Greenville Health System has accepted 25 transfer patients from coastal health centers in South Carolina’s evacuation zones ahead of Hurricane Florence and is prepared to accept 40.
AnMed Health is expecting 11 patients from the Grand Strand Medical Center in Myrtle Beach, according to a press release.
GHS Mobile Care also sent five ambulances to the coast Monday to help with the transfers.
Eric Ossmann, GHS chief of preparedness and emergency management, said the agency is working with Columbia-based Palmetto Health, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, and the S.C. Hospital Association to transfer the evacuees and to develop a plan in case of a larger scale evacuation.
Wednesday, Ossmann said the health system has a 96-hour plan in place although it’s currently on a normal operating schedule.
“The biggest challenge right now is just not knowing the track and exactly where it’s gonna be,” Ossmann said.
As of 2 p.m. Wednesday, Hurricane Florence was downgraded to a Category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center. The trajectory of the storm is projected to shift southwest toward South Carolina by early Friday morning, but the National Hurricane Center has stressed the path is still uncertain.
GHS said it opened its 24-hour operations center Tuesday morning and has prepared for the possibility of activating additional overnight staff at GHS hospitals later in the week.
Shaunda Trotter, vice president of nursing and chief nursing officer for AnMed, said, “AnMed Health is happy to provide the same top-notch care to the evacuees that it provides its area patients daily.”
Other evacuees who come to the Upstate and have non-emergency needs should call the DHEC at 1-855-472-3432 to find out about a special medical needs shelter. Evacuees who need dialysis treatment and have not made previous arrangements should call the DHEC care line to get directed to an area dialysis clinic.