Where Help is Most Needed
Authored by Michael S. Rose, President and Chief Executive Officer, SNHH.
I was honored to be part of a small group of SNHH representatives that traveled to Ryder Hospital in PR to meet with their administrators, providers and staff to better understand how our organization could best assist them as they rebuild from the devastation of Hurricane Maria.
Ryder’s Administrator, Jose Feliciano, provided an overview of the damage.
“The physical structure of the hospital withstood the 180 mile per hour winds. However, the rubber membrane for the roof blew off in the storm. The storm and subsequent rains in the weeks that followed caused progressive damage, as more and more water infiltrated the facility. By the time that the roof was finally repaired, 3 out of 4 floors of the hospitals had incurred significant water damage and were closed due to both physical damage and mold infestation. Critical equipment such as the MRI and Catheterization Lab were destroyed by water damage.”
Jose indicated that Ryder has adequate property and business interruption insurance. In time, Ryder hospital will return to full operations. However, given the magnitude of the disaster, the claims and mediation process will take several months. The hospital is many months away from returning to full operations. As a result, Ryder was forced to furlough roughly 60% of their employees. Many of these employees lost their homes and their possessions to the storm surge and the winds. Now, many lack the economic means to restore their lives to normal.
The physical plant is an important part of hospital operations. Its people are more important. Though insurance and disaster relief will cover the physical damage, it does not cover the lost income for Ryder’s employees. This is where we can most help the Ryder hospital community.
Together we can make a positive impact. Thank you all for your support, time and attention.