VA reaches out to Veterans affected by Hurricane Maria



VA’s VAntage Point blog has the latest information on hurricane impact to VA facilities and services. For those impacted by Hurricane Maria click here.

Reaching out to Veterans who were affected by Hurricane Maria is a top priority for VA to ensue they receive the care they need.

Hospitals on the mainland United States are doing their part. Staff from the Atlanta VA Medical Center received evacuees at Dobbins Air Reserve Base and was able to place the hurricane victims in appropriate medical facilities in surrounding communities. Meanwhile, on the islands, VA staff traveled to Vieques, an island off Puerto Rico’s coast to assist a Veteran in need. The Veteran was transported to the San Juan VA Medical Center to recieve medical care. An important part of VA’s emergency response efforts is to reach out to Veterans of high-risk populations.

A shipment of equipment that included Mobile Vet Centers, mobile clinics and trucks packed with food, water and communications equipment was also sent to the islands. Some of the trucks came as far as Chicago and New England in order to provide support.

A total of 137 volunteers arrived at the San Juan VA Medical Center from VA’s Disaster Emergency Medial Personnel System. These volunteers include nurses, social workers and police officers, among others, from throughout the Veterans Health Administration.

There will be a long road to recovery in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, but the path to recovery will be a team effort with VA offices from around the country pitching in to make sure our Veterans get the care they deserve.

Latest updates:

  • The VA Medical Center, seven outpatient clinics, one Vet Center, the regional Benefits Office and the National Cemetery are open and providing varying levels of service.  The San Juan VAMC is on stable commercial power, municipal water has improved pressure. All other open VA facilities remain on generator power without municipal water service, and limited or no communications.
  • Emergency room and Inpatient services at the San Juan Medical Center are operational.
  • Telephone switchboard is operational. Veterans can use telephone 787-641-7582, or toll free 1-800-449-8729. Veterans with health-related questions can call the VISN 8 TelCare number at 1-877-741-3400.
  • In addition, a 24/7 patient and family assistance hotline have been established. Veterans and relatives with questions or in needs in assistance as result of the natural disaster can call 1-800-449-8729 extension 19400.

Author

Melissa Heintz

– Melissa Heintz joined the VA’s Digital Media Engagement team as a public affairs specialist in October 2015. She grew up on an Army base in Japan before her family relocated to Hawaii. She holds a degree in Journalism/Mass Communications and Spanish from Seattle University. Melissa has served as a public affairs specialist with Navy Region Hawaii Fleet and Family Readiness and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. In December 2015, Melissa commissioned in the Rhode Island Air National Guard where she serves as a public affairs officer with the 143rd Airlift Wing.

Comments

  1. Angelo Sanchez    

    Melissa. How can I assist in the relief efforts in PR? I am a GS-13 teleworker assigned to in San Antonio and I have a house and car in PR that would be of help. I am a native Spanish speaker and served in the US Army as a Military Intelligence Officer. My specialties in the Army was Tactical Intelligence, Imagery Intelligence, Counterintelligence, Physical Security, Counter Terrorism Intelligence Instructor. Experience in Survival, Resistance, Evasion, Escape instructor. My biographical summary I available if requested. I have the support of my supervisors at VA Central Office. Pls adivice.

    Angelo Sanchez
    Management Analyst, Risk Management Division

    1. Kenita Gordon    

      Hi Angelo,

      You should reach out to your VISN DEMPS coordinator for more information on that.

Comments are closed.