• Local hospitals unfazed by storm

  • For Eastern Jackson County hospitals on Thursday, it was business as usual.

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  • For Eastern Jackson County hospitals on Thursday, it was business as usual.
    Both Centerpoint Medical Center in Independence and St. Mary’s Medical Center in Blue Springs remained open for their patients, with few, if any, employees staying at home because of the inclement weather.
    “My staff were able to get in, and we’re business as usual,” said Jackie Euritt, Centerpoint’s director of the emergency department, on Thursday afternoon.
    While some St. Mary’s employees who live far away and weren't necessarily needed Thursday were sent home, St. Mary’s CEO Annette Small said none of the hospital’s staff called out of work due to the weather.
    “A lot of patients have called and canceled for outpatient services,” Small said, “but otherwise, we are open for business.”
    Euritt said her department experienced about one-third of the patient volume Thursday compared to most days, but in a statement, Centerpoint said individual departments had contacted their staff and stressed the importance of still showing up for work on Thursday.
    Three Centerpoint staff members who finished their shift at 7 a.m. Thursday remained at the hospital and slept in order to report for their next shift at 7 p.m. Thursday. Area hotels also offered discounted rates for Centerpoint staff in case the hospital didn't include enough beds for those opting to not travel home.
    “We’re just here to accommodate our patients and anybody who needs us,” Euritt said. “Staff has done a great job about getting in here, and we’re just here to serve our community.”
    At St. Mary’s, Small described the employees as “self-motivated,” with many of them planning ahead and bringing extra clothes so they could stay the night Thursday and report for work again on Friday. Small also said she bought the employees some pizza, as a way of saying “thank you.”
    “They knew they had patients to care for – we've got an excellent, very dedicated team,” she said. “When people are sick, we’re here to take care of them. That doesn't change – it’s 24/7/365.”

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