ASCP Members Open their Hearts—and Wallets—to Support Relief Efforts in Puerto Rico

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Make Your Donation to Support ASCP's Puerto Rico Relief Efforts on Giving Tuesday, Nov. 28

In the aftermath of the devastation that Hurricane Maria wreaked on Puerto Rico, the media has moved on to report on other crises. Yet two months after one of the country’s worst humanitarian crises, most of the island’s 3.4 million people are still without power and hospitals are still in triage mode.

The ASCP Foundation is continuing to support the relief efforts in Puerto Rico. Individuals will have an opportunity to support the ASCP Foundation’s general fund, which provides much-needed funds to relief work in Puerto Rico and other critical areas of need on “Giving Tuesday,” Nov. 28, 2017. To make your donation, visit

ASCP members have responded generously to several email and social media appeals from the ASCP Foundation to support rebuilding Puerto Rico’s health system. “We are deeply grateful to all those who answered our initial call for support,” said ASCP President James Wisecarver, MD, PhD, FASCP. “Much more help is needed. We urge more ASCP members to join us in this relief effort, which will take several years to rebuild.”

The ASCP Foundation is committed to supporting the reconstruction of Puerto Rico’s health system and medical laboratories for the long term, Dr. Wisecarver added. The Foundation has already raised $3,000 from two emails and four social media posts, and ASCP has matched the funds, dollar for dollar, for a total of $6,000 toward the relief work.

Thus far, the Foundation has provided three personal grants of $300 each to ASCP members in the cities of Mayaguez, Coto Laurel, and Caguas, and sent medical supplies to two hospitals. Blood Agar plates, MacConkey Agar plates, and Chocolate Agar plates were sent to Luis Ferrer-Torres, MD, Lab Director at Hospital Interamericano de Medicina Avanzada (HIMA) • San Pablo Caguas in Caguas.

Basic necessities were sent to Lurmag Orta, MD, Staff Pathologist at the Hospital Auxilio Mutuo in San Juan. These included biopsy needles, 5 ml syringes, disposable gowns, 25G safety needles, specimen bags, small, medium & large non sterile gloves, 23G safety needles, 20G safety needles, 18G needles, surgical masks, 4x4 non-sterile gauze sponges, 2x2 non-sterile gauze sponges, 5 ml syringes, 20 ml syringes, 30 ml syringes, 10 ml syringes, 1 ml syringes, small, medium and large sterile gloves, 2x2 sterile gauze pads, and 4x4 sterile gauze pads.

Since the hurricane, Dr. Orta has had to ride her bicycle to the hospital three days a week just to charge her cell phone. Only a very small percentage of the island’s cell phone towers are working.

“We can’t begin to thank our ASCP colleagues for their outreach and support,” Dr. Orta said. “Everyone has come together as a community to support the people of Puerto Rico. Yet we need to do a lot more to get us out of this critical situation.”

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Susan Montgomery
American Society for Clinical Pathology
+1 312-541-4754
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