Team Member Blog

Historic. Impressive. On a scale not seen in a decade. Those aren't terms to describe the Blizzard of 2011, but rather the emergency planning, preparation and response to the monumental snowstorm by HRH team members.

Throughout the event, the hospital was prepared and patient care was never compromised. Team members critical to the hospital’s patient care stayed on site, at nearby hotels or with other team members.

This blog presents their stories and experiences - in their own words - as they braved the Blizzard of 2011 to provide our patients continued excellent care.


Doug Ruble
# Doug Ruble
Friday, February 4, 2011 4:37 PM
I was extremely proud of the way our team sacrificed and made their number one priority the life safety of our patients and co-workers. Adversity shines the light on heroes and during this event the entire system was illuminated. While the entire region and state struggles to return to normal our system should be their example.
Linda Dinges
# Linda Dinges
Monday, February 7, 2011 11:55 AM
The past few days living with over 100 dedicated professionals during the Blizzard of 2011 has displayed a professional and personal loyalty to healthcare I have never experienced before.

The dedication and display of teamwork has been extraordinary and our staff, patients and families are united! The celebration of safe healthcare continues! Thank you team members for your Quality Caring Spirit!
Monday, February 7, 2011 1:45 PM
When environmental conditions outside required our team members to stay on campus for days on end, it's vital for us to respond quickly to the need. This keeps our medical team concentrating on patient care. During the blizzard of 2011 Environmental Services responded by assisting Engineering in forming a make shift hotel within our Medical Office Building for the 110 team members that where required to stay on campus

During this time our department also provided linens and scrubs to team members required to stay. Our department washed and dried team member uniforms. Throughout the day and night our department dried the wet clothes of those who were outside trying very hard to keep our walkways and drives clean. I would like to thank my department for all they did to assist during this unusual time. Everyone came together and it was amazing.
Jonathan Arnold
# Jonathan Arnold
Monday, February 7, 2011 2:32 PM
Experiencing my first real emergency management scenario with the blizzard was really something. I know everyone in the hospital has their own jobs and responsibilities of which they are very capable, but in an emergency it’s different somehow. The best of people comes out when everyone pitches in to solve problems and make sacrifices – that at the time, don’t even seem like sacrifices.

I didn’t end up staying in the hospital, but rather a hotel close by (I felt a little like the Vice President, actually, off in some undisclosed location). I feel like the one who lost out. I had a bed with sheets, towels, and shower – and somehow I feel like my co-workers at the hospital had the best place to stay wrapped in camaraderie and the shared experience.

Having been through the Blizzard of 2011 with the team at HRH, I now know that we can handle any challenge that is thrown at us and we, as a team, will respond according to our vision and values. Responding as a team, we will be able to give our patients the excellent care they have come to associate with Hannibal Regional Hospital.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011 6:35 AM
I am so proud of our ICU staff for their selfless dedication to patient care. We have great group of nurses and support staff. They show the most strength during crisis

Though I didn’t work during the storm, some of the staff who were stuck at HRH called to make sure I was Ok. I was in southern Mississippi over the weekend. I was driving home Monday when the storm started. I was coming through St. Louis about 3-4pm when the freezing rain started. It took 3 ½ hrs to get from St. Louis to Hannibal that night because of the ice, rain & snow. I couldn’t drive more then 35-40mph. There were several wrecks during the journey. I saw one 18 wheeler roll his truck just moments before we drove by. At times one of the staff would call to check on me even though she still had to make the trip home from HRH herself that night

Our team in ICU shows such a spirit of compassion not only to the patients and also for each other. In the days after the storm many nurses switched their shifts around so the ones who had been stick here could be off the rest of the week. I can’t say enough about our team. I am proud to call each of them my friend and co-worker

Thank you HRH for taking such good care of our team during their time there. Thank you for making it a home away from home for them.

Beth Dees ICU Monitor Tech
Starla Dunn
# Starla Dunn
Wednesday, February 9, 2011 10:26 AM
“I really appreciated everybody’s concern Tuesday night. But based on my experience, the syndicated show Nurses Against the Wild will have to be cancelled. After work on Tuesday night, I wanted to give my friend and co-worker Kathy Herring a ride home, just down Shinn Lane toward MM. We hopped in my vehicle and after racing an SUV out of the parking lot, headed south on Shinn Lane. Snow was flying and it was hard to see the road, but I wasn’t disoriented, although Kathy wanted to get out of the car, thinking we were at her house when we weren’t quite there yet.

After dropping Kathy off, I was headed down MM to go home. The good Lord and a band of angels saw fit to put my car on the shoulder of the road, so I had no choice but to walk back to my friend Kathy’s house. I bundled up for the walk. I could hear Kathy encouraging me ‘Just a little farther, Starla, you’re almost here!’

“When I got back to Kathy’s house and called the state police to let them know I had left my car, they asked me if it was on the shoulder of the road. It was kind of hard to see the shoulder, or to see the road at all.

“I was surprised that Laura Miller had called Doug Ruble and Dave Hevel to go find me, and I was sorry that everyone was worried, because I was never in any trouble. Other people had a lot more excitement in the storm than I did.

“I went back the next day to dig my car out, with the help of one Vandalia policeman, two MODOT road graders, two HRH maintenance vehicles, and three HRH team members.

“Rumors of my near-death experience have been greatly exaggerated!”

Starla Dunn, BSN, RN, ICU nurse
Sarah McUmber
# Sarah McUmber
Wednesday, February 9, 2011 10:32 AM
“I stayed at the hospital during the snowstorm, along with a lot of my co-workers. We were well taken care of – food, snacks, support, and comfy and quiet sleep arrangements. Everyone maintained good spirits. It was kind of disorienting, coming back to work after having not gone home…seemed like the same day, which actually, it was, of course, but the wrong shift. I was sure ready to go home when it was finally possible, but it wasn’t to ‘escape’!”

Sarah McUmber-House, Monitor Tech, ICU

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