UPDATE: Bay Pines VAHCS Announces Closure of Emergency Dept. Ahead of Hurricane Irma - Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
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Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

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UPDATE: Bay Pines VAHCS Announces Closure of Emergency Dept. Ahead of Hurricane Irma

September 10, 2017

BAY PINES, FL – The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (VAHCS) emergency management officials continue to monitor Hurricane Irma as it continues its general path toward South Florida. Due to anticipated severe weather and high predictability for flooding due to storm surge, the Bay Pines VAHCS has closed the Emergency Department.

Changes in operational status and updates previously communicated are listed below. All remain in effect.

  • C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center –  All outpatient services will be closed Saturday, September 9 – Monday, September 11. 

    The hospital was placed on divert status starting at 12:00 p.m., Friday, September 8 – Monday, September 11. 

    Patient visitations at the hospital are not permitted starting at 12:00 p.m., Saturday, September 9, – Monday, September 11. 

    Employees required to work at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center over the weekend are asked to park in the parking garage and in Parking Lot #16. To reference the campus map, please visit: www.baypines.va.gov/documents/PV_Guide.pdf.
  • Patient Transfers -  Over 100 medical, surgical and psychiatry patients currently admitted for care at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center were transferred to the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in TampaOrlando VA Medical Center, Lake City VA Medical Center and Malcom Randall VA Medical Center in Gainesville. This transfer occurred on Saturday, September 9. The transfer activity was not a full evacuation. Inpatient operations and essential staffing levels will be maintained through duration of the storm.

    Family members of impacted Veterans have been contacted by VA staff about their loved one’s transfer, transfer location, and contact information for the receiving facility. In the event a family member cannot be reached prior to the transfer, the Bay Pines VAHCS has established a Family Information Line. Family members who have questions about the location of their loved one can call 727-398-6661, extension 17086.
  • Outpatient ClinicsThe Lee County Healthcare Center and all Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs), to include clinics located in BradentonNaplesPalm HarborPort CharlotteSarasotaSebring and St. Petersburg, will be closed Saturday, September 9 – Monday, September 11. This includes the previously announced closure of the Naples CBOC on Friday, September 8, 2017.

All clinics and services impacted by closures are expected to be reopened or restored by Tuesday, September 12, unless communicated otherwise. For updates on the operational status of all Bay Pines VAHCS facilities, please visit: www.baypines.va.gov/emergency/index.asp.

Veterans impacted by closures will be contacted by VA staff to reschedule their appointments as soon as possible. In the event of a medical and mental health emergency, Veterans are encouraged to dial 911 or visit the closest emergency room. Please note that the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System is not a designated hurricane shelter. This includes the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center and all satellite clinics. To view a list of designated hurricane shelters by county, please visit: www.floridadisaster.org/shelters.

In addition, VA has activated the Pharmacy Disaster Relief Plan through Heritage Health. Eligible patients with Veterans Health Identification (VHIC) in need of an emergency supply of medications can go to any retail pharmacy open to the public with a written prescription or active VA prescription bottle, not older than 6 months and with refills available, to receive a 10 day supply.  This does not include controlled substances.

If a VA patient is displaced, has lost medications, or no longer has a written prescription or bottle, he or she can contact the Heritage Health Customer Care Line at 1-866-265-0124, option 1. Heritage operating hours during Hurricane Irma are Monday thru Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. EST and Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST.

Veterans, their beneficiaries and caregivers may also contact the VA’s Health Resource Center Disaster Hotline at 1-800-507-4571, regarding VA health benefits, eligibility, billing and pharmacy-related inquiries, during the storm period.

For updated information about clinic closures and other important announcements, please call 727-398-9500 or visit: www.baypines.va.gov. You can also receive updated information by liking us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/VAbaypines or following us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/vabaypines.

Visit www.ready.gov to learn about disaster preparedness kits, family emergency plans, and more. Florida State Hurricane information can be found at www.floridadisaster.org.

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