Bay Pines Employees Deploy to Assist with Hurricane Florence Recovery Efforts - Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
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Bay Pines Employees Deploy to Assist with Hurricane Florence Recovery Efforts

September 26, 2018

Bay Pines, Fla.Bay Pines VA Healthcare System employees Dr. David Jensen (pictured right), primary care physician at the Bradenton Community Based Outpatient Clinic, and Gilbert DaCosta (pictured left), VA Police Officer at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center, have been deployed to Fayetteville, North Carolina to assist with relief efforts after Hurricane Florence.

Last year, Dr. Jensen was deployed to Puerto Rico in support of recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria. “It’s an honor to help Veterans and employees who have experienced tremendous loss in Fayetteville after Hurricane Florence. I truly enjoy pitching in wherever I can,” he said.

DaCosta has previously been deployed during Hurricane Irma and to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. “I enjoy helping the other officers during their time of need. I’ve made great friends during my deployments and keep in touch with them after I leave. We are really a VA family,” he said.

Hurricane Florence made landfall just south of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina on September 14, 2018. The storm caused extensive damage due largely to freshwater flooding. It could be several more weeks before flood waters recede in the hardest hit areas.DEMPS is the Veterans Health Administration’s main deployment program for clinical and non-clinical staff to an emergency or disaster.

The DEMPS program may be used for an internal VA mission, as well as supporting a mission after a Presidential Disaster Declaration.Bay Pines VAHCS currently has 66 employees who have registered to serve as DEMPS volunteers. To date, VA has deployed nearly 75 people from around the country to support the Hurricane Florence recovery effort. To learn more about VA’s DEMPS program, please visit: www.va.gov/vhaemergencymanagement/cemp/cemp_demps.asp.

About the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
The Bay Pines VAHCS is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and is one of the nation’s leading VA healthcare systems, employing more than 4,300 medical professionals and support staff dedicated to providing the very best care to Veterans residing in southwest Florida. The organization is one of the largest VA health care systems in the country in terms of patients served and is accredited by The Joint Commission, Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and several other nationally recognized accrediting organizations. The Bay Pines VAHCS operates nine facilities to include the main medical center located in Bay Pines and outpatient clinics located in Bradenton, Cape Coral, Naples, Palm Harbor, Port Charlotte, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Sebring. To learn more, please visit www.baypines.va.gov, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/vabaypines, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/vabaypines.