The range of health issues facing America's veterans is both wide and ever-evolving. The American Legion recognizes this and provides valuable health-care information on a variety of conditions, as well as regularly updated information on the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has updated The American Legion on the status of its Manhattan Campus, part of the VA New York Harbor Healthcare System (VANYHHS).
Since the Manhattan Campus lies in a flood zone, the facility was evacuated Oct. 28 as Hurricane Sandy approached the area, to ensure the safety of its patients. Uncertain about what the storm’s impact would be, VA leadership in New York City felt it was of critical importance to move patients to other health-care environments outside the flood zone.
One hundred patients were moved safely and without incident from the Manhattan Campus to neighboring VA hospitals, including facilities in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Montrose. Patients were transported using a variety of vehicles, including ambulances, ambulettes and buses.
As far as reopening the damaged hospital is concerned, VANYHHS said it is too early to set a timetable on restoring health-care services. Updates on the hospital's recovery status are being posted publically online and on Facebook.
A Patient Information Help Line is now available at (855) 269-8338, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., to help patients with questions. In addition, phone contacts to help veterans reschedule appointments are posted on the VANYHHS home page, Facebook page and on its intranet site for employees. Phone numbers for pharmaceutical questions, a nurse help line and other specialized services are also listed at those websites and below:
VA Nurse Help Line: (866) 940-2877 (24/7) to speak to a registered nurse about symptoms or health-related questions.
Centralized Scheduling: (877) 877-9267 (M-F, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.) for questions about an appointment at the Manhattan Campus, or to schedule an appointment.
Mental Health Help Desk: (718) 630-3759 (M-F, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.) for questions or concerns about emotional well-being or psychiatric illness.
Pharmacy: (888) 207-2004 (24/7) for ordering refills, medication tracking and status checks through an automated attendant. Live attendants are available M-F from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., except holidays and weekends. Live attendants will be available on Monday, Nov. 12, from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Emergency Dept: (718) 836-6600 Ext. 3125 (24/7).
If patients call and hear announcements or music while on hold, they should stay on the line and agents will answer their call. Please note that veterans must have their Social Security numbers available in order to access the system.