In the wake of the largest storm to hit Palm Beach County in the past 11 years, MorseLife Health System remained well prepared with plans in place to ensure uninterrupted care and service to residents, patients and clients on its campus and in the community, but just as important, to ensure the safety and security of its workforce and their families.
Keith Myers, president/CEO for the nonprofit organization, noted that once the threat of Hurricane Matthew became apparent, the entire team came together with their well thought out plans covering everything from staffing, safety and security, continuity of care of residents and patients, to providing for the needs of seniors served by its home care agency and meals-on-wheels program.
Myers noted a commitment to “taking care of our own,” extended to the over 2500 staff members employed in management, health care and support roles throughout the organization. “During the threat of the storm, we greatly needed ‘all hands on deck’ to continue to provide for the needs of seniors served throughout our campus and community, including patients in our short-term rehabilitation long term care residences, residents in our independent and assisted living residences, and clients of our home health agency,” he said. “In doing so, we considered as critical the needs of our employees, ensuring they were able to come into work without the stress and worry of leaving their homes and loved ones unattended.”
Veronica Beaupre, a nurse in the long term care residence, noted how appreciative she was for the time to secure her home and property, but also to ensure the safety of “those most precious to me, my two daughters.” “Through the commitment of Keith Myers and MorseLife, I was among the many staff members able to bring our immediate family to the campus, given we were set up for around the clock child care, along with ample food and places to sleep,” she said. “That really says a lot about this organization and makes me feel grateful to be a member of the team here.”
Keith Myers noted that opening the building to “our own” made sense, not just because it ensured optimal staff, but also because it provided a safe haven during the storm for concerned employees. “Our buildings throughout our 37 acre campus meet the strictest building codes to ensure safety and security,” he said. “All buildings have impact glass for the highest level of protection from wind damage, and backup generators to ensure no interruption of power, including elevator operations.”
In the end, Hurricane Matthew did not materialize as the category 4 storm it was meant to be. Myers noted that like all storms we face, this was a good exercise in ensuring the team’s hurricane planning makes sense, and in also testing out the prospective outcome of major storms such as Hurricane Matthew. “Our buildings and campus fared exceptionally well during this storm, both inside and out, and most notably, our Levin Tower, the ten story independent living residence now under construction, also made it through unscathed,” he said. “As was our goal, we had absolutely no interruption of care or service for our residents and patients which was our main priority, and our staff was safe and secure throughout.”
For more information about MorseLife Health System, link to www.morselife.org.