The commitment and dedication displayed before, during and after hurricanes Harvey and Irma rings true in every story shared. We are thankful that so many have been generous with their experiences, and we are honored to be able to share those experiences with you.
Learn more about how HCA Healthcare employees across the country are living out the HCA mission in response to these events and how they are relying on preparedness, emergency response and recovery response tactics to exhibit that above all else we are committed to the care and improvement of human life.
Jordan Kendig, a patient experience program director at HCA Healthcare’s corporate office in Nashville, is a lifelong runner – a skill that’s taught him to “just focus on the next step” during difficult times. So when Kendig heard volunteers were needed after Hurricane Harvey devastated the Gulf Coast, he bravely took the next step and headed to Houston.
“Answering the call to volunteer can be somewhat paralyzing,” Kendig said. “I’m quick to fall victim of the mindset that I can’t offer enough to make a difference. Too often a greater evil sets in, which is doing nothing.”
In this instance, Kendig’s decision to choose to volunteer was far from paralyzing. He quickly cleared his schedule for the following week and traveled to Houston with only two days’ notice, committed to caring for those who needed it most. “Any work I did that week to advance the patient experience was futile knowing colleagues throughout Houston were struggling,” he said.
In Texas alone, HCA has more than 55,000 employees (approximately 14,000 are in Houston and Corpus Christi), 50 hospitals and 27 surgery centers. Following Hurricane Harvey, HealthTrust Workforce Solutions – a part of HealthTrust, a subsidiary of HCA – deployed approximately 329 nurses and HCA volunteers from around the country to support relief and recovery efforts.
Human Resources volunteers traveled to Houston to provide relief via three mobile Employee Resource Centers that traveled between the impacted facilities. Just a few weeks later, virtual resource centers were set up for those employees across Florida, Georgia and South Carolina that were impacted by Hurricane Irma. Both centers allowed employees to register for Hope Fund assistance, get referrals to Employee Assistance Program counselors and other forms of relief such as FEMA, and ask questions related to payroll, time off and more.
According to Kendig, the emotions behind the stories and realities he encountered escalated each day. On day four of volunteering, Kendig was approached by a single mother who had resorted to living in her car with her 1-year-old daughter. The mother and her baby had spent two weeks in shelters, while she continued to work and pursue her studies. Kendig and other volunteers were able to help them by providing money for food, securing a short-term hotel room and processing funds to secure a 30-day Airbnb rental.
“She was determined to stay strong for her daughter and admitted she hadn’t cried until the day prior,” Kendig said. “I’ve spent the last week wondering whether her daughter will ever fully appreciate her mother’s strength or if she’ll ever know about the time HCA took that next step beside her.”
More than $2 million in assistance has already gone out to HCA employees in need following the havoc wreaked by hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and nearly 5,000 donors have utilized the company’s special match and doubled their gift. There continues to be great need for our HCA colleagues, as many lost everything they own and many others are working to repair the damage left by the storms.
The Hope Fund, the company’s employee assistance nonprofit organization, receives about 200 requests for assistance each day, and there is still nearly $400,000 in matching funds available through the special match HCA has offered to help respond to the needs of our employees.
HCA employees, vendors, affiliated physicians, patients and the general public can make tax-deductible donations to the fund. To make a donation, click here.
Jordan Kendig (third from left in top photo; center in bottom photo) pictured with HCA employees who volunteered for Hurricane Harvey relief.