December 21, 2017 | FAH Policy Blog Team
Modern Healthcare’s most recent edition recognized health care workers who answered the call to serve during unprecedented disasters and tragedies in 2017 – including those who work at several FAH affiliated hospitals.
In a special section entitled – “Responding to disaster: How healthcare rose to the challenge in 2017” – the magazine highlights acts of dedication from around the country.
Two of the stories center on the tragic shooting at a country music festive in Las Vegas.
Robert Weiss, physician assistant, clinician and an ER provider at HCA’s Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, was at the concert. After making sure his wife was safe, he made his way to the medical tent on site and started treating the wounded. In the middle of chaos, he said he also saw acts of kindness and a “resurgence of humanity.”
You can read his story here.
The Emergency Department at Sunrise ended up seeing more than 200 patients that night - Dr. Scott A. Scherr is the Chairman of emergency services and led the lifesaving efforts.
He credits the hard work of the hospital’s team with saving hundreds of people.
“Sunrise Hospital is a very busy place to work anyway. We've always stressed a team approach and the next-man-up type of mentality. That certainly was displayed that night,” Dr. Scherr told Modern Healthcare. “To think that at 10 at night our providers answered the call and came in without question, that was the reason why we saved so many lives that night. If we did not have that response from our team, a lot more lives would have been lost.”
You can read his story here.
When Hurricane Harvey dumped more than 50 inches of rain on the Houston area, massive flooding put a strain on hospitals across the area. Caregivers were dutifully treating patients, while in many cases their homes were under water.
That is when nurses from across the HCA system jumped into action. More than 300 of them travelling to Texas to give nurses from Houston a chance to take a break and go home so they could check on their families.
Kelli Nations, Chief nursing executive of the HCA Gulf Coast Division, helped organize the volunteer effort.
“The visiting nurses were fresh and revived and excited about being there. A lot of nurses and staff members lost their home or lost their home and their vehicles,” Nations told Modern Healthcare. “You can imagine, when they came home from work and had to deal with a home that was flooded, they needed some time off. Many of those volunteer nurses stayed with us for two weeks, even four weeks, to allow our nurses to take some needed time off to care for their families and get back on track.”
The HCA Hope Fund assisted families of 1,700 employees affected by the storm. You can read more here.
FAH salutes the hard work and dedication of all the medical professionals who served their communities during these difficult situations.