On November 8, in conjunction with the annual SOMOS Puerto Rico Conference, GNYHA and the Afya Foundation sponsored a visit to CSMPR Hatillo, a federally qualified health center (FQHC) in Hatillo, a village 90 minutes from San Juan on the island’s northern coast.

During the visit, GNYHA and Afya donated a number of medical supplies to CSMPR Hatillo, including defibrillators, blood pressure monitors, oximeters, glucose meters, ECG monitors, otoscopes, and other needed goods, such as gauze and gloves. An EKG machine, exam tables, and other needed supplies will also be delivered in the coming weeks.

Visitors toured CSMPR Hatillo’s two urgent care centers, mental health facility, and pharmacy.

The visit allowed participants to see the recovery progress from Hurricane Maria’s devastation, and the current community health care needs in areas outside of San Juan. While hospitals in San Juan have been restored, the challenges that rural health care systems like CSMPR Hatillo have long faced were exacerbated by Maria’s destruction. Despite limited resources, overextended staff, and only one EKG machine, CSMPR Hatillo continues to provide care to a significant number of patients.

Mr. Raices and Dr. Torres

Participants of the GNYHA/Afya visit

Approximately 60 individuals—a mix of clinicians, hospital executives, and other SOMOS conference attendees—participated in the GNYHA/Afya visit. CSMPR Hatillo Executive Director Armando Legarreta Raices and Maria Torres Maldonado, MD provided an overview of the FQHC, which employs 208, serves 16,842 patients annually, and sees more than 61,000 visits per year. The Center processes 3,500 patient referrals and authorizations per month. Their patient mix is 61% Medicaid and 17% uninsured, with Medicaid reimbursement at half the rate New York facilities receive for the same services.

The Center’s mission is to deliver preventive care to avoid serious illness requiring more complicated treatment. Providers are deeply committed to their patients, and often visit homebound patients and the elderly who live in isolated, difficult to access areas. Treating patients with a sensitivity to individual needs and a true commitment to their community is credited for much of the Center’s success.

Participants leave a CSMPR pharmacy

Participants tour an urgent care center

As a result of the visit, GNYHA and Afya Foundation announced a long-term commitment and partnership with CSMPR Hatillo to provide support in accessing medical supplies and providers via telemedicine, allowing the Center to continue effectively delivering care to the people in their community.