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Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center


VA mounts concerted response to Hurricane Matthew

VA staff from the Charleston VA Medical Center in South Carolina transfer a patient from a DUV as he arrives back at the medical center.

VA staff from the Charleston VA Medical Center help transfer patients home after Hurricane Matthew.

By Charleston VA Public Affairs Staff
Friday, October 14, 2016
The Veterans Health Administration is the only fully integrated health care system in the U.S. This integration allows for unprecedented coordination of care and seamless patient transfers/evacuations during emergency situations, like what occurred in the first week of October 2016 when Hurricane Matthew made its way up  the Eastern Coast.

On Tuesday, Oct. 4, Governor Nikki Haley issued an evacuation order to the coastal communities within the state of South Carolina. Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center stood up its Emergency Operations Center and followed its emergency operations plans to transfer as many patients as possible based on their medical status; reschedule elective procedures and outpatient clinic appointments; and actively manage patient movements. 

Over the course of the next couple of days, Charleston VAMC transferred more than 50 patients to sister VA facilities in Columbia, South Carolina, and Augusta and Dublin, Georgia, where they sheltered in place during the storm.

VA staff across numerous medical centers came together to provide  comprehensive care coordination to meet the complex needs of the Veteran population from as far south as Hinesville, Georgia, and along the coast to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. VAMCs banned together to ensure that vulnerable Veteran populations, such as Community Living Center (CLC) residents, homeless Veterans, spinal cord injury patients, and homebound patients, were accounted for and had the opportunity to move to other facilities or had a plan to weather the storm.

Read some of the stories in the links below:

VA partners' stories

Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center (Augusta, GA)
Wm. Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center (Columbia, SC)
Carl Vinson VA Medical Center (Dublin, GA) photo of RHJ parking deck flooded during Hurricane Matthew

A Charleston VAMC employee captured this photo of the south corner of the medical center, the parking deck and surface parking lot under water during Hurricane Matthew.

Thank you to all the VA staff and partner facilities who made this effort a success. 


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