NYMC Faculty Publications


Merging Outpatient Addiction and Opioid-maintenance Programs During a Disaster: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy

Document Type


Publication Date

October 2017


Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences


OBJECTIVE: After Hurricane Sandy flooded Bellevue Hospital in New York City, its opiate maintenance patients were displaced and Bellevue's outpatient program was temporarily merged with the program at Metropolitan Hospital for continuation of care. The merger forced Metropolitan to accommodate a program twice as large as its own and required special staff coordination and adjustments in clinical care. METHODS: Physicians, clinicians, and administrators from both institutions participated in interviews regarding the merger. RESULTS: Issues that emerged in the interviews fell into 4 major themes: (1) organization and meshing of professional cultures, (2) regulation, (3) communication, and (4) accommodations. CONCLUSIONS: Despite these barriers, data collected after the merger showed high retention rates and low rates of positive urine toxicology results. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;page 1 of 7).