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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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Hurricane Rita Status Update Sunday, September 25, 2005

September 25, 2005

  1. Because of concerns regarding fuel, traffic congestion, and scattered power outages in southeast Texas, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) has cancelled all outpatient clinic appointments, and compensation and pension examination appointments, in Houston, Galveston, Texas City, Beaumont, and Lufkin on Monday, September 26, 2005 and Tuesday, September 27, 2005. The Beaumont VA Outpatient Clinic will possibly be closed for a longer period of time.
  2. Veterans may begin calling the VA Network Telecare Hotline at (713) 794-8985 on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 to reschedule their appointments.
  3. Veterans who need medical advice should call the VA Network Telecare Center Hotline at (713) 794-8985 or toll-free 1-800-639-5137. Registered nurses, pharmacists, and administrative clerks are ready to answer veteran health care questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The VA Network Telecare Center is not for life-threatening emergencies. Veterans with life-threatening emergencies should immediately call 911.
  4. All MEDVAMC nursing staff members especially those assigned to outpatient clinics, who have not already done so, are asked to immediately contact their supervisor or the Command Center Nursing Desk at (713) 794-8398.
  5. All non-essential personnel will remain on excused absence on Monday, September 26, 2005 and Tuesday, September 27, 2005. All MEDVAMC personnel are required to report for their normal tour of duty on Wednesday, September 28, 2005.
  6. All MEDVAMC employees, both essential and non-essential, are required to check in with their status, location, and contact information by calling 1-866-233-0152. Operators will be available from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.
  7. The MEDVAMC suffered no physical damage from the storm; only one tree down and two minor leaks. The Facilities Management Service Line has resolved the electrical problem that affected the main building on Saturday.
  8. The VA Canteen Service will be open Sunday through Tuesday. The Food Court is open 8 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. and the Retail Store is open 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. The Retail Store will close 1 p.m. - 1:40 p.m. for VCS employee lunch.
  9. The Daycare Center located in the Dental Conference Room in Room 2A-312 will be open on Monday, September 26, 2005 and Tuesday, September 27, 2005, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. The Center is open to care for the dependent children under the age of 18 of MEDVAMC employees. A table is located immediately outside the room for registration and name tags. The Dental Conference Room can be reached at ext. 3556.
  10. The Pet Center is now unattended. Pet owners must assume all responsibility for the care of their pets. All pets at the MEDVAMC must be lodged in the Pet Center in the basement. Pet owners should be aware this order will be strictly enforced by the VA Police. There are no exceptions.
  11. It is important for all MEDVAMC employees to wear their VA identification badges at all times.
  12. The MEDVAMC will continue to keep you updated on personnel, patient, weather, and facility issues as information becomes available. Information flyers are posted near elevator banks around the MEDVAMC. Information is also available by calling the MEDVAMC Information Hotline at (713) 791-1414, ext. 3647 and through local media outlets.