Governor Cuomo Announces Deployment Of Critical Medical Supplies And Readies Personnel For Deployment To Puerto Rico

Plane of Medical Supplies Donated by New York Health Care Organizations, Unions, and Businesses Departing New York Today.

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Albany, NY - October 3, 2017 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the deployment of emergency medical supplies to help ensure that Puerto Rican residents have access to critical medical care. In addition, at the request of Governor Ricardo Rosselló, Governor Cuomo is readying teams of more than 100 medical personnel who are prepared to deploy to Puerto Rico. These efforts build upon the Governor's Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort for Puerto Rico, an initiative which has brought together civic, business, and industry partners to help the people of Puerto Rico recover and rebuild.
In addition, Governor Cuomo announced a partnership with UNICEF USA and UPS to deliver critically needed supplies to Puerto Rican communities. Today, UPS will deliver more than 100,000 bottles of water donated by New Yorkers from across the state. UNICEF USA will also be delivering emergency supply kits that will provide approximately 60,000 people with basic hygiene supplies, including water purification tablets, water buckets, soap, toothpaste, detergent, sanitary pads and more.
"New York has witnessed firsthand the devastation that Mother Nature is capable of leaving behind and in the wake of Hurricane Maria, we continue to offer assistance and supplies to our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico," Governor Cuomo said. "With this partnership, we ensure that our brothers and sisters on the island of Puerto Rico have access to adequate medical care as they work to recover and rebuild."
Today's shipment of medical supplies will be sent to specific hospitals and community health organizations in Puerto Rico, including the Administración de Servicios Médicos de Puerto Rico, the largest provider on the island; the University Pediatric Hospital in San Juan at Centro Medico; the transplant center Hospital Auxilio Mutuo; and community health care providers from the Island of Culebra. Today's shipment includes thousands of vaccines and antibiotics, basic first aid supplies, emergency medical and surgical supplies such as oxygen masks, suturing equipment, alcohol pads, syringes, bandages, nebulizers, IV catheters and surgical blades. This mission was made possible by the generous efforts of the UJA-Federation of New York, Afya Foundation, Greater New York Hospital Association, SEIU 1199, New York State Nurses Association, and Golden Tree Asset Management.
Last Friday, GNYHA and Afya Foundation, a Yonkers-based non-profit, sent an initial round of supplies to Hospital Susana Centeno on the island of Vieques, and the University Pediatric Hospital in San Juan that included syringes, more than 5,000 doses of vaccines, medication for conditions like tetanus, infections, diabetes and pain relief, basic first aid, over-the-counter medication and suture kits. The state will dispatch additional missions in the coming weeks, totaling approximately $500,000 in critical supplies.
Additionally, Governor Cuomo, in partnership with the Greater New York Hospital Association, the Healthcare Association of New York State, and Community Health Care Association of New York State, has reached an agreement to prepare for the deployment of over 100 New York medical professionals to Puerto Rico at the request of Governor Ricardo Rosselló.
Health response teams will include physicians, physician assistants, nurses and nurse practitioners and will provide general medical assistance at medical shelters and hospitals. Health liaison teams will work at hospitals and emergency operation centers to help coordinate the treatment needs and supplies for all care facilities. If deployed, all volunteers will be processed through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, a mutual aid agreement between states and territories to share resources during natural and man-made disasters, and New York State will extend workers compensation benefits for those who volunteer.
The offer comes as Governor Rosselló's team continues to assess their medical needs. 
Health Department Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, "Our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico who are suffering under indescribable circumstances and without access to the most basic of needs, are experiencing a burgeoning public health crisis. At Governor Cuomo's direction, New York State is rushing vital medical supplies that people on the ground need now to survive. New York is proud to partner with our health care organizations and business community and stands ready to offer our assistance in any way that we can." 
Greater New York Hospital Association president Kenneth E. Raske said, "The unfolding tragedy in Puerto Rico and other islands weighs heavily on all New Yorkers, and the health care community is committed to doing everything it can to assist affected friends and families. GNYHA is doing its part on several fronts, including providing desperately needed medical supplies and working with our member hospitals and systems to develop health care teams that will stand ready to be deployed and provide hands-on care. The entire hospital community is extremely grateful to Governor Cuomo and our colleagues at 1199SEIU and NYSNA for their decisive response to this humanitarian crisis. We're equally grateful to the Afya Foundation and UJA-Federation of New York for being such extraordinary partners in making these relief missions a reality."
Mark Medin, executive vice president, UJA-Federation of New York said, "We thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership and efforts from day one in helping to alleviate some of the suffering in Puerto Rico. We are also grateful to GNYHA and Afya for helping us deliver critical healthcare supplies to those in need, reflecting UJA-Federation's commitment to implementing Jewish values of helping by bringing resources and community together. We are proud to be working with the local Puerto Rican Jewish community to distribute these supplies on our behalf to those in most need in Puerto Rico."
Bea Grause, President of the Healthcare Association of New York State said, "New York's hospitals know firsthand the challenges of a major hurricane and are anxious to assist hospitals in Puerto Rico with their staffing needs. The doctors, nurses, and many other staff at hospitals who give tirelessly every day to save lives in New York are pleased to be able to do the same for their fellow citizens in Puerto Rico. HANYS is honored to help coordinate these relief efforts."
Rose Duhan, President and CEO of the Community Health Care Association of New York State said, "CHCANYS and New York's community health centers stand ready to provide assistance to the residents of Puerto Rico. New York community health centers' staff and patients are closely tied to Puerto Rico and our hearts go out to those who are suffering. CHCANYS is proud to participate in the relief efforts led by the Governor, side by side with members of New York's health care community."
Afya Foundation executive director Danielle Butin said, "We could not be prouder to partner with Governor Cuomo, Greater New York Hospital Association, and the UJA-Federation of New York to bring vital medical supplies to Puerto Rico's health care community in their time of need. We will continue to coordinate these missions for as long as they are needed."
Jill Furillo, NYSNA Executive Director, said, "Our hearts continue to break over the devastation in Puerto Rico. But throughout this tragedy, it has also been amazing to see New Yorkers, including our nurses, come together and step up to support our brothers and sisters in need. From donating goods, to contributing their time to package supplies, to even volunteering to go to Puerto Rico, New York's nurses have shown the same dedication and compassion during this crisis that they show in their jobs every day."
Maria Castaneda, Secretary-Treasurer, 1199 SEIU said, "The crisis afflicting our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico is heart-wrenching. It is our responsibility to care for one another in times of adversity - and it is this core belief that binds us together and that we share as 1199 members. We join in solidarity with Governor Cuomo and all New Yorkers who have prioritized relief and recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, and have made it their duty to be of service. On behalf of 1199, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Puerto Rico, and we will do whatever is possible to help the island heal and come back stronger than before."
Caryl M. Stern, President and CEO at UNICEF USA said, "The devastation in Puerto Rico demands that we all play a role in responding, and UNICEF USA remains committed to its mission to put Children First - here and around the world. UNICEF USA is proud to join forces with our longstanding partner UPS and the Governor's team to deliver lifesaving supplies for the children and families in Puerto Rico who need it most."
Eduardo Martinez, president of The UPS Foundation and chief diversity and inclusion officer at UPS said, "With critical infrastructure damage in Puerto Rico and a complex recovery process, public-private partnerships like this create a critical foundation for getting aid and goods distributed as quickly as possible. We commend Governor Cuomo and UNICEF USA for their vision and fast action, and UPS is proud to deploy our air and ground resources to assist in the effort."
Puerto Rico Relief & Rebuilding Fund
Governor Cuomo has engaged the Partnership for New York City, the city's leading business organization, to establish the Puerto Rico Relief & Rebuilding Fund at New York Community Trust, a public foundation, that will make grants to local charitable organizations in Puerto Rico that are helping with recovery and rebuilding from the devastation of Hurricane Maria, focusing on the most needy households and communities. Funds and in-kind contributions are being solicited from the business community, with a minimum donation of $10,000.
To date, New York has deployed 107 National Guard Military Police, 60 National Guard soldiers, four Black Hawk helicopters, more than 70 Port Authority personnel, more than 50 State Troopers, 20 New York Power Authority experts and two Department of Environmental Conservation drone pilots. Additionally, New York has sent more than 25,000 bottles of water, 4,000 canned goods, 17,000 packages of baby wipes, 4,000 packages of diapers and 10 generators to the island to date.
For more information about the recovery and relief efforts underway in Puerto Rico, and to learn how you can assist, please visit the Governor's Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort for Puerto Rico webpage.