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Phoebe Sumter reaches out to Oklahoma hospital damaged by tornado

Albany, GA

Phoebe Sumter Medical Center
Marketing/Public Relations Department,
Marcus Johnson

AMERICUS, GA -- May 23, 2013 — Upon hearing about the devastating storm that unleashed 200 miles per hour winds on Oklahoma and the Midwest and the damage it caused, the people in Americus, Georgia couldn’t help but think back to their own ordeal in March 2007. The fact that Moore Medical Center was damaged really hit home with the people at Phoebe Sumter Medical Center.

“Looking at the pictures and coverage on TV, it looked very similar to how our area looked but probably much worse,” said Marcus Johnson, Marketing & PR at Phoebe Sumter Medical Center. “The hospital damaged looked eerily similar to how our hospital looked, right down to the cars being mashed in the parking lot.”

Then known as Sumter Regional, the community hospital in Americus suffered millions of dollars in damaged and ultimately had to be demolished due to damage from an EF3 tornado that destroyed hundreds of homes and took the lives of two people in this Southwest Georgia community. The hospital then went on a trek that saw it change its name to Phoebe Sumter Medical Center after a partnership with Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany and ultimately the opening of a new hospital in December 2011.

“We received so much support from people all across the state, the nation and even the world, especially from the hospital and medical community” said Johnson. “As a result, anytime another storm hits and a hospital is damage, we want to help them just like so many people helped us in 2007.”

Upon hearing about the devastation to Oklahoma and Moore Medical Center in particular, Johnson and his coworkers sprang into action by immediately donating funds that will be sent to the employees of Moore Medical Center that were impacted by the tornado. In addition, Phoebe Sumter employees are signing a banner that will be sent with the funds to the Moore Medical Center employees next week, along with a number of other items.

“We were Moore Medical in 2007, just like we were the hospital damaged in Joplin, Missouri a few years ago,” said Johnson. “So many people stepped up to the plate to show us support and encouragement, and we want to do the same for our fellow hospital workers in Moore, Oklahoma and for all the people affected by the storms there.”

Johnson said that the banner will hang in the hospital’s cafeteria the next few days before it is shipped to Oklahoma. Anyone can sign the banner, so feel free to come by the hospital during Dining Room operating hours. If you would like to donate, you can make checks payable to Norman Regional Health Foundation and turn them into the Human Resources department of the hospital, or you can online and go to the Red Cross site to donate to those in need in Oklahoma.

“I am sure they will appreciate the funds and other items, but I think the banner will really lift their spirits just like the one we got lifted ours,” said Johnson of the banner that was sent to them from a hospital from the Gulf Coast that was damaged by Hurricane Katrina. “Just the fact that someone that doesn’t even know is pulling for you and supporting you did wonders for our employees, and we hope that our gesture does the same for them.”

Photo: Phoebe Sumter Emergency Department Nurse Manager Krista Barfield, RN signs a banner that will be sent to Moore Medical Center (Oklahoma) employees that were affected by the devastating tornado that killed more than 20 people and did considerable damage to the hospital.

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