Home is Where the Heart Is: Women’s & Children’s Hospital CEO Talks Spirit of Staff, Community after Louisiana Flood

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A flooded living room with couches, toys and floorboards floating in water

Growing up in a military family, I developed the ability to adapt to change very quickly. A new town, new school, new friends and new beginnings, wasn’t always easy, but it made me the person I am today. Someone who cherishes community, family and friends – that’s where my heart is, you see – right here, in Louisiana, where the state’s recent flooding has been called “the worst natural disaster to strike the United States since Hurricane Sandy.”

As president and CEO of Women’s & Children’s Hospital in Lafayette, La., an affiliate of HCA Healthcare, which operates four other hospitals in the state, our priority is to meet the needs of our community and provide the best care for our patients… and each other. So, when the rain began to fall on August 12, we hoped for the best, but prepared for the worst.

Just more than 24 hours later, the roadway to the hospital doors were impassible due to rising flood waters. Essential staff were trapped at home because of flooding in their communities; physicians, nurses, hospital leadership and support staff who were already at the hospital and some who by any means – kayak, boat or large utility vehicles – made it in, worked multiple shifts until relief arrived. Through it all, patient care was seamless and the spirit of our staff never faltered.

While we’re blessed to report there was no loss of life at our hospital – colleagues or patients – due to the flood (the statewide death toll is 13, to date), some of our staff at Women’s & Children’s lost their homes, cars and other property. Yet they still, in dealing with this devastating event, upheld our hospital’s mission of meeting the healthcare needs of the families we serve with quality, excellence and compassion.

Faced with unthinkable challenge, our team upheld our company calling – the care and improvement of human life; values, that from the top-down, we believe, speak and follow through on.

A prime example is the HCA Healthcare Hope Fund, an employee-run and supported 501(c)(3) charity that will help more than 50 employees at Women’s & Children’s. And between the five HCA Healthcare-affiliated hospitals in Louisiana, it has provided $114,300 to 92 HCA Healthcare employees and their families affected by the flood so far. I have no doubt, our colleagues in the region and beyond will continue to do what we do best – help people.

They say, “Home is where the heart is.”

Well, I’ve certainly found my place – at Women’s & Children’s and right here in Louisiana, where the resilience and the indomitable spirit of this community will rise again.

HCA Healthcare has donated $50,000 to the American Red Cross for the Louisiana flood relief efforts, and will provide up to an additional $50,000 to match employee contributions through the HCA Healthcare Hope Fund.

Please visit Women’s & Children’s Hospital here to read more about their employees who have suffered personal losses, volunteered to assist with disaster relief and stand as living examples of HCA Healthcare mission and values.

Group of people organizing boxes of donations

Dr. Darryl Nelson, HCA Healthcare MidAmerica Division’s chief medical officer, assists hospital leadership assemble food & clean up kits to staff whose homes were flooded.

Front yard of house filled with damaged furniture and toys after flooding

An employee’s home suffered a total loss due to recent flooding in Louisiana.

Two women and a man helping clean up a house after flooding

Women’s & Children’s staff assists with clean up efforts at the home of a colleague.

A flooded living room with couches, toys and floorboards floating in water

An employee’s home suffered a total loss due to the recent flooding in Louisiana.

Group of people packing boxes of cleaning supplies

Troy Trosclair, HCA Healthcare MidAmerica Division nursing executive (background right), and leaders from Women’s & Children’s Hospital pack clean up kits to be delivered to hospital staff members and their families impacted by the recent flood.

About HCA Healthcare

HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, is comprised of 183 hospitals and more than 2,300 sites of care, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. Our more than 283,000 colleagues are connected by a single purpose — to give patients healthier tomorrows.

As an enterprise, we recognize the significant responsibility we have as a leading healthcare provider within each of the communities we serve, as well as the opportunity we have to improve the lives of the patients for whom we are entrusted to care. Through the compassion, knowledge and skill of our caregivers, and our ability to leverage our scale and innovative capabilities, HCA Healthcare is in a unique position to play a leading role in the transformation of care.

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