Open Letter on Status of Long Beach Medical Center
On Sunday October 28, 2012, I witnessed the staff of Long Beach Medical Center evacuate over 250 patients and residents from the Hospital and the Komanoff Center for Geriatric and Rehabilitative Medicine in advance of the approaching storm. They prepared for and carried out the evacuation with skill and compassion. At all times they put the safety and comfort of our patients and residents above all else. I witnessed their kindness and reassurance to patients and residents as they made sure each had their medications, pertinent sections of their medical record, supplies and equipment when they arrived at the receiving facility. Today that staff is continuing to care for our patients and residents at the receiving hospitals and nursing homes 24/7.
As a result of flooding in the basement of the hospital and on the first floor of the Komanoff Center, which does not have a basement, both facilities are currently closed while we undertake repairs. With the support and cooperation of many agencies and private companies we are moving quickly to restore services. In the meantime, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has established a Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) in Long Beach. We are working closely with the DMAT team to coordinate services for the community.
We anticipate that we will be able to reoccupy the Komanoff Center within six weeks but reoccupying the Hospital may take somewhat longer. Once our assessment of damages is completed we will have a more accurate projected date. We recognize the critical importance of reopening the Hospital as quickly as possible to serve the health needs of this isolated community. We are working hard to accomplish that goal. In the meantime, we appreciate that the temporary closure of Long Beach Medical Center and the impact of this unprecedented storm has had a dramatic impact on other hospitals on Long Island. To assist those hospitals, we are making our staff available to supplement their staffs on a temporary basis.
We appreciate the support we have and continue to receive from our federal, state, county and local elected officials, and agencies and our colleagues and other hospitals and nursing homes. We, in particular, thank South Nassau Communities Hospital for allowing us to establish our incident command center at their hospital. Our command center has now moved back to Long Beach and can be reached at (516) 897-4327. We invite members of the community to follow our restoration progress at our website at www.longbeachmedicalcenter.org.
Lastly I want to thank the Medical Center’s dedicated staff for their commitment to the Medical Center and the patients we serve. They indeed embody our core values of care, competence and compassion.
Douglas L. Melzer
Chief Executive Officer