Healthcare Workers Team Up to Deal with Power Outage
Owensboro Health safely transported all 21 patients from Owensboro Health Twin Lakes Medical Center in Leitchfield to Owensboro Health Regional Hospital Saturday evening, following an extended power outage at the facility.
The power outage at Twin Lakes began around 6 a.m. on Saturday. Fortunately, the backup generator at Twin Lakes worked as designed, powering critical equipment and allowing us to safely care for patients at Twin Lakes. However, the HVAC systems and air conditioning chillers were impacted, and we became concerned about the comfort of our patients, many who are hospitalized for COVID-19. Owensboro Health worked with Kentucky Utilities and Kentucky Emergency Management to fix the issue, but when it became apparent that repairs would take time, the decision was made to move these patients to Owensboro for comfort and optimal care.
This move was a monumental task that involved emergency management crews from eight counties (Breckinridge, Grayson, Hancock, Logan, Muhlenberg, Todd, Butler and Daviess) and took several hours to complete. By midnight on Sunday, all 21 patients had safely arrived at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital.
Approximately 30 members of clinical teams from Twin Lakes accompanied patients to Owensboro. Joni Sims, vice president of patient care services, said the team members from both facilities took everything in stride.
“Nobody complained. Their attitudes were amazing,” she said. “It’s got to be challenging to go from what’s familiar to something totally different, but they just did what it takes. Everyone stepped up to provide the best care to our patients.”
Contractors worked until the early hours of Sunday morning to repair the electrical issue. They cautiously brought the system back online Sunday afternoon and after extensive testing, were able to fully reopen Twin Lakes Medical Center Monday morning.
People from all different departments worked together unselfishly for the good of our patients. Owensboro Health is very grateful for all of the repair crews, emergency responders and team members who are helping us to overcome this challenge and continue serving our patients.
“I am grateful for the strength and resilience of Owensboro Health,” said Mark Marsh, Owensboro Health President and CEO. “As a multi-hospital system, we had the capacity and resources to absorb a potential setback without skipping a beat.”
The capacity to absorb another hospital’s patients was made possible by bringing in team members from Leitchfield to care for them. Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, thankfully, had the space and beds to house the patients.
“We could not have accomplished this feat without contributions from many different departments across the system,” Marsh said. “It was an awesome display of teamwork and dedication. Repair crews, contractors and emergency management agencies jumped in without hesitation - despite hot conditions and extremely late nights. Restaurants brought food and nourishment. Community members cheered for us on Facebook. Our work really matters to the communities we serve.”
Going forward, Owensboro Health Twin Lakes Medical Center will be open as usual, and the 21 relocated patients will remain at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital for the rest of their treatment.
“Our team here is incredibly strong and resilient, and I’m so very thankful for their commitment to our patients at all times – especially during the difficult challenges of the past few days,” said Ashley Herrington, Owensboro Health Twin Lakes Medical Center Chief Operating Officer. “Our hospital has been experiencing record-high COVID-19 volumes and our team has risen to challenge after challenge. The situation last weekend is just another example of their commitment to providing exceptional patient care, no matter the situation.”