Weathering the storm

Baptist Easley chief medical officer Dr. George Helmrich makes biscuits for staff during last week’s winter storm.

Teamwork propels Baptist Easley staff through snow, ice

EASLEY — Last week’s winter storm may have stalled many in their tracks, but Baptist Easley Hospital didn’t miss a beat.

In preparation for the inclement weather, the hospital housed 103 staff members for a total 141 accommodations for Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Along with local first responders, Baptist Easley staff ran a total of 27 transport missions as of Friday morning to pick up staff.

“It has truly been a team effort with everyone pitching in to help,” said Richard Collins, the hospital’s manager of safety, security and emergency management. “The front line staff has been unbelievable, displaying dedication and a positive and caring attitude toward our patients.”

Mike Smith, director of supply chain management, assumed the additional role of housing coordinator, scheduling and organizing accommodations for the staff who stayed over. Valerie Meador, director of food and nutrition services, kept refreshments in the conference center for staff while running the cafeteria and serving patient meals. The Engineering Services department shoveled snow and made transport runs starting at 5 a.m. and stayed around the clock in case the hospital needed to go on generator power.

In addition, chief medical officer Dr. George Helmrich rallied the staff, showing a video to employees staying over and then going to the kitchen early Thursday to make biscuits for them.

Nursing supervisors, telecommunications and environmental services kept pace with the multiple tasks of patient care, being the dispatch center for scheduling and inclement weather calls and keeping the hospital clean while getting beds ready for staff. Additionally, the City of Easley was a great partner in supporting the facility.

“In short, I’ve witnessed directors and administrators clearing snow from sidewalks, preparing meals, making up beds and doing whatever needed to be done to take care of our patients and staff,” Collins said.

Baptist Easley’s code gray, used for hazardous weather conditions, officially ended at 9 a.m. Friday following the staff’s daily safety huddle.