St. John's Episcopal Hospital Recovers from Sandy
(Monday, November 19, 2012) FAR ROCKAWAY, NY - - - Since Hurricane Sandy hit on Monday, October 29, 2012, and throughout its aftermath, St. John's Episcopal Hospital has remained operational. It met the varied needs of patients and community, despite the enormous challenges of lack of electricity throughout the area, transportation and services. Power was restored to the Hospital on Friday, November 9, 2012, at 11:30 pm but much of the Rockaways continues to be without electricity. Staff continued to work throughout, some for two to three shifts at a time during those critical hours, many with no homes to return to, cars washed away, and lacking transportation and utilities.
Throughout the storm and the weeks that followed, St. John's saw a 40 percent increase in inpatient volume and Emergency Department patient volume. Many were evacuees from neighboring nursing homes and adult homes. It included nearby residents who needed electricity for respirators, oxygen, medications and much more. The night of the storm the Hospital lobby became a shelter for many desperate community residents. In the following two weeks, the Hospital helped provide access to shelters, food, emergency medications and electricity for cell phones for the ravaged community. For staff the Hospital set up a place for hot showers, three hot meals a day, a daycare and a "respite area" with counseling.
The recovery is ongoing but difficult. The Hospital continues to be full, with medical surgical units at 100 percent capacity, often because there are few places to discharge patients to. Nearby nursing homes and adult homes have been evacuated and are not yet re-opened. Electricity continues to be a problem throughout the area and patients with special needs may have lost homes or cannot go back to homes without electricity or heat. Staff, many of them without homes or who have been evacuated, also need places to stay so they can continue to work. Homeless and displaced staff have been given vouchers for hot meals.
St. John's has set up two funds for donations. To donate to St. John's Episcopal Hospital to continue its efforts to serve the community, please make a check out to St. John's Episcopal Hospital and mail it to St. John's Episcopal Hospital, 327 Beach 19th Street, Far Rockaway, NY 11691. To donate to the Hurricane Sandy Staff Relief Fund, please make the check out to St. John's Episcopal Hospital, and write in the memo "Hurricane Sandy Staff Relief Fund" and mail to the above-mentioned address or to pay by Paypal go to www.ehs.org.
327 Beach 19th Street, Far Rockaway, NY 11691