VA Hospital Opens Urgent Care For First Time Since Sandy

By Heather Holland on March 8, 2013 5:40pm 

 VA Medical Center, located at 423 E. 23rd St., opened urgent care and some offices March 4, 2013 while the rest is due to open by July 2013.
VA Medical Center, located at 423 E. 23rd St., opened urgent care and some offices March 4, 2013 while the rest is due to open by July 2013.
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Dnainfo/Heather Holland

KIPS BAY — More than four months after the VA Medical Center closed because of Hurricane Sandy damage, the hospital began phasing in urgent care services this week, a spokeswoman said.

The hospital, located at 423 E. 23rd St., opened its urgent care center, a clinic, the dermatology office and pharmacy on Monday, but the rest of the facilities, including inpatient services, may not be restored until July 1, said Jennifer Sammartino, a spokeswoman for the VA New York Harbor Health Care System.

“The damage to the medical center was contained to the ground floor and the sub-ground floor,” Sammartino said. “All of our infrastructure, mechanical systems, our switch gears, the steam, the elevator, the sterile supply and our primary clinic was downstairs and were all completely destroyed.”

Once all the facilities are fully functioning, the primary care center will be moved from the ground floor to a higher floor, she noted. Over the next two years, the hospital will work on a broader project to move all mechanical systems to higher ground as well.

Power has been restored at the hospital, elevators are being brought back one at a time and the plan is to phase in outpatient services over the next 30 to 45 days, Sammartino said.

Veterans who usually go to the hospital’s Manhattan location have been traveling farther to VA New York Harbor Health Care branches in The Bronx or Downtown Brooklyn to get services, Sammartino said.

Free shuttle buses to the Bronx and Brooklyn locations are available at 23rd Street and First Avenue, she said.

“Continuity and care is extremely important to the VA,” Sammartino said.

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