RN Labor and Delivery Nurse Manager
Houston Northwest Medical Center
Everything about Hurricane Harvey was eerily familiar to Tricia Wren. In 2005, her New Orleans home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Now resettled and working as a nurse manager in Houston, she saw devastation again. While she was at work, her family — husband, daughter and granddaughter — had to be rescued by boat. Their home filled with water.
The hospital was new to the HCA Healthcare family, part of an acquisition that closed in June 2017, and Wren never expected that she and other employees would be eligible for help. But from the start, HCA Healthcare provided a hotel room for them and the Hope Fund helped with immediate needs until FEMA began to cover temporary assistance, about a month later. They lost two cars to the waters, and the company arranged for Uber service. Employees from all around the country donated PTO for colleagues they had never met.
“HCA Healthcare is such a big organization, but I can feel that they care about each individual in the system,” Wren said. “This time I had a team working for me. People actually came here and walked us through the process of disaster assistance, FEMA, everything. There is no way I can convey my appreciation.”
Ocala Regional Medical Center
When Hurricane Irma bore down on Florida, news footage showed people lining up at hardware stores to buy plywood, covering windows and otherwise prepping their homes for the storm. Keith Dominick would have been one of them, except he was several states away from his Summerfield home.
“My grandmother was ill, so I had taken my wife and 21-month-old daughter to spend some time with her,” Dominick said. “We were in Pennsylvania as the storm was coming in. We were unable to return home until after Irma had passed through.”
What Dominick and his family found was near-total destruction.
“We got in around midnight, and when we opened the door it smelled so bad,” he recalls. “The kitchen ceiling was sagging; water had soaked into the subflooring and mold was everywhere.”
Thanks to his decade with HCA Healthcare, Dominick was aware of the Hope Fund. He hesitated to apply, but the sheer volume of fellow applicants at other agencies meant that it would be a while before his homeowner’s insurance provider and FEMA could get to him.
“The Hope Fund was amazing,” he said. “I had gotten used to filing paperwork and filling in forms, and nothing happening. This time, we got assistance right away. We were having trouble just getting people [from the insurance company] to return our phone calls, and here was the Hope Fund coming in to help right away.”