One year ago today, communities across a dozen states in the Northeast experienced the devastating and tragic effects of Super Storm Sandy.
VA’s Manhattan Medical Center, part of VA’s New York Harbor Healthcare System, was severely damaged during the storm, as were multiple VA cemeteries. To date, VA has worked to repair, re-outfit and resupply the Manhattan facility including ongoing work to design and construct a perimeter flood wall, restore the flooded ground floor, renovate patient wards and relocate several critical clinics and offices to higher elevations.
The National Cemetery Administration has completed all work to repair the damage to the cemeteries.
Prior to Sandy making landfall, Veterans Integrated Service Network 3 leadership developed network-wide plans to ensure the continued operation of its VA medical centers. Planning included evacuating the Manhattan campus well before the storm hit and lower Manhattan was flooded.
This decision resulted in the safe and orderly transfer or discharge of 127 Veteran patients to other network medical centers or their homes.
In anticipation of the transfer, plans for provider access to the computerized medical record at receiving facilities were implemented to ensure seamless care.
Recovery efforts started immediately at the Manhattan campus. An integrated recovery team was steadfast in meeting Secretary Shinseki’s goal of opening the Manhattan campus for outpatient care by the first week of March 2013 – less than 6 months after the initial destruction from the super storm.
Today, the Manhattan VA Medical Center is fully operational. All employees have returned to the facility, and all clinical services are being provided as they were before the impact of Super Storm Sandy.