Callen-Lorde Medical Team Deployed to Puerto Rico

Update 10/27/17: Last night our team returned home from Puerto Rico. During their deployment they treated hundreds of people for injuries from the hurricane, uncontrolled chronic illnesses and infections, all exacerbated by post hurricane conditions and stress. We’re so grateful for their incredible contributions and look forward to continuing to support those teams still on the ground. Help join us in welcoming them back!

Welcome home to our Puerto Rico Team!

Update 10/25/17: The team traveled to the town of Florida and treated 75 people, from 8 months to 83 years old.  They report seeing lots of uncontrolled diabetes, asthma, injuries from the hurricane, skin infections and medication refills for chronic issues, all exacerbated by post hurricane stress with many living in houses without roofs, flooded homes, etc. 

Puerto Rico in Florida, PR

Update 10/24/17: Today our team in PR got to implement their mobile medical program using a church van. They traveled to Utuado on treacherous roads and reached people who had not had access to medical care since the storm.  They treated some acute respiratory illness from dust and mold, GI issues, and were able to refill people’s chronic disease medications.  Below are some pictures they took with full permission from individuals in the photos.

Setting up the Mobile Medical Van

Providing care to patients

Providing care to patients

Update 10/23/17: There is still work to be done on the hospital in Bayamón to get it up and running. In the meantime, we are helping to design a mobile medical outreach program in conjunction with other entities in PR which is schedule to begin on Tuesday. The team is also meeting with local colleagues who work in HIV and LBGTQ health. 

Mayor of Puerto Rico Carmen Yulin Cruz representing with team Callen-Lorde!

Team Callen-Lorde with PR Senior Advisor and Activist Pedro Julio Serrano

Team planning mobile medical services with Americares

Update 10/20/17:  Today the team helped get the hospital in Bayamón back in order.  The hospital had been closed since the hurricane, and they helped set up the ER and an urgent care area.  Unfortunately, when they returned to the hospital this morning, the HVAC was still not up and running, and so the hospital is not back in service yet.  This is a heartbreaking situation.  We will continue to provide updates as we receive them.

Update 10/19/17:  Today the team is headed to Bayamón from San Juan where they will help with the cleanup and (re-)organization of a hospital, after which, they will begin to provide care.

Update 10/18/17:  The team is being sent back to San Juan today for redeployment, possibly to either Manatí , where other teams from New York have been working with intense patient volume, or to Bayamón, where another medical shelter is newly coming on line because of the need in that community.  While the team is committed to going where they are most urgently needed, they are grieving about having to say goodbye to the patients they’ve been caring for in shelter in Ponce.


Team members from Callen-Lorde pose with Melanie from US Public Health Service


Update 10/17/17:  Callen-Lorde Team Leader Dana Delgardo, NP, reports that the team is working 12-hour shifts in the medical shelter caring for some very sick patients, some who are in the shelter with family members.  In addition to caring for the patients within shelter, Senior Director of Research and Education Asa Radix, MD, set up an urgent care tent outside of the stadium (see pictures below) and Juancy Rodriguez, NP, provided care at a high school that is being used as a temporary shelter (see pictures at the bottom). 

Callen-Lorde Team Members Among US Public Health Service crew

Asa Radix, MD, in the Urgent Care Tent outside the Medical Shelter

Juancy Rodriguez, NP, providing care at the high school

Update 10/15/17: The team is now receiving patients at the medical shelter they helped set up in the stadium in Ponce, a large city on the Southern Coast.

The medical shelter in Ponce, Puerto Rico

The medical shelter in Ponce, Puerto Rico


Update 10/14/17: The Callen-Lorde team is en route to Ponce with food and water.

Heading off to Ponce with food and water.

The team kept their spirits up “Callen-Lorde style” by creating a pageant photo while waiting for their departure instructions

Update 10/13/17: Team Callen-Lorde has landed in Puerto Rico and is preparing for deployment location.

Dana Delgardo, NP, talks with with Puerto Rico Secretary of Health, Rafael Rodriguez Mercado

10/11/17: We are honored to be able to participate in a New York State emergency assistance effort to Puerto Rico.  On October 12th a 7-person medical emergency response team from Callen-Lorde will join similar teams from 6 hospitals across the state to provide emergency medical care to those suffering after Hurricane Maria decimated the island.  We are so proud of our staff who have volunteered to go. Callen-Lorde is the only community health center that will be sending a team during this deployment.

Callen-Lorde team prepares for deployment during a statewide conference call on 10/10/2017

While some of our doctors, nurse practitioners and nurses will be assisting with the public health crisis in Puerto Rico, the rest of our staff is stepping up to maintain patient access to care. If you have a scheduled appointment with one of our providers who is on the Puerto Rico emergency team, we will be making every effort to otherwise accommodate your appointment with another provider.

Our participation in this critically needed effort is part of New York State’s response to growing medical needs in Puerto Rico coordinated by the Greater New York Hospital Association, Healthcare Association of New York State, the New York State Nurses Association and 1199SEIU. These organizations will work together to provide medical assistance to Puerto Rico.

Callen-Lorde is sending clinical and personal supplies with the team, including sleeping bags, mosquito nets, flashlights, personal care items, drinking water and food.  To help support the Callen-Lorde team’s deployment to Puerto Rico, please consider making a donation:

You can also support the people of Puerto Rico by donating to one of the funds below:

The Hurricane Maria Community Recovery Fund at The Center for Popular Democracy

The Unidos Fund at Hispanic Federation