The 2018 Hurricane season devastated communities in the US, including Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael, the most powerful storm to hit the Florida Panhandle in the area's history. The 2018 wildfire season was the most destructive on record in California. Disaster response and recovery can be a daunting task for many communities, especially where health is concerned.
During these times, it takes a village to save a village. And we were proud to play our small part - from helping our nonprofit partners across the affected regions in their response efforts, to ensuring patients could continue to access their medicine amid disaster.
Helping our nonprofit partners with disaster response grants
Two nonprofit partners that we support directly through grants are Direct Relief International and Americares. They are dedicated to improving the lives and health of people facing disasters. Direct Relief International responded to both storms and the California Wildfires, supporting safety-net healthcare providers in both regions with immediate response and healthcare resiliency. Americares’ work is addressing the immediate needs of the communities impacted by the hurricanes, including health and hygiene supplies for individuals and families in shelters.
Supporting children during natural disasters
In 2013, we embarked on an ambitious, long-term global partnership with Save the Children. Our partnership has one goal: to save one million children’s lives. In the US, the partnership focuses on supporting children suffering from the impact of natural disasters.
Through employee fundraising for Save the Children’s U.S. Emergency Response Fund, GSK employees across the US donated more than $75,000 to the Fund in addition to grant funds provided by GSK. Our support helped Save the Children provide disaster relief services focused on child protection: distributing child-focused supplies, restoring education services and anything else identified by the Carolinas or Florida panhandle as priorities or gaps.
Through employee fundraising for Save the Children’s U.S. Emergency Response Fund, GSK employees across the US donated more than $75,000 to the Fund in addition to grant funds provided by GSK.
We were recognized as the “Best Disaster Preparedness & Community Resilience Program” at the 2018 Corporate Citizenship Awards alongside Save the Children and the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University (NCDP) for the Resilient Children/Resilient Communities Initiative (RCRC).
The initiative developed a national model for child-focused community preparedness planning through a $2 million, 3-year pilot investment. Because of this investment, Washington County, Arkansas, and Putnam County, New York are more prepared to help more than 76,000 children in their communities face a natural disaster.
We also recently announced an additional $1 million from GSK to the National Center for Disaster Preparedness. The donation will support their work with community coalitions in New Hanover County, North Carolina, and in Puerto Rico to develop plans to protect and care for children as they rebuild from the impact of recent hurricanes.
Making sure our patients can access their medicine amid disaster
As part of our responsibility to make sure patients can access treatment, GSK has a charitable patient access foundation. Our Foundation helps ensure that low-income insured, underinsured and Medicare patients receive financial support, so they can afford their medications. In 2018, our charitable US Patient Access Foundation provided medicines and vaccines free of charge to more than 125,000 patients. The program includes medicines to treat COPD, asthma, lupus, HIV, vaccines and a variety of other diseases across GSK and ViiV’s portfolio.
In 2018, our charitable US Patient Access Foundation provided medicines and vaccines free of charge to more than 125,000 patients.
When natural disasters hit, entire communities can sometimes be impacted. Pharmacists and their patients may have trouble navigating roads, buildings can be damaged and getting a medicine for a chronic disease might not be feasible. That’s where our Patient Access Foundation comes in.
In the event of natural disasters, the Foundation has processes in place to assist patients who live in counties that are declared disaster areas according to FEMA. The Foundation can work with our mail-order pharmacy and community retail pharmacies to accelerate or delay refills, or ship medicines to a temporary address. This can help patients preparing in advance of a storm or help patients that evacuated until they can return home. During or after a natural disaster, these processes can help us enroll new patients or re-enroll existing patients with expedited methods until they can submit paper applications or supporting documentation.
Residents of disaster areas can call the program at 1-866-728-4368 to discuss their special circumstances, and they can also visit www.gskforyou.com for more information on the program and eligibility.
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Across the US, we invest our charitable funds with nonprofit partners that are doing good for people in need in the communities where we live and work
The Resilient Children/Resilient Communities Initiative
The goal of the RCRC Toolbox is to foster a community-wide approach to child-focused disaster planning and cultivate better communication between the various local organizations that serve children and families.