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TeamHealth’s Response to Hurricane Ian

How TeamHealth Clinicians Coordinated Care and Showed Comradery During Hurricane Ian

On Wednesday, September 28, 2022, Hurricane Ian made landfall in southwestern Florida. TeamHealth facilities across the state ensured safe, high-quality care in the midst of the destruction of Hurricane Ian. TeamHealth clinicians and operators across the state and beyond made countless sacrifices and decisions that saved lives both during the storm and after it passed.

Hurricane Ian Makes Landfall

As the hurricane came ashore as a dangerous Category 4 storm, pieces of the roof at a facility in Port Charlotte, Florida, began to blow away. Dr. James Clark partnered with the facility and the U.S. Coast Guard to quickly move intensive care patients to nearby facilities, while others on site helped to quickly and safely transfer patients. Through all of this, Dr. Karen Kriza, Senior Vice President and Southeast Group National Medical Director, stayed in close contact with leadership on an hourly basis to offer assistance. Their quick thinking saved many lives that day.

Prior to the storm, a hospital in Lake Monroe had discharged as many patients as safely possible, but still had a census of 120 patients with three physicians who stayed overnight to care for them. When the sun rose on Thursday morning, additional physicians were unable to make it to the hospital due to flooding and were turned away at several different road blocks. One of the three physicians, Dr. Hasib Ibne-Rasa, was still determined to find a safe way to get to the hospital to offload those on site. He continued driving for an hour, found a route that was accessible to the hospital and shared it with the other two physicians, Dr. Skravchuk Kravchuk and Dr. Naveed Sadiq. The three physicians were greeted with applause and those that stayed overnight were relieved to have additional support.

Mobilizing Resources in Response

At one of the largest skilled nursing facilities in the Tampa Bay area with more than 275 beds, post-acute care providers evacuated all patients in the facility prior to the storm, knowing it would make a direct impact. Clinical Practice Managers, Libby Butler and Steven Suarez, logistically planned the safe transfer of all patients,  stayed with them throughout the storm and helped them to get settled in their rooms once it passed. Libby and Steven went above and beyond, advocating for the safety and well-being of their patients.

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