It was a regular evening. In fact it was Valentines Day in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Shoppers were flocking to shopping centers on the romantic holiday in the island’s capital. Things had seemed to have returned to normal. As about as normal as one could expect after the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria.
The flooding waters have left the roadways, electricity has returned, debris and clutter have been cleared from public places and hundreds of thousands of people have found refuge in shelters. When the electricity fails, blackouts only last for a few hours compared to the days and weeks of going without power that the island has experienced over the past five months. With all the good things happening for Puerto Rico, thirty percent of residents live in rural areas where the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria still remain.
Inside the bustling shopping center is a store that use to be place for electronics to get recharged. Now its a place for the island’s residents to recharge from the aftermath of the hurricane. Innovacare Health, a New Jersey-based healthcare company, works in the this makeshift location offering physicals and simply advice to those seeking counsel and compassion. Tens of thousands of people visit this location. For many of the visitors, they have no other option of where to go to get their medical needs taken care of.
Innovacare Health aids residents in helping those affected by poverty, misplacement by the hurricane and those without transportation. The healthcare providers runs dozens of mobile clinics. The clinics assist patients with immediate needs and long term issues. A team of medical professionals works in these clinics. Doctors diagnose medical ailments. On site pharmacists fill prescription medicines. The services are free of charge to residents. Medicaid and Medicare fund what Innovacare Health is doing.
Penelope Kokkinides is the Chief Administrative Officer of Innovacare Health. She got the opportunity to meet with President Trump. She used the meeting to her advantage to discuss the need for increased funding for medical needs for Puerto Rico. Over one billion dollars annually has been cut from the Medicare funding for Puerto Rico. Days after their discussion, it was released to the public the improvements that would be made to the medical attention and funding needed for Puerto Rico’s recovery.