NYC VA helps care for remaining patients from USNS Comfort


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To help the USNS Comfort close out its mission in NYC, remaining patients were transferred and are being cared for by VA New York Harbor Health Care System and James J. Peters “Bronx” VA Medical Center.

Dr. Mohammad al-Ajam, chief pulmonologist, VA New York Harbor Health Care System, works with his team caring for Veteran and non-Veteran patients in the Medical Intensive Care Unit (Brooklyn campus). New York Harbor is assisting city and private hospitals, and now the USNS Comfort, by admitting civilian patients with COVID-19. (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)

As part of VA’s Fourth Mission to help community hospitals with humanitarian patients through the COVID-19 pandemic, VA received 12 patients over the past few days. Eleven humanitarian patients are now being cared for by VA health care providers in Brooklyn and Manhattan, while the Bronx has accepted a Veteran patient from the ship.

“As a community, we’re working together to navigate the changing landscape during the pandemic and help when we have the opportunity,” said director Martina Parauda, VA NY Harbor Health Care System. “Our team has thrived during the most demanding of times and are well positioned to take these new patients in and help them.”

The Bronx VA Medical Center shared a similar sentiment as they treat an additional Veteran patient transfer from the ship. The patient chose the facility, and the care team there was ready to assist.

“It’s a privilege to accept this Veteran from the USNS Comfort to our facility. We’ve been in communication with his family and are providing the care, compassion and resources to the patient and his loved ones during this difficult time,” said director Margaret B. Caplan, Bronx VA Medical Center. “We will always care for our Veterans and continue to make sure their health needs are met.”

As New York City says goodbye to the naval hospital ship, the city can rest assured that their last remaining patients are receiving the high-level of care they deserve during the COVID-19 crisis.


Submitted by the VA New York Office of Public Affairs.

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