore these physicians’ services by providing much needed materials including examination tables, blood pressure units and physical therapy equipment to the medical practitioners who experienced extensive water damage and were forced to close their practices temporarily.
Southern Brooklyn hosts a large community of immigrants from the former Soviet Union who rely almost exclusively on the Russian-speaking physicians practicing in the area. “Since the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy, this 200,000-strong population, of which many are elderly and disabled, has struggled with reduced access to medical providers,” the groups said.
Both the Afya Foundation and Global Links specialize in medical surplus recovery, matching needs of those in resource-poor countries or disaster recovery areas with surplus medical equipment, supplies and furnishings from U.S. healthcare facilities. To date, both not-for-profits have provided more than $200 million worth of humanitarian aid to over 35 countries.
The Aidmatrix Foundation delivers the technology and programs used by FEMA and ALAN to coordinate in-kind donations through the National Donations Management Network program and its SCM4Giving platform. ALAN, with its network touching thousands of organizations, helps to communicate and meet the needs of relief organizations during times of disaster.