Columbus Hospital Learns Lessons From 2008 Flood


Some patients were transferred to hospitals in other cities, and others were released to go home – if they could get home. Flood-covered roads blocked paths, even when some lived less than a mile away.

A mobile emergency room from North Carolina, Carolinas MED-1, filled emergency needs temporarily, but the main hospital was closed in 2008 from June 7 to Oct. 27.

A city and region that depended on the hospital and its services felt a void when CRH was forced to shut for repairs.

The hospital sustained more than $171 million in losses, including damage to its facility and equipment, and the disruption of business. With a tourniquet on its revenue stream, Columbus Regional decided to keep paying its employees anyway until it could reopen.

Bickel said the hospital was able to cover all but about $39 million from insurance, Federal Emergency Management Agency funds and donations from the Columbus Regional Hospital Foundation and other philanthropic organizations, individuals and groups.

The $39 million represents what the hospital paid its employees during those 20 weeks it was closed. “But we decided to invest in our people. It was definitely the right thing to do,” Bickel said.

Some employees helped with cleanup, others worked at hospitals in other communities. Many others worked at various nonprofit organizations throughout Bartholomew County until they could return to their regular jobs.

Dr. Thomas Sonderman, the hospital’s vice president and chief medical officer, said the recovery process was made much easier because of the support from the community and the physicians and employees who stayed through the uncertain times following the flood.

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Posted by on Jul 1st, 2013 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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