The past week brought horrific snow conditions to reservations in the Great Plains, including roads blocked by 20 foot tall drifts and a wind chill projected to hit -50° F. The snowplow broke and water pipes froze, leaving families without groceries, heating, and drinkable water.
The snow was so high that some of our staff could not make it across the street from their housing to the facility. In the midst of this, women went into labor, critical patients couldn’t be transferred, and dialysis patients were stuck without treatment. The facility ran low on food.
And of course, our healthcare providers were temporarily trapped. Some cancelled vacation plans or visits home to stay and lend a helping hand. Some went to great lengths to rescue stranded team members. Scott Giles and Marisol Rivera spent 3 hours stuck in a snowbank, waiting for the plow to free them – only for the plow to accidentally hit the back of Scott’s truck!
Our clinical leadership team and staff came in early, slept overnight, overcame waist-high snow drifts, rescued team members, changed travel plans, and did whatever it took to keep delivering care – and we are so proud of their tireless dedication to their patients.