WATCH receives relief
By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on January 11, 2017 10:03 AM
WATCH is among clinics in five eastern counties receiving part of a $135,000 grant aiding in Hurricane Matthew recovery.
The North Carolina Association of Free an Charitable Clinics was awarded the financial assistance to provide disaster relief to free and charitable healthcare clinics affected by the October hurricane. The grant came from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in Winston-Salem.
In addition to widespread property damage and loss of life from the storm and subsequent flooding, clinics near the coast were affected by loss of electrical power for an extended period. The situation meant loss of vaccines, insulin, diagnostic materials and other items requiring refrigeration.
The program that provides health care to the uninsured of Wayne County has its base of operations in a building on the hospital campus.
"We lost some things because of Hurricane Matthew," said Sissy Lee-Elmore, executive director of WATCH. "We lost electricity and even though the hospital has a generator system, (our) building is not connected to the generator."
The campus clinic was shut down for four days, Mrs. Lee-Elmore sai.
She also got busy writing a grant to acquire a generator system for WATCH.
It paid off, as she was notified recently that her request, in the amount of $45,338.34, was completely funded.
In addition to the 100 kilowatt generator system for full clinic operation, plus installation, estimated at $43,500, the grant will cover a few other things, she said.
"We lost flu vaccines, some controls, refrigerated things," she said.
Itemized, the grant provides $1,145 to replace lost flu vaccines as well as $228.08 for hemotrol controls, which test hemoglobin, and $465.26 for UA controls, used for urinalysis tests to indicate disease or infection.
The grant is also helping clinics in Brunswick, Onslow, Pasquotank and Wake counties in similar capacities, replacing medical equipment and to purchase emergency power generators.
"This gift is particularly meaningful because it was the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust that reached out to our association offering help for our clinics, and ultimately their patients, who were hurting," said Randy Jordan, CEO of the state's Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, or NCAFCC.