ST. CROSS, US Virgin Islands — In September 2017, heavy rains and high winds from Hurricanes Irma and Maria caused extensive damage to U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Health (VIDOH) facilities throughout the territory. Both of these Category 5 storms caused catastrophic structural damage. Many buildings suffered roof damage and were flooded and overgrown with mold. Some structures had to be demolished to prepare for the construction of temporary facilities.
FEMA continues to help the territory rebuild. “We used the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) and Alternative Public Assistance Procedures for Permanent Work to restore medical facilities in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the U.S. Virgin Islands,” said Herbert Grigg, supervisor. of FEMA’s Public Assistance Group for Health and Utilities. and Transportation. “The BBA provides FEMA with more flexibility in determining eligible work for Alternative Public Assistance Procedures projects to restore facilities that provide essential services.”
Essential services include hospitals and other health facilities that provide emergency medical care and services, schools, and facilities that provide electricity, water, and other types of essential services.
FEMA-funded healthcare facility reconstruction projects include:
Charles Harwood Medical Center, St. Croix
FEMA has approved the replacement of the seven buildings that make up the Charles Harwood Medical Complex: Main Building, Annex, Clubhouse, Motor Pool Building; storage building and permanent and maintenance buildings for emergency medical services.
Through FEMA’s public assistance program, $251 million was committed for facility replacement, architectural and engineering costs, installation of modular facilities, walkway, and temporary parking lot. Governor Juan F. Luis Hospital, St. Croix
FEMA has committed $111.4 million for a temporary 101-bed structure at the Governor Juan F. Luis Hospital, architectural and engineering design costs, and to increase space for administrative purposes.
Charlotte Kimelman Cancer Institute, St. Thomas
FEMA committed $45 million for facility replacement and architectural and engineering costs, including nearly $171,000 for risk mitigation measures to protect against the impacts of future events such as an improved generator that will supply the installation in the event of failure of the main system.
The Charlotte Kimelman Cancer Institute has provided cancer treatment to people in the US Virgin Islands and the Eastern Caribbean region. Services included comprehensive outpatient diagnosis and treatment, clinical support, patient support and more. Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Centre, St. John
The Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center in St. John provides emergency and primary care services to residents of the island. This includes maternal health care services, services for pregnant women, pediatric patients and newborns. In June, FEMA approved the replacement of the permanent facility. FEMA committed $695,000 for the architectural and engineering design costs of the replacement facility.
Essential service facilities must be able to withstand multiple hazards as they serve as the backbone of rescue and life support operations. While the 2017 storms caused damage and havoc across the country, progress is being made,
Through the strength of continued efforts and strong partnerships across the territory, FEMA and our federal partners, together, will ensure healthcare facilities are rebuilt stronger and more resilient to protect against the dangers of future storms.