18 19 NOV./DEC. 2017 Executive View BY LORIE STEINER E very time those big orange tubs come roll- ing off a cargo plane, Puerto Ricans respond with smiles as joyful as an island sunrise. In the wake of this devastating 2017hurricane season,Direct Relief has become a colorful beacon of hope in the Caribbean region–delivering and distributing vital health supplies and financial sup- port for people in need. Case in point: On October 27th, one month after Hurricane Maria struck,Direct Relief chartered a jet and airlifted 152,604 pounds of urgently needed supplies to the Department of Health, hospitals, and medical centers in Puerto Rico.Aweek later, Business ViewCaribbean spoke candidly with Direct Relief CEO Thomas Tighe about the current state of healthcare in Puerto Rico, and the challenges of managing the crisis in a country stripped of power, clean water, and basic infrastructure.Here is that edited transcript… DIRECT RELIEF: ONTHE GROUND IN PUERTO RICO BVC: How is Direct Relief aiding the Caribbean people? TIGHE: A lot of the Caribbean territories and independent nations have been slammed hard, and we’re highly sympathet- ic with what those poor people are going through just trying to recover.Although we’re looking at the health system as a microcosm of all the systems and commercial enterprises, it’s a good proxy for what’s going on broadly. People are getting sicker than they ought to be, or staying sick longer,with no access to care because the supply chains are still badly broken, especially in Puerto Rico. But the ramifications, the ripple effect is huge on every industry. The emergency as it is now,with the health system, the AT A GLANCE DIRECT RELIEF WHAT: Non-profit humanitarian aid organization active in 50 states and over 80 countries. WHERE: Headquarters in Santa Barbara, California WEBSITE: