When Hurricane Florence left patients without a safe place to return home after the storm, New Hanover Regional Medical Center took action.
Amy Messier, MD, NHRMC VP Clinical Integration and Informatics said that NHRMC staff took a look at patients who were ready to be discharged from the ER and people in the shelter at Hoggard who needed medical care and asked, "How can we be of the most service and do the most good?"
NHRMC worked with a county and school officials to set up a special medical shelter where patients could stay safe and receive medical supervision until they could return home.
"We had a meeting at 8 in the morning and by noon, the medical shelter was set up. We saw our first patient around 3 p.m.," said Scott Whisnant, NHRMC Administrator of Community Engagement.
Amy Messier, MD said that the medical shelter was set up like a mini hospital. Patients were cared for in the same way they would be at NHRMC. Advanced Care practitioners were there around the clock to care for their patients.
"The most impressive thing was the willingness to help," said Todd Kornegay, MD of New Hanover Medical Group.
Amy Messier, MD, said that the staff and the patients had formed a very close bond very quickly. "If you talk to any of them, they will tell you that they have become a family."
We just pulled together as a group and took care of these patients. And not only met their physical needs, but we met their emotional needs," said Terri DeWees, NHRMC Director of Trauma Services.