Dear HCA Healthcare Family,
As you have most likely seen from the news coverage, Hurricane Michael has had a devastating impact on the Panama City, Florida community. We want you to be aware of the efforts HCA Healthcare has underway to ensure our patients, our employees and our hospitals are safe in the aftermath. During disasters like this, our priority is always the safety of our patients and colleagues.
Prior to landfall, we prepared our hospitals throughout the region and ensured they had enough staff, supplies and generator power to continue operating and caring for our patients during and after the storm. Beginning Monday, we also safely transferred some of our sickest patients from Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center, which is located in Panama City, to other HCA Healthcare hospitals.
Hurricane Michael made landfall Wednesday in the Florida Panhandle as a very strong category 4 storm. Panama City experienced extreme damage to its infrastructure, including extensive utility outages and blocked roadways. Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center sustained substantial damage from the storm and is running on backup generator power. While there was no impact on patient care, we are in the process of transferring 130 patients to other sister facilities to ensure continuity of care. Until we can be certain of stable public power, water and sewage systems, our patients will be safest in our neighboring hospitals.
To serve the area’s crucial need for emergency care, Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center’s emergency room will remain open to treat and stabilize emergency patients as they arrive. The federal government has deployed a disaster medical assistance team to the hospital to help meet the need for emergency services.
In the surrounding communities, the storm has caused a significant amount of damage. We have reached out to all colleagues in the impacted areas to confirm their safety and to provide resources to help, including a dedicated HCA HR Answers Hotline. Our Hope Fund emergency relief center is standing by to take applications for emergency and recovery assistance. We know the need will be great – please consider donating today at hcahopefund.com.
To further help this community in its time of need, HCA Healthcare has made a $1 million gift to the Red Cross. This donation is in addition to the $500,000 gift made previously to support Hurricane Florence relief.
Though a hurricane of this magnitude poses significant challenges, we are confident that our diligent preparations and steadfast commitment to our patients and our people will help us through the days ahead. HCA Healthcare is fortunate to have such dedicated employees and physicians.