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Community Health Network staff brave winter storm, stay over to care for patients

For release on February 04, 2011

Indianapolis, IN---The unprecedented winter ice storm in Indiana this past week brought with it warm, caring people who braved the elements and “camped out” at all of Community Health Network’s Indianapolis hospitals—in the name of patient care. Nurses, doctors, pharmacists, chaplains, environmental service workers, supply technicians, dietary and food service workers, and many others came together during what proved to be a busy time to ensure patients in need had proper medical care.

At Community Hospital North, 140 employees stayed the night during the biggest wave of ice storm activity, to make sure they were able to work their shifts and care for patients. The hospital opened up beds in a former observation unit and at the Indiana Surgery Center, all connected to the facility. The hospital’s emergency room saw a record number of patients—197—during a one-day time period as a result of the storm. At Community South, about 40 employees stayed over to be on hand for their shifts and to help if extra needs would arise. More than 130 employees at Community East did the same. One nurse arrived with a bag packed for a five-day stay, just in case. All told, more than 300 Community employees spent one or more nights at a hospital.

“We’re putting patients first every day of the year, whether it’s a beautiful day or a dangerous, icy night,” said Bryan Mills, president and CEO of Community Health Network. “All across our network during these past several days, dedicated Community team members sacrificed their own comfort and convenience to make sure patients got the care they needed, when and where they needed it.”

Beyond those who spent the night at a hospital, countless others went the extra mile to continue the business of patient care, even through snow and ice. For example, while a large percentage of central Indiana residents stayed off the streets during the worst of the weather, Community Home Health Services staffers braved the elements and continued to make their scheduled house calls.

“During this winter storm, we had many heroic efforts by several staff,” said Jessie Westlund, CEO of Community Home Health Services. However, they will tell you they’re just doing their job. It is not just during tough times, but every day that our employees put patients and their families first. They are why we are here.”

About Community Health Network
Ranked among the nation’s most integrated health care networks, Community Health Network has more than 90 sites of care and nearly 500 integrated physicians throughout central Indiana. This includes Community Hospitals East, North and South in Indianapolis and Community Hospital Anderson; The Indiana Heart Hospital, part of Community Heart and Vascular; Indiana Surgery Centers; Community Physicians of Indiana; Community Home Health Services; MedCheck walk-in care centers and MedCheck Express convenience clinics; employer health services; nursing homes; and other health care facilities. Community Health Network is committed to getting you well and back to your life. For more information about Community Health Network or to find a physician, call 800-777-7775 or visit eCommunity.com.


Lynda de Widt, Media Relations
Lynda de Widt
Media Relations