September 13, 2018
At 11:45 pm on Wednesday, September 12, the team at Grand Strand Medical Center safely evacuated its last patient in advance of Hurricane Florence’s anticipated arrival later today. This evacuation was ordered by Governor McMaster as part of the mandatory medical evacuation of the coastal hospitals in flood zones along the Grand Strand.
Pictured here is the clinical and support team at Grand Strand following the evacuation of the final patient.
“When you dedicate your life to keeping people safe and healthy, it is difficult to evacuate your hospital,” said Dr. Jon Pangia, System Medical Director of Hospital Services & Emergency Medicine for Grand Strand Health. “However, with the required medical evacuation of the hospital, we simply had no choice. So we turned our focus to evacuating our patients as safely and smoothly as possible.”
More than 300 patients were evacuated between Monday afternoon and last night to more than 32 facilities in South Carolina and across the Southeast.
“We are grateful to our partners in the EMS, medical transport and healthcare communities,” said Grand Strand Health CEO Mark Sims. “Without their tireless support and that of our sister HCA Healthcare facilities, we simply could not have provided this level of support to our patients and families.”
At this time in accordance with the mandatory medical evacuation order called for by Governor McMaster, Grand Strand Health and all of its ERs and facilities is closed. A small team of essential staff will reopen the ER and critical services at the hospital as swiftly as possible following the peak of the storm.
“We know that the Myrtle Beach community relies on the Level 1 Trauma services and critical heart, injury and pediatric services that are only provided at Grand Strand Medical Center,” said Trauma Medical Director Dr. Antonio Pepe. “That is why we were so reticent to close and why we will do everything possible to reopen very, very quickly.”
Until then, we urge the community to be cautious and safe and remind them to call 9-1-1 in the case of an emergency.
Family members who are seeking information on where their loved one has been transferred to can call our Family Reunification phone line at 844-582-2350. This line is staffed 24/7.
We will continue to provide regular updates via our Facebook page and the media.