Impressive Response and Emergency Readiness During Hurricane Sandy
In the critical run up to hurricane Sandy, the largest Atlantic hurricane on record to date, New York City officials mobilized to secure and evacuate certain low-lying areas of Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. At Kingsbrook, in anticipation of this crisis, our Incident Command Center activated its disaster plan on Sunday, October 28th, which incorporates the 96-hour emergency plan recommended by FEMA.
Because of our readiness, Kingsbook Jewish Medical Center and our sister institution, Rutland Nursing Home, were immediately able to accept 125 hospital patients and nursing home residents from threatened, low-lying facilities at the request of the City's Office of Emergency Management in coordination with The Greater New York Hospital Association and the New York State Department of Health. Patients evacuated were from Ocean Promenade Nursing Home, Coney Island Hospital, Shoreview Nursing Home, Cliffside Rehabilitation & Residential Health Center and Haym Solomon Nursing Home. Staff from Ocean Promenade joined Kingsbrook's team to care for evacuees and our human resources team completed emergency credentialing procedures of all visiting staff, confirming that qualified personnel were here for all patients and residents.
On Sunday November 11th, Rutland Nursing Home coordinated the safe transfer of the Ocean Promenade residents back to their home facility and on November 13th, Rutland Nursing Home admitted an additional 67 resident evacuees from the Seacrest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, along with members of their staff. In total over 200 evacuee residents and patients were cared for at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center/Rutland Nursing Home during this time of crisis.
Staff from our food, building services, and facilities divisions prepared our open congregate spaces for evacuees and settled everyone into comfortable accommodations immediately. We also received additional beds and materials from our vendors, FEMA and the National Guard. Many of our acute care patients and "guest" nursing home residents expressed how comfortable they were and made specific mention of how compassionate and caring our entire staff had been.
Additionally, Greater New York Hospital Association requested the help of our Food and Nutrition Department to provide over 85 meals to residents at Menorah Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing Care in Manhattan Beach Brooklyn. Kingsbrook's transportation staff fulfilled this request in spite of the weather conditions.
Our caring and committed staff, many of whom remained on-site for more than 72-hours, worked in lock-step to provide the necessary quality care needed by those who had to evacuate. Nurses, doctors, medical residents and many other critical staff members remained on site, sleeping on cots to assure proper coverage for shifts and to ensure the highest quality of patient centered care. Administration from Ocean Promenade Nursing Home praised our prompt response and support in such an important time of need and made special mention of our staff's professionalism and efficiency.
In 2011, Kingsbrook was the only independent hospital to take in 218 patients/residents, including those who were ventilator dependent during Hurricane Irene. In essence, this emergency response effort reflected yet again Kingsbrook's ability to answer the call, and our proficiency in "situation/crisis management". Our efforts reflect our commitment to our broader community, to each other through outstanding teamwork, and most importantly, the high level of quality care delivery to all those we serve, no matter the circumstance.