In the face of historic disasters, our HCA Healthcare family has never been stronger

Dear colleague,

HCA founder Dr. Thomas Frist Sr. often said, “Bricks and mortar don’t make a hospital – people do.” His words have proven true time and time again throughout our organization’s 50-year history, as the people of HCA have come together to serve even in times of significant adversity. In recent months, our hospitals faced trauma and uncertainty, but our people – our HCA family – met each crisis with courage, compassion and a steadfast resolve to care for our patients, each other and the communities we serve.

This fall, hurricanes Harvey and Irma tore into Florida and Texas within days of each other. They were followed soon after by the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas. Events of this magnitude would make some falter, but our HCA family finds strength in the knowledge that collectively, we can accomplish what can’t be done alone.

HCA chairman and CEO Milton Johnson, left, and president and COO Sam Hazen oversaw support operations from a command center at HCA headquarters in Nashville.

We are thankful for the skills and compassion of our caregivers, and were moved by the countless stories illustrating the long hours of sacrifice and heroic efforts to bring help, hope and relief to our patients during their darkest hours. This special publication tells just a few stories of heroism throughout these crises: the clinicians who arrived at work via boat when roads were flooded, the emergency-operations teams who never lost count of the patients relying on them for safe evacuation, the volunteers who eagerly traveled to devastated areas to be of service to their colleagues and communities, the clinicians and staff who worked around the clock to save lives. You’ll read how teams throughout HCA worked tirelessly and leveraged the skills, talents and resources within our company, anything and everything they could give, to provide care and support to every patient and to the whole community.

These stories, and the many more that could be told, show the collective impact of our shared commitment to do whatever it takes for our patients and for each other. All of this was humbling to witness, and we could not be more proud.

In Las Vegas, our caregivers cared for more than 200 victims of a mass shooting in an hour, all the while comforting friends and family members. That community’s long journey to healing has begun, and HCA hospitals and caregivers are at the center of those efforts.

And in Florida and Texas, though the rain and wind have passed and the water has receded, storm-struck areas and facilities continue to serve their communities as residents return home and seek needed medical care that was neglected during the hectic days during — and after — the hurricanes.

In all these places, HCA team members continue to provide care while also dealing with their own losses. Once again, the compassion of the HCA family is evident as donations pour into the HCA Hope Fund. Through it and other programs, we will continue to offer aid and support as our colleagues work to rebuild their lives.

The people of HCA have shown the nation what teamwork looks like. You have shown how thoughtful preparation and compassionate care save lives. You have shown how, in the face of raging storms and senseless violence, you work together seamlessly to provide care and comfort to the scared and wounded. Those of you who weren’t directly involved in hurricane response or Las Vegas aid also made a difference, as you worked to keep operations running as smoothly as always for the rest of the enterprise. By pitching in wherever needed, the HCA family has come through these challenges with resilience – and we have saved thousands of lives.

As we have said before, but can never say too many times, thank you for all you do and for demonstrating every day what it means to be committed to the care and improvement of human life.


Milton Johnson, Chairman & CEO, and Sam Hazen, President & COO