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When it came to delivering on the hospital's mission, BWHers didn't miss a beat despite Hurricane Sandy's heavy rain and 45-mile-per-hour-plus wind gusts on Monday.
Clinical and research staff, department and program directors, managers and employees across the distributed campus worked together to ensure BWH was able to provide what patients and families needed. Many employees came into work early, picked up colleagues in need of a ride, covered additional responsibilities, and stayed late-some even overnight. BWHers' storm efforts were a true example of the "Brigham Way" and have not gone unnoticed.
The Emergency Management team worked tirelessly to plan for the storm. "I can say that hundreds of employees went above and beyond based on our experiences in the BWH Emergency Operations Center, especially when faced with the transportation challenges of getting to work and being sure their families were safe," said Emergency Management Director Barry Wante. Dozens of BWHers volunteered to stay late to cover others' shifts or come to work early before the MBTA was shut down for the day.
Nurses, patient care assistants, emergency services assistants, unit coordinators, business specialists, pharmacists and all other Patient Care Services staff members demonstrated their unwavering commitment to patients throughout the day and night. Nursing leadership and 23 front-line employees volunteered to spend the night, with a total of 80 front-line staff members prepared to stay overnight if needed. Four practice secretaries from Ambulatory Services answered phones on the inpatient units to help out.
"Front-line staff all stepped up and did a phenomenal job," said Nancy Hickey, MS, RN, associate chief nurse.
Many BWHers in Central Transport Services (CTS) stayed late or covered additional shifts for colleagues who could not make it to work. CTS Director Luis Soto rolled up his own sleeves to help keep the hospital running. "Supervisors and managers pitched in to transport patients and facilitate discharges," he said. "It was a great team effort."
As with any storm, Food Services worked to plan ahead. More than 10 employees came into work early or stayed late to cover for colleagues who needed to leave early due to the MBTA closing and issues at home.
"We were very fortunate to have so many employees who were understanding of the situation and flexible," said Operations Manager Donna Shannon. She attributes her team's success on Monday to steady communication, follow-up and teamwork. Despite having limited supplies due to some shipments not arriving, Shannon and her team were still able to provide meals to everyone. "Our first and major concern is to make sure all patients are fed well and in a timely manner, which we strive daily to do. We felt a great sense of accomplishment."
Valet supervisor Wilson Quinonez picked up six colleagues who otherwise would have had to miss their shifts because of the MBTA shutdown.
At Brigham and Women's/Mass General Health Care Center in Foxborough, the Urgent Care Center and Radiology and lab services remained open until they lost power at 4 p.m. on Monday. This helped to fill a huge gap left by many local physician practices that did not open or closed early in the day.