As surrounding communities continue to work through the Hurricane Florence recovery process, so too do the hospitals and other medical providers serving the region. The following is a look at how those groups responded to the storm, fared through the hurricane and are coping with the aftermath.
New Hanover Regional Medical Center provided care during the storm and opened again for visitors not long after Hurricane Florence. Many of the NHRMC Physician Group practices along with Pender Memorial are also open and serving patients.
NHRMC officials announced Sept. 21 that the New Hanover Regional Medical Center Emergency Department-North at 151 Scotts Hill Drive had reopened.
“We are still in storm response mode but are proud of our teams working around the clock to serve our community,” New Hanover Regional Medical Center spokesman Julian March said the week of Sept. 17.
Hurricane Florence has severely impacted Southeastern North Carolina and other regions of the state, “but the New Hanover Regional Medical Center system continues to provide care as the region recovers from the storm,” March said.
He said that more than 1,800 staff, physicians and advanced care providers sheltered in place for five nights during the storm, “providing excellent care throughout.”
“Our facilities suffered some minor damage, including to our orthopedic tower under construction, a small corner of roofing over the 10th floor of NHRMC, and over the resident offices at NHRMC,” March said.
NHRMC worked with Atrium Health to bring Med 1, a fully operational mobile hospital, to Burgaw to provide Pender County area residents access to care while Pender Memorial was closed for a time because of the storm.
At press time, NHRMC Orthopedic Hospital was expected to be fully operational Oct. 1.
Brunswick County also took a major hit from Hurricane Florence.
“We complete an analysis after every response in order to evaluate what went well and what we may be able to improve on moving forward,” said Ashton Miller, spokeswoman for Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center.
Shelbourn Stevens, president of the medical center, said in a statement, “Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center remained open for the duration of the storm. . . I am incredibly impressed by the response of our team members who stepped up to support our patients and each other.”
Stevens said staff members “saw the value of teamwork by working with and supporting other agencies. For example, we shared our helipad with the United States Coast Guard so they could safely land in our community. We also received patients from high-water vehicles.”
Miller said that Novant Health worked closely with state and local partners, including NC Healthcare Preparedness Coalitions and emergency management officials, “to ensure that our team members, their families, our patients, and our community were cared for regardless of the weather.”
Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center’s emergency department remained open during the storm.
“Out of an abundance of caution,” Miller said that some patients at the medical center were transferred to inland hospitals to continue to receive care until they were able to return home.
At Wilmington Health facilities, “preliminary assessments of most of our buildings have been performed and there appears to be no structural or flooding damage,” a news release in September said.
Updates on the status of Wilmington Health facilities are being posted on Wilmington Health’s website, www.wilmingtonhealth.com, and Facebook page.
DOSHER MEMORIAL HOSPITAL
Southport also felt the force of Hurricane Florence.
“We maintained emergency department, lab and diagnostic imaging [services]. We had to close other services at the hospital due to lack of potable water caused by line breaks leading to Dosher,” hospital spokesman James Goss said.