To get a full picture of the devastation of Hurricane Irma on Jacksonville, Florida, and St. Vincent’s HealthCare, Ascension President and Chief Executive Officer Anthony R. Tersigni, EdD, FACHE, visited the ministry last week, offering praise, thanks and support to associates for their heroic efforts before, during and after the storm.

Tony joined St. Vincent’s leaders to look over a variety of damage caused by Irma, including seeing firsthand how the efforts of associates and other community members to fill and place 3,800 sandbags saved St. Vincent’s Medical Center Riverside’s power plant and switching equipment. At St. Vincent’s Medical Center Southside, the group viewed water damage to the fifth floor and the storm’s effect on that hospital’s roof.

These figures are a reflection of the actions of the associates and providers of Ascension Jacksonville during the storm:

  • Associates who stayed in-house and served: 1,389, many as their homes were damaged or destroyed by the storm
  • Physicians who stayed in-house and served: 118
  • Visitors housed: 72
  • Babies born: 31, including two sets of twins
  • NICU babies transferred from St. Vincent’s Riverside to St. Vincent’s Southside: 2
  • Adults transferred from St. Vincent’s Riverside to St. Vincent’s Southside or St Vincent’s Clay County: 16
  • Children housed in day care (Hurricane Camp): 143
  • Pets housed in pet care at St. Vincent’s Riverside to St. Vincent’s Southside: 38
  • Duval County and Clay County special needs patients sheltered: 10

“We want to celebrate and thank our associates across Ascension Jacksonville, who demonstrated tremendous courage, commitment and dedication during this disaster,” Tony said. “Everyone pulled together, guided by the Spirit and our shared commitment to service.”

Ascension’s food services partner, TouchPoint Support Services, took special care in preparing and serving 11,065 meals throughout the ordeal. Associates reported that the food and the opportunity to come together helped bolster spirits throughout the storm.

At the hospitals’ Incident Command Centers, Tony learned how intense preparation by associates of St. Vincent’s and several Ascension Solutions subsidiaries – including Medxcel Facilities Management, Ascension Information Services, The Resource Group and more – was  able to mitigate the impact of the storm. Medxcel FM led calls in advance of and during the storm with a professional meteorologist to help ensure ministries in the potential path of Irma would have current information.

While in Jacksonville, Tony asked how Ascension can work together even more closely as One Integrated Ministry in the future to help with this type of incident.

“The response was very impressive and should be a model for any hospital in the United States,” Tony told the Jacksonville Business Journal.

“I was greatly impressed by the tremendous spirit and dedication shown by all the individuals who staffed the Incident Command Centers,” Tony said. “These people left their homes and, in some cases, their families behind to protect our hospitals and those we are privileged to serve. This was truly the best of One Ascension, coming together to protect patients and serve one another.”