How Hurricane Ike destroyed a medical center

Last month’s hurricane hit the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston particularly hard, with the institution suffering $700 million in damage:

It cannot begin to take on patients, open up wings and generate revenue until it repairs critical operations like its blood bank, pharmacy, kitchens and radiology department, but it lacks the millions needed for the repairs, and so far the federal and state governments have not come through with aid.

The hospital provided most of the charity care throughout the region, and was considered a top nationwide trauma program.

To rub salt in the wounds, it was announced yesterday that almost 4,000 people would be laid off. As the largest employer in the island, this will further hurt recovery efforts.

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