“Dedicated doesn’t even begin to describe it,” wrote BWHC President Betsy Nabel, MD, and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Ron Walls, MD, in an email to all staff following last week’s Storm Juno. “The efforts of staff to get to BWH, care for our patients and ensure that operations ran as smoothly as possible during Storm Juno were nothing short of extraordinary.”
Staff volunteered to come in early, stay overnight and work in BWH’s Labor Pool during the storm that dropped two feet of snow on Boston and as many as 30 inches of snow in other locations on Jan. 27. Some employees arrived on skis and snowshoes, in hiking gear or with the help of Boston Police officers. Others walked for several miles in order to make their shifts, with many arriving the night before to beat the storm. A record 375 employees stayed overnight at BWH and 123 at BWFH on Jan. 26, in addition to 53 at BWH and 77 at BWFH the next evening. Despite the circumstances, the spirit of collaboration was palpable.
BWH’s facilities were warm, clean and as accessible as possible amid several feet of snow. The labs were running, hot meals were prepared for patients and critical surgeries and procedures were performed. A group of staff, relieved of their regular responsibilities, volunteered to perform any tasks that were needed, such as delivering lunch and dinner to patients and answering phones.
When BWH was concerned that it would not have enough milk on hand, BWH Security worked with BWFH staff to obtain and deliver crates of milk. Many other employees worked remotely, doing their best to support those who were at the hospital throughout the storm.
“Every day, BWH employees willingly and compassionately go above and beyond to contribute to the exceptional patient care, research, education and community service that we are known for,” wrote Nabel. “This commitment is especially evident during challenging times, and Storm Juno was no exception.”