My sincerest thanks to everyone at PPMC who displayed the highest level of commitment to our patients during Hurricane Sandy. With your help and dedication, we were able to provide exceptional care to our hospitalized patients as well as to those who were able to weather the storm to come in. Over 120 Presbyterian staff stayed overnight on Monday evening to assure continuity of care, many of them working double or extended shifts. We know that many of you placed the well being of our patients over your own personal situations, and weathered some very difficult conditions to be here.
I am proud of the way we worked together across clinical and administrative teams. From an emergency preparedness perspective, we began monitoring the weather reports as early as a week ahead of time to make sure we had the most accurate information. We were in touch with senior leadership at the corporate level and across all other entities to ensure a consistent plan of action and effective communication with all members of our staff. We were also in constant contact with other hospitals in the region, and had regular update calls with Philadelphia’s Emergency Operations Center.
Together, we were able to overcome many roadblocks and challenges including transportation difficulties and staffing shortages. Thanks to the hard work and efforts of many, we had enough hands on deck in the command center to field calls from staff and were able to make arrangements for transportation services where possible, and sleeping accommodations for all staff who needed a place to rest. Representatives from Safety, Security, Nursing, Administration, Public Affairs, Information Systems and other supporting departments worked to align central coordination for information dissemination, problem solving and decision making. Food and Nutrition Services stepped up to help make sure all faculty, staff and patients were fed and taken care of throughout the access emergency
The staff response at PPMC was incredible. People stepped up and, in many cases, went above and beyond to make sure they arrived safely for their shifts. I’ve heard countless stories of members across many teams who walked miles in hurricane conditions to make it to their shifts on time, and others who assisted patients’ families with making hotel reservations and other accommodations when they were unable to get home. Commitments like these are what make Penn Presbyterian one of the top hospitals in the state, and I cannot express my gratitude enough to each one of you for your contributions and commitments during the hurricane.
-Michele Volpe, CEO and executive director, PPMC