News Headlines Article

Florida’s hospitals weather the storm
The Washington Post

Doctors, nurses and staff at hospitals up and down Florida’s Gulf and Atlantic coasts were nearly breathless with surprise and relief Monday: Their patients — and their buildings — had survived the monster named Irma.

“We’re wonderful,” said Cheryl Garn, spokeswoman for Lee Health’s four hospitals in Fort Myers. “Minimum damage. The sun is out and shining. We have some leaks where wind or rain blew in, but the patients are safe and comfortable.”

Some hospital officials credited changes and additions they’ve made in the past decade to strengthen their buildings against natural disasters.

“I think the most important thing we did was that after the 2005 period, when our state saw seven to eight hurricanes, we decided to spend tens of millions of dollars to fortify our facilities,” said Steve Sonenreich, chief executive of Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach. The hospital installed hurricane-proof glass in its windows, for example, and placed generators 30 feet above the flood plain and inside a structure that can withstand winds of 180 mph.

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