letter is from Long Beach Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Douglas L. Melzer.The following
On Sunday Oct.
28,, I witnessed the staff of Long Beach Medical Center evacuate
over 250 patients and residents from the Hospital and the Komanoff
Center for Geriatric and Rehabilitative Medicine in advance of the
They prepared for and carried out the evacuation with
skill and compassion. At all times they put the safety and comfort of
our patients and residents above all else.
I witnessed their kindness
and reassurance to patients and residents as they made sure each had
their medications, pertinent sections of their medical record, supplies
and equipment when they arrived at the receiving facility.
staff is continuing to care for our patients and residents at the
receiving hospitals and nursing homes 24/7.
As a result of
flooding in the basement of the hospital and on the first floor of the
Komanoff Center, which does not have a basement, both facilities are
currently closed while we undertake repairs.
With the support and
cooperation of many agencies and private companies, we are moving
quickly to restore services.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services, under the leadership of Secretary Sebelius and working through
the New Jersey Emergency Management Services and Hackensack University
Medical Center, has provided a Mobile Satellite Emergency Department
that has enabled Long Beach Medical Center physicians and nurses to
resume emergency care for community residents.
Prior to this, the New
York State Department of Health had secured a Disaster Medical
Assistance Team (DMAT) that will demobilize as the Medical Center takes
We anticipate that
we will be able to reoccupy the Komanoff Center within six weeks but
reoccupying the Hospital will take somewhat longer.
Once our assessment
of damages is completed we will have a more accurate projected date.
We recognize the
critical importance of reopening the Hospital as quickly as possible to
serve the health needs of this isolated community.
We are working hard
to accomplish that goal. In the meantime, we appreciate that the
temporary closure of Long Beach Medical Center and the impact of this
unprecedented storm has had a dramatic impact on other hospitals on Long
Island. To assist those hospitals, we are making our staff available to
supplement their staffs on a temporary basis.
We appreciate the support we have and continue to receive from our
federal, state, county and local elected officials, and agencies and our
colleagues and other hospitals and nursing homes. We, in particular,
thank South Nassau Communities Hospital for allowing us to establish our
incident command center at their hospital.
Our command center
has now moved back to Long Beach and can be reached at (516) 897-4327.
We invite members of the community to follow our restoration progress at
our website at www.longbeachmedicalcenter.org.
Lastly, I want to thank the Medical Center’s
dedicated staff for their commitment to the Medical Center and the
patients we serve. They indeed embody our core values of care,
competence and compassion.
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