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Hurricane Ian Update; Important Information for Veterans Ahead of the Storm


September 26, 2022

Orlando , FL — In preparation for potential impacts of Hurricane Ian, the OVAHCS has activated the VA medical center emergency operations center and are engaged in taking necessary actions to ensure the safety of patients and staff.

At this time, Veterans with scheduled appointments on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, and on Thursday, September 29, 2022, are being rescheduled. ONLY The Viera VA Outpatient Clinic will tentatively remain open for emergent walk-ins.

Important: Veteran patients can go to any local retail pharmacy to obtain needed refills. Veteran patients must take an empty active VA prescription bottle (not older than 6 months and with refills available) or a new VA prescription on a VA form by an authorized VA provider to a retail pharmacy. This does not include controlled substances.

Link to emergency refill locations:

The Heritage Health Customer Care Line is available for both VA patients and Pharmacies for any billing questions or coverage at: 1-866-265-0124, option 1

Heritage Hours of Operations for Hurricane Coverage:

  • Monday through Friday 7:00am to 11:00pm EST
  • Saturday and Sunday 9:00am to 5:30pm EST

Should the operational status of any of the facilities change, information will be communicated widely and will also be posted at: VA Orlando Health Care | Veterans Affairs

The following activities are underway at our facility. These activities will further develop throughout the event.

  • Sending out initial communications to employees, patients, stakeholders,
  • Communicating and coordinating with other VA hospitals, community emergency management partners, first responders, and others regarding preparedness activities and shared resources
  • Rescheduling procedures
  • Limiting inpatient and residential admissions as appropriate
  • Expediting hospital discharges as appropriate
  • Ensuring supplies are at par levels and adequate for continuity of operations
  • Identifying key staff who will be required to work and support patient care

Resources for Veterans:

  • If a Veteran is displaced, has lost his or her medication, and no longer has a written prescription or bottle, they can contact their local VA Medical Center or the VISN 8 Clinical Contact Center at 1-877-741-3400.
  • VA Health Connect (also known as the VISN 8 Clinical Contact Center) 1-877-741-3400 is operational 24/7 to provide Veterans with virtual care and support. 
  • Veterans, their beneficiaries, and caregivers may also contact the VA’s Health Resource Center Disaster Hotline at 1-800-507-4571, regarding VA health benefits, eligibility, billing and pharmacy-related inquiries, during the storm period.

Veterans experiencing a medial or psychiatric emergency should call 9-1-1 or visit the nearest open emergency room. As we continue to monitor this evolving situation, we will adjust our response as required.  

Media contacts

Melanie Thomas, Public Affairs Officer


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