Hometown Heroes - Janie Fruge

Updated: Oct. 29, 2020 at 10:07 AM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - There were many heroes to talk about during Hurricane Laura and Delta. One here at West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital was Chief Executive Officer Janie Fruge.

“Leaders show up when there’s a crisis,” said Ben Darby, MD, FACOG. “This woman, single handedly pulled our fat out of the fire. She put herself on the line She did everything. She was in the kitchen working, she was helping house keeping, she was coming around all hours of the day and night seeing what people needed.”

Fruge says lessons learned during Hurricane Rita and a yearly hurricane planning session in January helped staff know what to expect.

“Having them function the way that they did, and execute with the plans and training that we’ve put in place really was a beautiful thing for me to see as their leader,” said Fruge. “I feel very honored and humbled and privileged to be on this team.”

“She participates with you,” said Christi Kingsley, Chief HR Officer. “She’s involved. She knows what it’s like as a care provider. She knows what it’s like on an administrator side. She’s an advocate for everyone. For our employees, our patients and our medical providers in the community.”

The hospital stayed open providing services during both storms.

“The doors blew off the emergency room,” recalled Darby. “Our maintenance people quickly secured that opening and devised a secondary entrance so people could come in. Actually during the height of the storm, there were people who came in for shelter, not because they had medical needs. Immediately after the storm, we saw people with minor injuries.”

Having started at the hospital as a runner, then E-R nurse and later supervisor, Fruge knew the importance of teamwork.

“All of my staff and physicians are my true heroes. None of this would have happened without them.”

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