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Director's Message to Veterans
June 9th, 2020
I want to take a moment to update you on what VA New York Harbor Healthcare System (NYHHS) is doing to support our local community in the fight against COVID-19, while also maintaining our exceptionally high level of care for our Veteran patients.
Helping Veterans is our first mission. From mid-March through June 3rd, NYHHS admitted 411 Veterans to our Brooklyn and New York Campuses for treatment of COVID-19. In times of national crisis, such as the current pandemic, VA provides services to the nation based on requests from states. This is known as VA’s Fourth Mission. At the request of the State of New York NYHHS provided 50 total beds – 35 acute care and 15 Intensive Care Unit beds – for humanitarian cases. By making these beds available, we saved lives and provided desperately needed relief for city and private hospitals in our community. From March 28th through June 3rd NYHHS treated 111 civilians as inpatients.
In early May, our medical centers in Brooklyn and Manhattan accepted the remaining six non-Veteran, humanitarian patients from the Javits Center Field Hospital, helping them close out their mission.
We also accepted the remaining 11 non-Veteran humanitarian patients who were being treated by medical providers on the USNS Comfort. Transferring those patients to our medical centers in Manhattan and Brooklyn allowed the Comfort to complete its mission and return home to Virginia.
I want to be very clear that opening our doors to humanitarian, non-Veteran patients in no way impacted Veteran care during the pandemic; every Veteran requiring inpatient or emergency care received the same high-quality service our patients have come to expect from VA NYHHS.
Moving forward together, we will continue to provide exceptional care to our Veterans.
Director, VA New York Harbor Healthcare System