Tampa clinic’s perseverance during Hurricane Ian11/15/22 04:35:pm
By Rachel Nelson – lead therapist, Depression Recovery adolescent partial hospitalization care
On September 28, a Category 4 hurricane made landfall approximately two hours south of Tampa. Hurricane Ian became the deadliest hurricane to strike the state of Florida since the 1935 Labor Day hurricane. Due to the uncertainty of hurricanes and their landfall, it can create anticipatory anxiety surrounding where and when to evacuate. On September 26, mandatory evacuation notices began. The Tampa team continued to provide care to our patients throughout that day, ensuring safety plans were reviewed, emergency contact information was updated, and determining which patients and employees were planning on evacuating.
While the clinic was closed for the following three days and all Floridians hunkered down for the storm, by Thursday evening, it seemed the worst had passed. Heather Steiner, Tampa’s director of operations and vice president of operations for the Eastern Service Area, and Ashleigh Dougherty, admissions specialist, began calling patients to check on them and inquire if they would be interested in attending treatment virtually the following day. Personally, I was struck by the number of patients who indicated they wanted to attend treatment and receive services, even though some had evacuated their homes. I believe this highlights the importance of the work we do. Sometimes the stressors of the job and life in general can cause us to lose sight of our “why” we do the work we do.
Ultimately the decision was made to reopen and offer virtual services that Friday. The Tampa team once again came together and swiftly acted to ensure that we were able to provide the best care possible to our patients and their families. The amount of positivity and collaboration I saw that day is something truly special as employees worked to support one another. Author Robert Levering once stated that “A great place to work is one in which you trust the people you work for, have pride in what you do, and enjoy the people you work with.” I couldn’t find a more accurate quote to sum up how I feel about working at Rogers in Tampa.