Holy Name Medical Center to Administer $50,000 from Robin Hood Foundation
Monies targeted to needy Korean American victims of Hurricane Sandy
The Robin Hood Foundation in New York City has awarded $75,000 to the Korean American Sandy Relief Committee of New Jersey (KASRC) to relieve the plight of those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Of that sum, $50,000 will go toward medical services, which will be administered by Holy Name Medical Center.
Physicians and other healthcare professionals will be provided by the Korean Medical Program of Holy Name Medical Center. The services will include primary care, mental health care administered by a psychologist and psychiatrist, and lab work, such as blood tests, and will be targeted to the uninsured.
The remaining $25,000 of the grant will be used for FEMA counseling and enrollment assistance services which will be administered by a group of staff at the Korean Community Center in Englewood, NJ.
Over 300 Korean American families are expected to benefit from the grant monies.
Still feeling the pain
Two months after the storm, New Jersey families are still feeling the effects of Hurricane Sandy. Over two million households in the state lost power, 72,000 homes and businesses were destroyed, and media reports indicate that New Jersey businesses lost up to $30 billion.
Among the hardest hit were the over 68,000 Korean Americans who live in areas of Bergen County and Hudson County that were affected severely by the storm. The communities flooded by Sandy include Little Ferry, Hoboken, Moonachie, Carlstadt, Edgewater and Jersey City.
Many Korean Americans in these communities, especially those who live in low-income rental apartments or own small businesses, have suffered tremendously as a result of the disaster. They have lost their businesses, jobs, and even homes; and their families have experienced major economic setbacks. There are many Korean American families who own small businesses such as groceries, dry cleaners or nail salons in the flooded areas. They are struggling to re-open their businesses with limited success due to lack of financial resources. The people who live in rental apartments in the flooded areas have not returned to their homes yet, as the owners keep pushing their target return date back to late January or early February 2013.
Given the stress and difficulties that are part of recovering from such a disaster, a good portion of these people are in need of both physical and mental health check-ups. Most lack health insurance and have little to no access to local healthcare clinics, as the wait list for each clinic is over six months.
"We are so happy to be able to provide much needed health exams for Sandy victims," says Dr. Philip Whang, a Holy Name psychiatrist, who will give mental health services. "They are the most vulnerable group of people, with economic, language and cultural barriers to requesting and receiving help. I look forward to assisting them toward their full recovery back to a normal life."
"This is the first time the Robin Hood Foundation is working with the Korean American community in New Jersey," says Kyung Hee Choi, Director, Korean Medical Program, Holy Name Medical Center; and Chair of KASRC. "They are truly most generous in reaching out to us."