- October 11, 2018
- General News
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (October 11, 2018) -- Bay Medical Center Sacred Heart (BMSH) will begin the orderly evacuation of patients to hospitals outside the area affected by Hurricane Michael early Thursday morning. The hospital sustained roof, structural, and water damage during the hurricane on Wednesday. Additionally, a section of the roof collapsed in the hospital’s materials management building, compromising a significant store of supplies needed to sustain care over the long term. Hurricane Michael also caused substantial broken glass, cooling and plumbing issues, and loss of information systems.
“Even with these challenges, we are committed to continuing to provide emergency medical care for those in need through the Emergency Room on our main campus,” said CEO Scott Campbell. “We will also begin assessing damage to our Bay Medical Sacred Heart Beach ER with the goal of reopening it.” “All patients, family members, and staff are safe and patient care will continue until the last patient is transferred,” he said. “If patients do not have a family member or other support persons with them at the hospital, we are reaching out to their emergency contacts.”
Approximately 200 patients will be evacuated, including 39 intensive care patients who will be transferred first. Subsequent patient transfers will be determined based on medical need. Patients will be transferred to Ascension hospitals in Pensacola and Jacksonville, Florida, and Mobile, Alabama. Evacuation is expected to be complete within 48 hours.
“Our staff and physicians have demonstrated extraordinary dedication throughout this crisis, providing exemplary care for our patients,” Campbell said. “This has been a truly noble effort and we are deeply grateful for their sacrifice.”
“We also appreciate the support we are receiving from Ardent Health Services, our parent company, the State Emergency Operations Center, Emergency Management Services from the Florida Hospital Association, HCA, and the governor’s office. They have assisted us in securing beds and arranging air and ground medical transportation.”
The hospital provided shelter throughout the storm to employee and physician families and pets, as well as large numbers of first responders. More than 1,500 people, in addition to over 200 patients, were sheltered at BMSH.
In advance of the storm, BMSH secured back-up generators, extra food, water, fuel, and additional medical supplies. In anticipation of prolonged power outages, additional resources were staged nearby. The hospital activated its evacuation plan immediately following the storm. BMSH is well prepared for such events and conducted its most recent full evacuation drill less than a year ago.
BMSH has established a toll-free number (1-888.727.4568) to support communication with family members of patients who have been evacuated to another hospital. The hospital will also continue to provide updates through Twitter (@baymedicalctr) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/baymedical/).
About Bay Medical Center Sacred Heart
Bay Medical Center Sacred Heart is a 323-bed hospital located in the heart of Panama City. Our medical staff and nearly 300 physicians provide hospital care and outpatient services to patients from a seven-county region in Northwest Florida.
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