Maloney Lauds Federal Funds for Bellevue Hospital
NEW YORK – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney today lauded an announcement that the City has secured a commitment of $376 million in funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to repair and protect Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan, which was damaged during Hurricane Sandy.
“These federal funds will help ensure that Bellevue can continue operating without interruption when the next big storm hits,” said Maloney. “The entire New York Congressional Delegation came together to fight for these funds, and wisely sought resources not just for repairs, but also for mitigation. Bellevue is an important facility and it sustained substantial damage and had to be evacuated during Hurricane Sandy. We are taking the necessary steps to be sure that doesn’t happen again.”
Intensive restoration work has already repaired or replaced equipment damaged by the storm. In many cases, equipment such as electrical switching gear has been relocated out of the hospital's basement to higher elevation areas on the first floor. Bellevue has also installed removable flood barriers at its two loading dock entrances facing the East River, and raised its drinking water and fuel pumps to higher elevations.
FEMA funds will reimburse New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) for repairs and mitigation work partially completed. It will also fund a new 2,350-foot flood wall that will protect critical parts of the campus to the 500-year flood level, new storm and sanitary drainage pumps, and new flood proof elevators for the hospital’s main tower.
Bellevue Hospital was evacuated for the first time in its history on October 31, 2012, when its basement, which contained over 250 pieces of equipment critical to running the facility, was flooded by millions of gallons of water pushed ashore by Hurricane Sandy. On November 19, 2012, Bellevue was able to re-open several primary care clinics, 24-hour walk-in urgent care, and outpatient pharmacy services. On December 10, 2012, the hospital re-opened its emergency department in a limited capacity and, two weeks later, began receiving ambulances for non-critical cases. Additional outpatient clinics were re-opened as well. Finally, on February 7, 2013, Bellevue fully restored all services, resuming its Level 1 Trauma Center status and opening all 828 inpatient beds.
The funds were included in a $1.6 billion package to fund resiliency and mitigation projects that will protect four New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation facilities: Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn, Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan, Metropolitan Hospital Center in Manhattan, and Coler Specialty Hospital on Roosevelt Island.