Wayne Memorial Hospital has initiated its Phone Emergency Preparedness Plan due to difficulties with both incoming and outbound calls in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Under this plan, the public and Wayne Memorial staff are required to limit calls to and from the hospital for only emergency, high-priority and essential calls. True emergency calls should be directed to 9-1-1, which has an alternate method of communicating with the hospital. Calls within the hospital, from department to department, are not affected.

All other services at the hospital are operational and patient care has not been affected. Patients are also being informed of the situation.

Incoming calls to these sites are affected:

Wayne Memorial Hospital

WMH Business Office at Stourbridge/Honesdale

WMH Rehabilitation Services at Stourbridge/Honesdale

WMH Home Health & Hospice at Stourbridge/Honesdale

WMCHC Together for Health Dental Center

WMCHC Honesdale Family Health Center

WMCHC Honesdale Surgical Suites

WMCHC Behavioral Health

WMCHC Offices of Sean McVeigh, MD

Highland Physicians on Fairview Avenue, Honesdale

Three out of four phone lines at the hospital and its associated facilities are "down," according to Information Services Manager Tom Hoffman, "and the utility company has indicated this will continue for an undetermined amount of time due to a 'high level outage' affecting many customers."

If you must call the hospital, you are asked to please call one of the following lines as is appropriate to your situation:

For Hospital Switchboard: (570) 253-7320

For Maternity/pregnancy issues: (570) 253 – 4357

For Emergency Department issues: (570) 253-9196

If you cannot get through using these numbers and have an urgent care need, please call (570) 253-3109.

Calls for scheduling issues or for other outpatient services should be directed to the Hospital Switchboard number until an alternate, more streamlined system can be set up.

Calls for any affected Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers (WMCHC) offices in Honesdale—surgical, dental, behavioral health, Honesdale Family Health Center—should be directed to the Hospital Switchboard number above. Messages will be funneled to those offices and returned as soon as possible. Please, understand, however, that there may be delays.

"Wayne Memorial is working to re-route phone lines," Hoffman says, adding, "repeated attempts may get you through, but we are experiencing decreased capacity and can only handle a limited number of calls to and from the hospital."

Cell phone use is permitted in some areas at the hospital. Patients are advised to ask hospital staff if cell phone use is appropriate in their particular care unit.

Wayne Memorial Hospital asks for the public's patience as it tries to work through the phone issues. The public is also asked to help spread the word. Thank you for your cooperation!