Dallas, Texas - A shipment of drinking water, water filters, medicine and medical supplies for hospitals and clinics arrived last night to the Muñiz Air Force Base in San Juan Airport, as a humanitarian effort of the American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease.The arrival of this medical aid to the island, was made possible through the American Heart Association’s $100,000 donation, granted to the Ricky Martin Foundation in contribution to Puerto Rico’s relief and recovery post-Hurricane Maria.
“This donation, made by a nonprofit organization that depends on donations, demonstrates our genuine interest in promoting and preserving the cardiovascular health of Puerto Ricans," said Dr. Ángel Dávila Franco, M.D., member of the board of directors of the American Heart Association’s Greater Southeast Affiliate and emergency room medical director, HIMA San Pablo Cupey. This donation and another anonymous gift, funded the plane that transported the long-awaited supplies from Florida.
The Ricky Martin Foundation will distribute the water, filters and medicine to communities in need. The filters aim to provide sustainable drinking water. The new homes that the foundation is building in Loíza, where Association has its first allied center for the control of hypertension (Target BP), will now have water filters.
The donated medicine and medical supplies will serve to support the services offered by various hospitals and clinics around the island. The foundation itself runs free medical clinics in different towns to facilitate patient access where these supplies will be used.
“Every day, our staff and our 33 million volunteers are in the community supporting people’s health and well-being and I am humbled by the incredible displays of courage taking place across the region by emergency responders and by neighbors helping neighbors”, said American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown. “We also cannot ignore the long-term health effects that disasters have on people everywhere. People on the island are counting on us and we are committed to support our staff colleagues and neighbors impacted by Hurricane Maria as well as those who are fighting cardiovascular diseases and stroke”.
Bibiana Ferraiuoli, Executive Director of the Ricky Martin Foundation, and Kurt Schindler, Board Chair, expressed their gratitude to the American Heart Association:
"On behalf of our Founder and entire team, we want to thank you for this humanitarian gesture. The health of our people continues to be our greatest concern, which is why this initiative is a relief and allows us to continue helping on all fronts, as Ricky has requested. We are very grateful and we promise that this aid will reach our people directly,” added Ferraiuoli.