HURRICANE HARVEY UPDATE: For more information about the impact on VA facilities and services, click here.
With more than half a million Veterans affected by Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath, VA is reaching out to those who may need assistance, for health care and information on benefits.
On Saturday, both VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin and Acting Under Secretary for Health Dr. Poonam Alaigh visited with Veterans and VA employees in Houston. Shulkin visited the Houston Mobile Medical Center, deployed to the First Church in Pearland. Alaigh went to the George Brown Convention Center where VA health and benefits experts have set up operations to assist Veterans displaced by Harvey.
VA has activated a hotline through its Health Resource Center (HRC) to assist Veterans impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The HRC assists Veterans in updating temporary or permanent addresses or phone numbers, provides facility operational status, provides information on how to reschedule appointments or receive medical advice and also offers Veterans information on emergency prescription refills as well as additional emergency resources. Contact the Veteran’s Health Resource Center information line at 1-800-507-4571.
VA has also deployed mobile assets in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey to assist Veterans affected by the storm. This includes:
- Mobile medical units providing primary care, mental health, social work and benefits services to Veterans affected by Hurricane Harvey. VA has five units currently located in Houston, Crosby, Silsbee, and Corpus Christi and is open to any Veteran and family member in need of VA service and assistance.
- Mobile vet centers in Houston, Crosby and Dallas to provide counseling services to Veterans and the community.
- Mobile pharmacies located in the Houston metropolitan area capable of delivering life-saving pharmaceuticals to Veterans.
Additionally, VA is using its massive telehealth capabilities with 170 iPads distributed throughout greater Houston at medical facilities and shelters and 5 portable exam systems in mobile units providing a workforce multiplier to reduce the logistical support required on the ground. VA has 67 staff devoted to current telehealth efforts focused on primary care, mental health and clinical pharmacist support.
In Houston, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center is opening all outpatient services on Tuesday, Sept. 5, except for outpatient clinics in Beaumont and Richmond. The Houston VA has remained open throughout Hurricane Harvery for emergency medical care, and teams from VA facilities throughout the region are detailed to Houston to assist with patient care.
Four Mobile Vet Centers are deployed in the Houston area, with an additional centers available in Dallas. Hours are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. local, though times may adjust.
- NRG Arena, 1NRG Park (Blue Section), Houston
- Gallery Furniture, 6006 North Freeway, Houston
- Lone Star Veterans Association, 2929 McKinney Street, Houston
- American Legion Post 658, 14890 FM 2100, Crosby
- City Hall Plaza, 1500 Marilla Street, Dallas
To read more on VA’s hurricane response, click here for stories on VAntage Point.