"We have capacity for 40 beds right now, and we are full," Feliciano said. Before the storm, Ryder had 165 inpatient beds. "My principal responsibility right now is to open beds."
The storm damage forced Ryder to close its doors for the first time in its 104-year history, with a one-month shutdown starting in October.
Feliciano estimated the cost of repairs at around $24 million, and that the work at its current pace could take years to complete. Plá Cortes said Ryder's impact on the community could not be overstated. Before the hurricane, Ryder averaged more than 300 surgeries a month, and the facility was one of the only providers in the area to offer comprehensive obstetric and gynecological services; those services are now limited.
"They are the premier hospital on this side of the island," Plá Cortes said. "So, with the hospital having difficulties, patients are having trouble getting access to services like they used to."