Jonas the Blizzard No Match for MWHC Teamwork

Jonas the Blizzard No Match for MWHC Teamwork

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It takes a village – in this case a village of nearly 700 associates and physicians who spent the weekend at MedStar Washington Hospital Center during the recent Blizzard of 2016 to make sure our patients received the care they needed. Here is a look at the blizzard by the numbers and through the amazing stories of associate teamwork – and the persistence of one little baby.

Jonas by the Numbers and in Story

650 patients were in the hospital on Friday, January 22.20 babies made their entrance into the world during the weekend, including Jackson Abraham Flynn. Jackson was not due to arrive until March, but he decided, instead, that the perfect time to make his appearance was during the storm. Just after midnight (in the very early hours of Sunday morning), Lara Flynn called 9-1-1 when her water broke. Fifteen minutes later, an ambulance arrived at their corner, but the drivers couldn’t make it to the Flynns’ house. So, Lara and her husband walked to the vehicle, but by then, the ambulance was stuck in the snow. Certainly not ready to give up, paramedics called for help from the National Guard, who arrived on the scene and took the couple to MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Jackson was born at 8:12 a.m. on Sunday, January 24. Because he was premature, he is being cared for in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, but he is doing well and the family is looking forward to going home – on plowed streets. (Lara was originally planning to deliver Jackson at another hospital, but when she called her doctor that Sunday morning, he told her to get to the Hospital Center!) Nearly 350 patients were cared for in the Emergency Department during the blizzard.Nearly 700 physicians, nurses and associates from every department were on-site all weekend to provide care.Fifty Food and Nutrition Services team members served 1,248 breakfasts on Saturday alone and served up 50 gallons of hot cocoa on Saturday night so that their colleagues could enjoy a little camaraderie.Three National Guard officers housed at the Hospital Center because they needed a place in the area to stay.100% of the hospital’s Protective Services officers made it to work to ensure everyone’s safety.When our cot supply ran low on Friday night, a team of associates went out late that evening to pick up extras from the Target in nearby Columbia Heights. Many thanks to Assistant VP, Desi Griffin, who located the cots, and to Ben Holly, Materials Management, Stephen Willson, Information Systems, and officers from Protective Services – Chris Henderson, Vincent Walker and Darrell Johnson – who braved the weather to get the cots. Also many thanks to the team at our local Target, who kept the store open until we could get there. That’s community and hospital SPIRIT!Our Central Patient Transport team had 17 associates stay overnight last night, and they took it upon themselves to find and clean a number of stretchers so colleagues around the hospital would have a bed for the night. Thanks to Jamal Williams, Ronald Hall, Aaron Phillips, George Samspon, Damien Brooks, Monae Bullock, Kimberly Dandridge, Dominique Grant, Brandon Smith, Elijah Young, Alethea Hicks, Ryan Owens, Isis Stephens Vincent Murphy, Malcolm Green, Otis Garner, Joel Anthony and Taeko Clark – and to their supervisor Che Brown, Jr. And Emily Metzger, physical therapist, and Tim McGrath, occupational therapist, were among many hospital associates who walked more than a mile to the hospital to make sure patients received the care they needed.

“We had amazing support from associates and physicians in every department of the hospital,” says Robert Ross, chief operating officer. “MedStar Washington Hospital Center doesn’t miss a beat for our patients when it comes to facing challenges like this one, and we do it with incredible teamwork. A huge thank you to everyone who went above and beyond to help this weekend.”

Please enjoy our Jonas associate videos:

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These are just some of the wonderful stories of our associates and patients during the storm. Do you have others to share? Email them to

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