• Bassett Clinicians to Assist with Medical Relief Efforts in Puerto Rico

    September 10, 2018

    Nearly a year after Hurricane Maria plowed through Puerto Rico, public health conditions are still poor and access to much-needed medical assistance and basic health care is limited.

    Maria was a Category 4 hurricane when it reached Puerto Rico last September. The damage Maria caused was catastrophic. On the island of Vieques, the hospital was destroyed along with the island’s health and water infrastructure. Chronically ill patients are still struggling a year later to get the care they need. Waterborne and infectious diseases continue to rise, and the mental health crisis Puerto Rico faced before Maria has worsened.

    A team from Bassett Medical Center will leave Sept. 22, 2018, and travel to Vieques to help staff a medical clinic for a week. Dr. Celeste Johns, chief of Psychiatry; Dr. Chris Kjolhede, pediatrician, and registered nurses, Rachel Gaston and Anna Buell will join eight other volunteers travelling from New York State. The group will provide pediatric and general medical care and post-traumatic stress disorder counseling.

    Ahead of the group’s departure, Bassett Medical Center sent a shipment of medical supplies, including stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs and glucose monitors, in support of the medical relief efforts.

    The Bassett team’s travel to Puerto Rico was organized through the United Methodist Church Volunteers in Mission.