2020 was a challenging year for healthcare and our community, starting with COVID-19 and then two hurricanes. Memorial has learned to adapt and continue its mission of being a SWLA healthcare leader. COVID-19 facilitated healthcare changes that in effect proved to be beneficial precursors for how they could continue to deliver needed services even in the aftermath of Hurricanes Laura and Delta. COVID-19 helped fast track the capabilities for virtual visits and digital patient communications. These services allowed Memorial doctors to minimize the disruption of care and continue to keep in touch with patients who needed them the most.
Memorial never closed in the aftermath of the hurricanes, and lessons learned as a result will help the health system better prepare for future disasters. Memorial plans to fortify its emergency response capabilities to improve services after a disaster strikes. As Southwest Louisiana’s largest community regional health system and level III trauma center, the community depends on Memorial to remain open and accessible.
Memorial Hospital’s main campus was fortunate as it only sustained comparatively minimal damage in both Hurricanes Laura and Delta. The Plant Operations team worked diligently around-the-clock to repair windows and work through power and water issues when the area lost these services due to the storms. Within days, auxiliary power and water were operational.
Memorial had several offices, clinics, and the Memorial for Women plant that sustained varying degrees of damage.
The Women’s campus resumed operations within a couple of weeks and the Archer Institute, which sustained heavy damage, is now partially reopened. Since then, their contractor and plant operations teams worked hard to get those facilities back open. While most services and clinics have been restored, Memorial still has work to do at Archer and at some of the offsite offices and clinics, but progress is being made every day. Despite everything, Memorial Medical Group doctors have continued the quality care and treatment of their patients.
Memorial’s vision, to continually improve their quality and safety, advance their standards, and be a major healthcare delivery system for ALL people of Southwest Louisiana, has not wavered. Through the pandemic and hurricanes, Memorial Health System and its staff strived to adapt in an effort to continue services for the people of SWLA. Putting patients first, many employees stayed onsite during the storms to take care of critically ill and emergency health needs while their families evacuated and their homes were damaged. It proved a daunting task, but Memorial is still here and plans be to stronger than ever in 2021, continuing to offer the best healthcare for our region.