The prognosis is good for a complete recovery from Hurricane Florence at two major area health care providers, even if some aftereffects are still being felt, officials said recently.
New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s initial assessments show Hurricane Florence had a total economic impact in the range of $90 million systemwide, health care system spokesman Julian March said.
“The preliminary estimate includes $30 million in property damage across our various locations, $30 million attributable to business interruption, $20 million for materials and supplies, and $10 million in additional payroll expenses,” March said.
Those numbers are subject to change and don’t include the new orthopedic tower on the hospital’s South 17th Street main campus in Wilmington.
Any damage to that multi-million-dollar project “remains the builder’s responsibility while it is under construction, or medical equipment resiliency issues as we go forward,” March said.
“It will take months, at least, to determine the exact economic impact,” he added. March said that NHRMC “took significant emergency protective measures before, during and after the storm and is continuing to take steps to mitigate its losses, particularly when it comes to business interruption.”
He said NHRMC has insurance policies to cover “a significant portion” of the damage and will apply to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state for assistance with respect to losses not covered by insurance.
Health care system officials are “working diligently to ensure we recover from all available resources,” March said.
New Hanover Regional Medical Center is a public, not-for-profit health care system. It does not receive any taxpayer dollars from New Hanover County.
“Despite the impacts of the storm, New Hanover Regional Medical Center and NHRMC Physician Group practices are all now fully operational, even while repair efforts are underway,” March said in mid-October, one month after the hurricane came ashore.
“Final repairs to the inpatient rooms temporarily closed after the storm were completed and all are back open,” March said.
NHRMC officials have lauded the performance of the health care system’s nearly 7,000 NHRMC employees during and after Florence hit the area, along with the work of volunteers.
Employees of Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center and affiliates in Brunswick and New Hanover counties also weathered Hurricane Florence with dedication and fortitude, Novant Health spokeswoman Ashton Miller said.
Miller said in mid-October that all Novant Health Medical Group clinics in the area are open and caring for patients.
Shelbourn Stevens, president of Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center, said in a statement that the hospital remained open for the duration of the storm.
“While the recovery is not over for us yet, we will certainly take time in the coming weeks to look back to evaluate what went well and what we might be able to do better or differently in the future,” he said.