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Snowstorm inspires teamwork & remarkable care

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Novant Health's core value of teamwork says, in part, "We support each other so that together as a team, we can be successful in the eye of the customer as a quality service provider." During the early February winter storm that blanketed the region with more snow than our area has seen in many years, Novant Health employees rallied together to continue to provide remarkable experiences for our patients during challenging circumstances. Nearly 200 employees spent the night in the hospital to cover multiple shifts or help wherever it was needed. Employees from all teams across the greater Charlotte market demonstrated their commitment to teamwork and compassion for each other and for our patients.

Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center emergency department team members made sure both patients and coworkers were safe during the February snowstorm. Pictured above are: Carrie Baker, Shanta Smith, Jenny Morrison, Tomeko Chiles, Precious Moore and Tomika Hill. 

Also at Presbyterian Medical Center, plant engineering and public safety staff helped deliver patient food trays while radiology staff who stayed the night at the hospital lent a helping hand in the kitchen wrapping silverware for patient trays. Public safety staff also helped push stranded cars out of the snow. Others offered rides to employees and patients who were without transportation.

A couple who was transported to Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center by EMS didn’t have transportation when they were discharged. Kellie Queen, RN, emergency services, and her husband, who was waiting to pick up Kellie from her shift, gave the couple a ride to the grocery store parking lot where they had left their car.

Suzanne Garrison, 6F unit secretary, planned to take the bus to work Thursday morning because she didn’t think she could drive out of her neighborhood. She waited at the bus stop for about half an hour before a gentleman stopped to tell her the buses weren’t running and asked where she was headed. When she told him Presbyterian Medical Center, he offered her a ride.

When transportation was in issue, some employees even walked to work. An EVS employee at Presbyterian Medical Center, who lives 5 miles from the hospital, left his home at 4:30 a.m. Wednesday morning to walk to work in time for his 7 a.m. shift. He walked the first 4 miles in the snow before a Good Samaritan picked him up the last mile.

Greg Pena, a night shift clinic coordinator at Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center, worked through the snow storm on Wednesday night, his birthday. While most people might expect to receive gifts on their birthday, it was Greg who was giving them. Greg arranged a cab ride home for a patient and paid the $20 fare out of his own pocket. In the emergency department at Presbyterian Medical Center, 12 employees spent the night in a care station that was converted temporarily to a sleep area. Ann Williams, a clinical shift manager, prepared bags of toiletries for the employees and even left chocolates on their pillows to make them feel more comfortable.

Jaci Whitten, switchboard operator, wore the same clothes nearly all week because she slept in the hospital multiple nights, sharing an empty patient room with a coworker. Jaci stayed at the hospital to make sure the switchboard was staffed appropriately because they are the only ones who can work the switchboards.

Despite the cold temperatures and continuous snowfall, Novant Health team members with warm hearts worked together to deliver remarkable care throughout the storm.