At the end of a long day

And here’s where we stand, at 11 PM on November 1, 2012:

The office at 690 Bay Street on Staten Island is open. (The tanker ship is in fact sitting on top of Bay Street but somewhat to the north of our location and so should not inconvenience our patients.) We are offering all the usual services at that office (though vaccine availability is limited due to lack of deliveries) and welcome all Brooklyn and Staten Island patients.For those able to travel to Staten Island, Drs Anna Shindelman, Arkadiy Sherer and Felix Fisher will do their best to help you.

The Staten Island telephone is 718-816-1010. The office will be open 7 days a week for the foreseeable future, to compensate for the difficulties we are experiencing in Brooklyn.

It was a long day in Brighton Beach, with some positive developments, and some welcome news about our office at 523 Oceanview Avenue: the “old” office is now open! Power came back on last night. Our staff did an incredible job of cleaning the office several times over (considering it had over 2 feet of mud and seawater over the floor at ground level), and intermittent Internet and phone service came back late today.

Dr Raisal Milman and Dr Terence Reynolds were able to begin seeing patients today, in difficult conditions and on an emergency basis only because of lack of phone service. None of the cell phones work reliably in the vicinity of the office, with intermittent text message capability at best. Our answering service is still underwater. Verizon only regained the capability of changing call forwarding today, and we only have one functional land line in the office, and that intermittently, with repair scheduled for Saturday, November 3.

The plan for tomorrow, November 2, is: We open at 523 Oceanview avenue at 10 AM, and see walk-ins as well as “scheduled” patients (those who can get through on a single line that loses the dial tone half the time, with little to no service on any of our cell phones anywhere in Brighton or Manhattan Beach), with Drs Milman and Reynolds continuing to hold the fort. (None of our doctors will cross the Verrazano bridge to work until the gasoline shortage is relieved.)

We have no vaccine, limited lab, no fax, limited Internet, and, what distresses me the most, the majority of our paper medical records are saturated with sea-bottom mud, making them inaccessible for the foreseeable future. We still have the same dedicated people we’ve always had working in the office, and we will continue to do our best for you. We will also continue to be grateful for the patience you’ve shown these last trying days, for the heartfelt messages of support, for your thoughts and prayers, and for your loyalty.

I will be wearing my “CEO” (Chief Everything Officer) hat for the next several days, trying to return the office to its best possible shape, while looking forward to taking care of patients again as soon as I possibly can.

Anatoly Belilovsky, MD

Chief, Belilovsky Pediatrics