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McKesson steps up Hurricane Harvey support

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Distributor leverages operations in Texas for disaster response

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A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter conducts search-and-rescue operations above the greater Houston area. (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

SAN FRANCISCO — McKesson Corp. has boosted its Hurricane Harvey relief donations to more than $300,000 in support of recovery efforts in the inundated Houston area.

McKesson and the McKesson Foundation late Thursday announced $100,000 cash donation to nonprofit Direct Relief and $150,000 in-kind donation of medical supplies to World Vision. The two organizations will use the donations in disaster response efforts helping people impacted by Hurricane Harvey in the greater Houston area.

McKesson said it’s also matching donations made by its employees through the companys donation matching program.

“The current devastation in Houston is heartbreaking, and it is clear that it will take a significant amount of leadership, compassion and teamwork to rebuild,” McKesson chairman and chief executive officer John Hammergren said in a statement. “With millions of individuals impacted by the storm and tens of thousands of residents still without shelter, it is our hope that McKesson’s donations will help on-the-ground organizations and first-responders as they care for those in need.”

McKesson noted that, as a primary distributor of drugs and medical supplies, it has significant operations in the greater Houston region — including warehouses in Conroe and Houston — and deep experience supporting health care organizations and first-responders during natural disasters. With the coming of Hurricane Harvey, the company said it acted to prepare for storm and its aftermath.

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McKesson executives Jim Marshall (left) and Chris Smith discussed the company’s Hurricane Harvey response with TheStreet.com.

To that end, McKesson positioned extra employees at its neighboring facilities in expectation of customer orders being shifted because of operational challenges in Conroe and Houston. The distributor also stocked extra inventory of key medications that are often in short supply during a crisis at the Texas warehouses and neighboring facilities.

In the disaster response to Harvey, many McKesson employees have gone “above and beyond,” according to the company. That includes driving six hours through the night to deliver life-saving medications for premature babies in a local hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and personally delivering a new type of cancer medication to a hospitalized patient whose body was rejecting the current course of treatment.

McKesson said its pharmacy customers have also gone the extra mile, with one pharmacist accessing his flooded pharmacy to be able to deliver salvageable medications by boat to patients in need.

Nonprofit Direct Relief is providing medical aid to people who have suffered from the flooding and unstable conditions in the Houston area.

“Direct Relief is deeply grateful for the generous act of McKesson and the McKesson Foundation to assist the people who have had their lives upended and the communities that have been slammed so hard by Hurricane Harvey,” commented Thomas Tighe, president and CEO of Direct Relief. “We share McKesson’s keen sensitivity to and focus on the serious health risks that exist in Harvey’s wake, and this support will translate directly into people having access to medications and health services needed now in the weeks and months ahead.”

McKesson’s donation of supplies to humanitarian organization World Vision includes bandages, diapers, nebulizer kits, coolers, blankets, tissues, shampoo/body wash, antiseptic gel, latex gloves and other items.

The distributor said it also has partnered with the Red Cross by providing access to warehouse space in Corpus Christi to use as a staging location for relief efforts. In addition, the company has provided general and medical supplies for temporary shelters in the Houston area, including diapers, baby food, insulin, drinks and other food items, as well as food, drinks and miscellaneous supplies to the National Guard members stationed at Katy High School in Katy, Texas.

McKesson’s RelayHealth Pharmacy Solutions business is also a participant in the Rx Open network, which helps patients find nearby open pharmacies in areas impacted by disaster.


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