Neighborhood Health Clinic awarded grant for generator

Neighborhood Health Clinic won’t be without power this hurricane season.

They’ve come a long way from what they experienced with Hurricane Irma in September.

The nonprofit clinic at 121 Goodlette-Frank Road in Naples was awarded an $83,000 grant from the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics to purchase a generator.

The grant was awarded as part of the national organization’s direct hurricane relief fund that steps in to help nonprofit and nonpartisan organizations dedicated to improving the health and lives of people affected by poverty and emergencies.

The clinic lost electrical and sewer power immediately after Irma struck the region Sept. 10. Nearly $2.5 million in medications was at risk of going bad after power was restored to businesses nearby but the clinic’s power was not restored. The medication is stored at room temperature, but the air temperature was pushing 80 degrees.

Pleas to FPL went unheeded until U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Naples, was contacted and intervened to get power restored in the clinic.

The medications are essential for the clinic’s more than 10,000 patient visits last year. Clients rely on the clinic for treating their high blood pressure, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes and other conditions.

“Beyond area flooding, local sewer and debris issues, Southwest Florida was hit with lingering power outages,” Shannon Anderson, director of community outreach with the clinic, said. “For the clinic, that meant the very real threat of losing millions of dollars of medicine stored onsite, placing the health and well-being of our patients at risk.”

The generator reinforces the clinic’s emergency preparedness plans to avert disaster if power is lost in the future, she said.