August 31, 2006
Reported By: Lee Peck
In the days and weeks after Hurricane Rita, Beauregard Memorial was one of the only fully functional hospitals up and running. "We were here to take care of patients," said Director of Inpatient Care Vic Gray, R.N.
Staying open during the storm, the hospital lost power for three days. "The fact that we were functioning on half power, we were on generator power, no supplies were coming in," explains Employee Health Nurse Anita Thibodeaux, R.N. "Fortunately that was part of our plan."
The man behind that plan was Beauregard Memorial Hospital CEO Ted Badger. This 'Hero of the Storm' worked the long hours with his staff -- motivating them to hold strong for the weak.
"When he would come through, if it was nothing but a pat on the back and a 'Thank you, I know you're tired, but let's just keep going.' He was there he was doing that giving us a smile," recalled Gray.
"He took really good care of us. He allowed us to bring our families here during the storm. So that we could take care of people without worrying about our own families," said Thibodeaux. "I don't know that any of us realized we were going to have hundreds, and hundreds and hundreds of people every day that came to us for care. There was no where else for them to go."
The hospital treated more than 1,600 patients in the weeks that followed -- three times the norm. Several triage units were opened up outside to handle the influx. "When patients would come up, we would provide there first aid care and start them in the process there. It was overwhelming," said Gray.
Badger managed to make it all work seamless. E.R. Staff Dr. Jimmy Oglesby: "When we needed anything, he just made sure that we got it. And again, our needs far exceeded our expectations of needs."
But Badger will tell you it was a group effort, right down to the kitchen staff, which somehow fed more than 4,000 people. "They looked in the freezers and they looked on the shelves and they said we're going to have this today and that's what we had and we managed to feed everybody," said Badger.
Working with what they had and a great leader, Beauregard Memorial Hospital was able to weather the storm. "All I can say is that I've got the best group in the world to work with. That's all there is to it," said Badger.