Post-Sandy, most LI hospitals back to full power

Photo of the exterior of the Nassau University

Photo of the exterior of the Nassau University Medical Center. (March 18, 2009) (Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara)

Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow was filled to overcapacity with several dozen patients waiting to be admitted to the emergency department, its chief executive said Wednesday. "We're stretched to the gills," said chief executive Arthur Gianelli. "The situation is increasingly challenging.

Gianelli said the hospital, which normally has about 350 to 375 patients, had 513, with 27 waiting for admission in the emergency department.

The problem, Gianelli said, is that the hospital and nursing home, A. Holly Patterson Extended Care Facility, had taken in 92 patients from Long Beach Medical Center and its nursing home, which were evacuated before the storm. Many of those patients have nowhere to go, he said.


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Meanwhile, most other Long Island hospitals were back to full power Wednesday, coping with emergency rooms full of the "walking well" and beginning to resume elective procedures, officials said.

South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside was one of a few hospitals reporting that it was still operating on generator power Wednesday.

South Nassau spokesman Damien Becker said that the hospital was working with Nassau County to help patients who had to evacuate with their medical information get prescriptions filled. Becker said the hospital's outpatient dialysis center, behavioral health center, wound center and primary care center remained closed, but patients can call the hospital for appointments at 516-632-3075.

Some North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System hospitals were also close to full, after 279 patients were transferred from city hospitals and nursing homes, said spokesman Terry Lynam.

North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset took 10 patients from Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan, which evacuated 500 patients Wednesday; another nine Bellevue psychiatric patients went to Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, Queens, Lynam said.

"We also have quite a few folks showing up at the door," he said. Most were not injuries from the storm, but medically fragile patients, including those on ventilators or in need of dialysis, he said.

Stony Brook University Hospital plans to begin a regular schedule for its operating rooms and the ambulatory surgery Center Thursday, said hospital spokesman Clinton Weaver. "We anticipate seeing a growing number of patients through the emergency department today," he said Wednesday.

Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in Patchogue also has been seeing "a heavy volume" of patients through the emergency department, most of them with "cuts and bumps," said spokesman Christopher Banks. Banks said the hospital is "fully functioning and open for business."

Five of Catholic Health Services' six hospitals were on full power, according to spokeswoman Christine Hendriks. St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson expected to have full power by the end of Wednesday, she said. She said emergency department volume "is escalating." Most patients, she said, were "walking well," or those who had put off going to the hospital during the storm.

Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola said it will resume doing some elective procedures Thursday. Anyone scheduled for a procedure this week should call the hospital hotline at 516-663-8622 for information regarding cancellations.

All three East End hospitals said they were operating normally and resuming elective procedures.

Some community health centers have reopened but many remain without power.

In Nassau, NuHealth Hempstead Family Health Center has reopened but other health centers in Elmont, Roosevelt, Westbury remain closed until power is restored. Patients who need medical care should come to NUMC's outpatient centers, Lotenberg said.

Suffolk County health centers in Riverhead, Shirley, Patchogue and Southampton are open, said health department spokeswoman Grace Kelly-McGovern. But those in Brentwood, Wyandanch, Amityville and East Hampton are closed, she said. Mental health centers in Riverhead and Farmingville are open, but the Brentwood mental health clinic is closed. The Coram health center, run by Hudson River HealthCare, is also open, Kelly-McGovern said.

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