GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico – The Susan Centeno community health center in Vieques, known locally as a CDT, will receive over $39.5 million in funds from FEMA as a result of damage caused by Hurricane María.
“I am extremely happy that funds have finally been obligated for the people of Vieques to have a proper medical facility. I’ve kept a close watch on this effort, particularly since I met with residents of Vieques in early October, and when I personally went to the site on Nov. 20,” said the Governor of Puerto Rico, Wanda Vázquez Garced. “I know how essential it is to have adequate and appropriate medical services for all the needs of the people of Vieques.
Our communication with FEMA has been instrumental, so we thank Ottmar Chavez for his diligent work.”
Funding was approved after the Office of Management and Budget concurred with the review and recommendation of the Independent Expert Panel, which based its approval on FEMA and the Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency’s, or COR3, joint recommendation that funding to restore the Vieques CDT be based on the replacement value.
“This obligation sets the tone for what we anticipate will be a banner year of recovery for Puerto Rico. We have built a solid working relationship with the local government and look forward to supporting the residents of Vieques and of all Puerto Rico throughout this historic recovery,” said Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Alex Amparo.
The joint recommendation was developed through a collaborative effort with information that FEMA received from the Municipality of Vieques, the Puerto Rico Department of Health and COR3.
“The obligation of funds for the Vieques hospital facility is extremely important and significant to the entire recovery process that we are developing in coordination with FEMA. Without a doubt, this project has been a priority for the government, for Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced and for all of us who have been involved in the reconstruction and recovery process of the island after Hurricane María. It is satisfactory to notify that the people of Vieques will be able to count on a new health center for the benefit of the entire community,” said COR3 Executive Director, Ottmar Chávez.
FEMA has obligated approximately $6 million for the temporary health facility currently operating in Vieques. This facility will continue to provide services by the Puerto Rico Department of Health and remains in operation until a permanent facility is available.
To date, around $6.1 billion has been approved for Puerto Rico under FEMA’s Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation programs. FEMA and COR3 continue to work together to expedite recovery funding and reimbursement of all eligible costs.
For more information on Puerto Rico’s recovery from Hurricane María, visit https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4339