PINEVILLE, La. – The Alexandria VA Medical Center (VAMC) led the evacuation of 100 elderly patients from Martin de Porres Community Nursing Home and Chenannault Residential Care Facility, based in Lake Charles, on Sept. 23 to a staging area in Alexandria.
The patients were moved in anticipation of Hurricane Rita to temporary shelters in Alexandria at Bolton High and Alexandria Senior High Schools.
The patients, some with mental health needs, are being relocated to sites within the region to ensure that adequate medical and mental health care is provided.
The Lake Charles patients will be transferred to the Alexandria VAMC or sites in Dallas, Little Rock, Ark., Shreveport and Waco, Texas from Sept. 26-27. The patients will return to their home facilities after damage assessments and necessary repairs are made, and local authorities deem the area safe for their return.
Families and friends trying to reach these patients should contact the Alexandria VA Medical Center at (800) 375-8387. All VA employees needing assistance may call toll-free at (866) 233-0152. Operators will be available from 6 a.m.-10 p.m. CT daily.
For further information, please call Jay De Worth, Acting Public Affairs Officer at the Alexandria VA Medical Center, at (800) 375-8387, ext. 2010.
A breakdown of VA patient transfers:
Martin dePorres Community Nursing Home
Chennault Residential Care Facility
Also, today, Sept. 28, approximately 330 nursing home patients from the affected area will be transferred to the Waco and Marlin, Texas, VA Medical Centers. The patients will stay in unused and vacant space at the two VA medical centers, and there is no current timeline as to how long they will stay.
As stated in today’s Waco Tribune Herald, Federal Emergency Management Administration officials took local VA officials up on their offer to provide space in Waco and Marlin for nearly 330 nursing home patients, said Bruce Gordon, chief executive officer of the Central Texas VA Health Care System. The influx is coming from short-term shelters and private facilities in Arkansas and elsewhere that temporarily housed patients from nursing homes in Houston, Beaumont and Lake Charles.
“The VA has stepped up and said, ‘Let us take some of these people,'” Gordon said. “There will be a lot of work, but we feel like we can step up and really help.”