Long Beach Medical Center remains closed after it sustained significant flood damage during Hurricane Sandy, though hospital Chief Executive Officer Doug Meltzer said that he is hopeful the facility will reopen soon.
“Despite the damage that was sustained, we are working day and night to bring [Long Beach] Medical Center back to life,” Meltzer said in a Facebook message on Nov. 6. “This will be a challenging effort, but one that we are determined to accomplish. The Komanoff Center, which sustained less severe damage than the medical center is already under repair and we hope to resume services there soon. The medical center, where the damage is more extensive, has also begun recovery efforts and we will have a more thorough estimate of the restoration time once we have a more complete assessment of damages and the necessary repairs.”
Meltzer said that the hospital’s basement is clear of water, and that the various electrical and mechanical systems are being evaluated to determine the work that will be required to restore them. Additionally, the facility’s west wing has lights that are operating off of a generator as the cleanup effort moves forward.
Long Beach Medical Center includes a 162-bed hospital and a 200-bed skilled nursing facility, The Komanoff Center for Geriatric and Rehabilitative Medicine. After Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano ordered the evacuation of all health care facilities in Long Beach on Oct. 28, Long Beach Medical Center transferred its patients to Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, while residents of The Komanoff Center were transported to a number of facilities on Long Island.
“I am pleased to say our staff continue to care for our residents and patients at these facilities,” Meltzer said on the hospital’s website.
Long Beach Medical Center established a command center at South Nassau Communities Hospital Training Center after the storm, but has since relocated it to 249 E. Park Avenue.
Additionally, the city, in conjunction with the hospital and FEMA, has secured a federally staffed temporary hospital — DMAT (Disaster Medical Assistance Team) — located at the Rec’s baseball field, with a full service emergency department. According to the city, DMAT has seen more than 1,000 patients, including those who have sustained hurricane recovery-related injuries and illnesses. The Red Cross is also providing mental health counselors for hurricane victims.
According to Meltzer, however, the DMAT unit’s presence is “time-limited.”
“It is critical that the medical center reopen its facilities as soon as possible,” Meltzer said on Facebook.