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After Hurricane Ian ripped off part of its roof, a Florida hospital is open again


HCA Florida Fawcett Hospital is offering emergency services. Ian disrupted hospital service across the state and some facilities are still recovering.

Nearly two weeks after Hurricane Ian’s fierce winds tore off part of the roof of HCA Florida Fawcett Hospital, the facility in Port Charlotte is treating patients.

The 238-bed acute care hospital resumed offering emergency services Monday, HCA Healthcare said. The hospital still has some repairs remaining, and HCA said the hospital will resume other services in the coming weeks.

Michael Ehrat, HCA Florida Fawcett Hospital chief executive officer, said in a statement that the gradual reopening of the facility is necessary.

“Supporting our communities with disaster preparedness, response and recovery is vital,” Ehrat said in a statement. “We are extremely grateful for the restoration team that repaired the damage to our facility caused by Hurricane Ian. Opening with a phased approach will allow us to concentrate on those patients with emergent needs first.”

Water flowed into Fawcett Hospital’s intensive care unit after the roof was damaged by Ian. The hospital also suffered flooding in a lower level emergency room due to storm surge. About 160 patients had to be transferred from the hospital.

The hospital provided employees with gasoline, home supply and laundry services, shower trucks and a mini-mart, HCA said.

HCA, one of America’s largest health systems, operates scores of facilities in Florida. Hospitals around the state had services disrupted by Ian, and thousands of patients had to be evacuated from health systems and long-term care facilities.

HCA Florida Englewood Hospital, a 100-bed acute care facility, shut down for several days after sustaining damage. The hospital reopened Thursday, Oct. 6 after water and power were restored, The Herald-Tribune of Sarasota reported.

“We understand this has been a difficult and trying time for everyone, particularly those with loved ones who are hospitalized,” Steve Young, chief executive officer of HCA Florida Englewood Hospital, said in a statement last weekl. “Access to healthcare in our community is extremely important and we have worked diligently to assess and repair the minor damage to our facility caused by Hurricane Ian.”

HCA, which employs about 77,000 people in Florida, is offering assistance to employees through The HCA Healthcare Hope Fund.

Other hospitals continue to recover. The NCH Healthcare System, which operates two hospitals in Naples, is seeing emergency patients only at its hospitals.

After Lee Health had to transfer some patients due to a lack of water service, all of its hospitals are operational, the system said. Lee Health said it has begun performing elective surgeries that don’t require an overnight stay this week.

Lee Health said it hopes to resume elective procedures requiring an overnight stay during the week of Oct. 17, depending on patient volume.

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System says it has served a record number of patients and evacuees in Ian’s wake. The system suffered significant damage to its freestanding emergency room in North Port and a medical office building at SMH-Venice.

Federal Disaster Medical Assistance Teams are working in Florida to support hospital operations and serve the many patients seeking help after the hurricane.

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