Sarasota Memorial Hospital and its freestanding Emergency Room in North Port are open and serving a record number of patients from the southwest Florida region.
SMH’s main hospital in Sarasota and its freestanding ER in North Port remained fully functional on backup generator power throughout Hurricane Irma, caring for 500-plus patients and providing shelter for more than 2,500 people (patients and their loved ones; physicians and staff and their children; and People with Special Needs (PSNs) and their caregivers. SMH also sheltered more than 100 pets for staff who worked through the storm — mostly dogs and cats, but also two bunnies and a rather large tortoise.
“Hurricane Irma prompted the largest mobilization of resources in the hospital's 92-year history,” SMH CEO David Verinder said. “The storm tested everyone in our community, and brought some of the most challenging conditions to our hospital’s emergency operations and public safety teams. But I couldn’t be prouder of our team at SMH. They continue to put in tireless hours and effort, working with each other and local emergency management teams to address our community and patient care needs."
SMH activated a number of contingency plans, including evacuating patients from its behavioral health hospital on Osprey Avenue to the main hospital, but never lost power or sustained damage that hampered its operations. The hospital closed its outpatient locations before tropical winds arrived, and worked with physicians to reschedule any non-urgent elective surgeries that had been planned for Monday and Tuesday.
Today, SMH’s main campus and North Port ER are helping to care for an overflow of patients from other hospitals that closed or went on diversion, while the health system works to get all of its outpatient centers back to normal operations. Here is a summary of its ambulatory campus services and hours (as of 2 pm Tuesday, Sept. 12):
— Venice, Stickney Point and Heritage Harbour Urgent Care Centers are open with normal hours, 8 am - 8 pm daily. The University Parkway Urgent Care Center will be open from 3 - 8 pm today, and will resume regular operating hours Wednesday. Staffed by Sarasota Memorial’s board-certified emergency and family physicians, the centers provide immediate care for non-life threatening illnesses and injuries, such as fractures, sprains, lacerations and burns, as well as the common cold, sore throats, flu, ear infections, bronchitis and urinary problems.
— The HealthFit fitness center on Sarasota Memorial’s Clark Road campus is open 10 am to 8 pm today; all Clark Road campus outpatient services will resume normal hours Wednesday.
— Outpatient services at Heritage Harbour and Blackburn Point health care centers will resume normal hours Wednesday.
University Parkway outpatient services will resume normal hours Wednesday.
First Physicians Group offices will resume normal schedules Wednesday at most offices; Blackburn Point and Newtown locations will open as soon as possible.
Cape Surgery will resume its regular operating hours on Wednesday.
Cattleridge imaging services will resume normal hours/services on Wednesday.
— The SMH Community Specialty Clinic has re-opened and is operating on its regular schedule.
SMH will update hours for other locations later today.