A New Screening Van, A New Beginning
HHC’s mission to increase access to health care to those most in need has extended beyond the five boroughs and will now help thousands affected by Hurricane Katrina get much needed health screenings and immunizations.
On April 18 of this year, the people of Memorial Hospital in Gulfport, Mississippi gratefully unveiled a new mobile immunization van that was made possible in part by the generous personal contributions of HHC staff.
When Hurricane Katrina ripped through the U.S. Gulf region in late August 2005, HHC employees jumped into action and raised $173,000 to aid their public hospital colleagues in the south. Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, Inc. learned of the generous outpouring by HHC staff and was inspired to match every dollar given with an additional two dollar contribution. The final amount reached $500,000, which was distributed to the two local public hospitals, Gulfport Memorial in Mississippi and Louisiana State University Health Care Services in New Orleans.
"HHC is proud to be part of the efforts of Gulfport Memorial Hospital to go the distance for a healthier community. From the days of the deluge to the slow rebuilding and restoration of faith, our friends and colleagues here at Memorial have inspired us with their heroism, determination and resilience," said Aviles.
Gulfport Memorial determined that the best use of the $250,000 they received would be to finance a new mobile health van to serve some of the worst-hit residents of the region, many of who had lost everything, were in dire need of health services, and could not reach public hospitals. The van replaces a mobile medical unit which is being retired after 13 years of local community service. The new unit will provide childhood immunizations, adult screenings and general health information.
"Memorial Hospital is grateful to our friends at HHC and Pfizer for this new immunization van," said Gary Marchand, Memorial President and CEO. "It will bring much needed preventive services to all parts of our community."