Ezreal Garcia, Business Development & Special Projects Manager Discusses Emergency Response and Recovery at Statewide Conference

Posted on November 2, 2018

Ezreal Garcia, Community Health Network’s Business Development & Special Projects Manager presented the role of community health centers in responding to natural disasters including hurricanes at the Texas Association of Community Health Center’s (TACHC) statewide conference in Austin on October 30, 2018. Mr. Garcia participated as part of a panel of other community health center representatives that were active during Hurricane Harvey’s response and recovery efforts. Mr. Garcia described Community Health Network’s immediate response to the flooding event and shelter and medical needs that followed Hurricane Harvey’s landfall on August 25, 2017. He described the role of the Center’s mission in driving the activities, and that the Center relied heavily on community collaborations with other non-profit, social service organizations and the County Office of Emergency Management and Health Department to provide services to the community. Mr. Garcia noted the enormous support of organizations such as Americares, Direct Relief and Henry Schein in providing donated vaccines, medical supplies, toiletries for shelter residents and grants to health centers. Mr. Garcia finally acknowledged the tremendous value of TACHC and Clinica Vista in Sierra, California for the coordination and collaboration involved in lending a mobile health clinic to CHN to care for individuals forced from their homes due to the flooding. CHN used the mobile unit to treat patients suffering from bug bites, pneumonia, and other wounds acquired from walking through flood waters as well as respiratory illnesses contracted from removing moldy sheetrock from flooded homes. CHN drove the mobile health unit from County shelters to churches and other sites that were willing to host CHN where large groups of community members were displaced and in need of medical, dental and behavioral health services due to the flooding.

CHN successfully served 862 unique individuals with 563 immunizations (Tetanus, Influenza and Pneumococcal), and provided 308 primary medical care visits, and 121 dental visits through February 27, 2018. Due in part to the continued need for care in the more rural areas of Brazoria and Galveston Counties, CHN purchased a mobile unit to deliver medical, dental and behavioral health care to Hurricane Harvey affected individuals that encounter obstacles accessing health care such as transportation, distance, insurance and income. 

With generous financial support from the Americares Foundation, the United Way of Brazoria County and Dow Chemical, CHN continues to collaborate with community organizations to provide services to Hurricane Harvey affected individuals staying in hotels, trailer parks, apartments, and shelter locations as they rebuild their lives and homes.

Ezreal Garcia

 Business Development & Special Projects Manager