Stamford, Conn. – Dec. 5, 2012 – AmeriCares has deployed its mobile clinic to Long Beach, N.Y., to allow Long Beach Medical Center to restore primary care services for patients. The barrier beach island with a population of 45,000 suffered some of the most severe damage during Hurricane Sandy, which ruined homes, cut off vital services and caused businesses and schools to close for weeks. AmeriCares is also donating flu and tetanus vaccines for patients.
“Long Beach was one of the communities most devastated by the storm,” said Garrett Ingoglia, AmeriCares vice president of emergency response. “We hope that by supporting the city’s only hospital with our mobile unit, we can help residents get the care they need in the wake of this terrible disaster.”
The Long Beach Medical Center ceased inpatient services after Sandy caused major damage to the hospital’s mechanical and electrical systems. Limited outpatient services have been available in the storm’s aftermath, including homecare for the elderly and disabled. Emergency medical care was provided temporarily, but is no longer offered on site.
The 40-foot AmeriCares bus with two exam rooms will allow the hospital to restore its operational capacity for all patients, including patients of its Family Care Center. The mobile unit will house the Family Care Center until it can move to a temporary facility on Franklin Boulevard. In addition to providing primary health care services from the AmeriCares mobile unit, the medical center’s staff will also be administering free flu and tetanus vaccines. Another facility arranged by the state health department is also offering primary health care services on site. Hospital officials anticipate it will be at least three months before the hospital is fully operational again.
“We appreciate how quickly AmeriCares responded to our request for assistance,” said Douglas L. Melzer, Long Beach Medical Center CEO. “Their presence will enable us to provide essential health care services to the residents of Long Beach Island as they recover from the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy.”
AmeriCares relief workers have been working nonstop since Sandy struck, providing $1.6 million in aid benefitting nearly 250,000 storm victims in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. To date, the disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization has delivered 93 aid shipments for affected families in the hardest hit communities and awarded over $450,000 in grants to health clinics and partner organizations helping storm victims. AmeriCares aid deliveries include shipments to the Nassau Community College shelter that has been housing displaced Long Beach residents in the aftermath of Sandy.