As one of the only Level III Trauma Centers in the area, OakBend Medical Center remained open during Hurricane Harvey and operated normally for two days before calling a Code Grey Disaster. The Code parameters limited access to the hospital, reduced visitations and staff to essential personnel only, and closed all ambulatory surgery centers. Due to rising waters and predictions regarding the overflow of the Brazos River, OakBend temporarily closed its Williams Way location and safely and efficiently transferred all patients to Jackson Street on Monday, August 28 with no issues.
As one of the few fully operational hospitals in the surrounding counties not on diversion during the storm, OakBend Medical Center’s Jackson Street campus performed four emergency surgeries, delivered four babies, saw over 450 emergency room patients, and had more than 25 doctors travel to the hospital during the storm, many of whom left their homes and families to shelter in place at the hospital for one or more nights.
On Thursday, August 31, Williams Way was re-opened with limited services including Labor & Delivery and Emergency Services. On September 1, the Code Grey was lifted and both hospitals returned to full operations and normal staff.
“We are deeply appreciative of the sacrifices our employees have made during this time, especially the long hours they have spent away from their own homes and families caring for our patients around the clock,” stated Sue McCarty, VP/Administrator and Incident Commander of OakBend Medical Center.
McCarty continued, “We are thankful for the patients that remained with us during this chaotic time as we worked to give them the best care available. We also owe a debt of gratitude to the people of Fort Bend County who donated blankets, toiletries, food and other essentials to the hospital staff while we operated under the Code Grey. As the last remaining independent nonprofit hospital in the Greater Houston Area, we remain committed to this community and are devoted to being able to provide Fort Bend County with essential medical services and fulfill their healthcare needs.”
As the city, county and state move forward with cleaning up the remnants of homes and shattered lives, OakBend Medical Center remains open for all medical needs of the community.