The power of teamwork, dedication……

display_image On August 4, 2009 the day started out with me waking up and looking out the window and I could tell that this was no ordinary morning. The sky was dark and cloudy, the rain was coming down in a torrential down pour. I live in a flood zone and quickly looked out the window to visualize a rising, “river” flowing behind my house. I began to become some what anxious as the last time we had this much rain, there were 2 men in a canoe in front of my house. I kept pacing from window to window keeping a mental note on the rising water and crossing my fingers that it wouldn’t reach the house. Back in 1997, my subdivision suffered a devastating flood causing many people out of their homes for months while repairs were done.
I work the night shift and as usual, I was spending my day on my favorite social site, twitter! I rarely watch the local news and was hearing our Mayor being interviewed on the Fox News station, but yet it didn’t register with me just how bad the situation was just outside the security of my home. Around 4pm I received a DM ( direct message for my non tweeting readers) from one of my coworkers that I had introduced to twitter. Her message was alarming! “The hospital is closed and patients are being evacuated, no phone lines, no air conditioning or lights.” By 6pm that evening, I had made it to the hospital and with my flash light climbed 3 flights of stairs. It was eerie, no sounds, the smell was becoming intense. When I finally arrived on the unit that I work on, I found that we were operating on a temporary generator and we were evacuating patients to nearby hospitals and to downtown to our sister hospital as well. We quickly formed our game plan and decisions would be made as to who would stay on the unit monitoring the patients that had not been picked up by ambulances or those who were able to go by our transit system. I was amazed how the community had turned out in droves to help us! The ER parking area was a sea of ambulances, TARC(transit authority river city) buses… all in place to help us evacuate a hospital in distress.
Equally amazing was the dedication and teamwork that was displayed on that most memorable day in August. Our CCU and ICU patients were the first to be transferred out, nurse’s left personal belongings behind to aide in the transport of our clients, ensuring their safety first and foremost. The teamwork that was displayed was simply amazing and I am very proud to be associated with such great, compassionate and caring individuals, from every department. While closed we worked at our sister hospital downtown, Jewish Hospital and a few of our patients had gone to Audubon Hospital as well. We are resilient and dedicated to our beloved, “Saints Mary’s and Elizabeth.” She has suffered major damages and is slowly coming back to once again to serve the members of our community that depend on us for all of their medical needs!6620_1196246712108_1406696189_562496_7641927_n
This is a view of the back entrance that employees use and where people can park to pick up loved ones that were there for test.
This video was put together to show how we came together as one to continue to provide the best of care in a most difficult of times…………..


5 responses to “The power of teamwork, dedication……

  1. The Jewish Hospital and St. Mary’s has a dedicated and faith-filled staff. What a testimony to your employees professionalism, readiness, and knowledge that all patients and workers survived.

    God bless the work you do, Erica. You certainly are blessing to your community.

  2. You are my neighbor! I love St. Mary’s and never did get in the habit of calling it Caritas.
    I was glad to see them up and running again!

    God Bless!

    • Yes, I grew up calling it St Mary’s was so glad when the name changed back! I am so glad to be back “home” downtown was nice, great food, but hated the traffic!!!

  3. The traffic is a nightmare!!


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