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Northside Hospital on alert, ready during 'Code White'



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February 24, 2014
CUMMING, Ga. — As temperatures dropped and severe weather blanketed Forsyth County and most of the State of Georgia, the level of preparedness rose to what is Northside Hospital Forsyth calls "Code White."

"As part of our daily operations, we have key personnel and directives in place to deal with urgent situations that arise from a snow storm and other weather related emergencies," said Skip Putnam, hospital CEO.

Tuesday, Jan. 28, has now become Snow Jam 2014. At Northside Hospital Forsyth, it was an all hands on deck work day where hospital and its staff provide healthcare, comfort, shelter and hope.

"When severe weather was obviously fast approaching, our staff was called to what they do best take care of everyone at our hospital and each other," said Lynn Jackson, hospital administrator.

Joining the hospital administrators were 15 doctors, 140 nurses and patient care team members, 20 cafeteria personnel, 6 security personnel, and 15 environmental services, to name a few.

"We served approximately 4,671 meals between the times our Code White was called on Tuesday and when it ended on Thursday (1/31)," stated Chef Joseph Paul, Assistant Director of Food Services. Meals were served to patients, staff, and guests.

"During the most recent Code White at Northside Hospital Forsyth I was humbled to see how our staff went above and beyond in difficult circumstances to provide great service to our patients. On any regular day you can walk through our hospital and see how hard our staff work and how truly happy they are to work here, but, during the recent winter storm, it was amazing to see staff will to give so much more of themselves to make sure that we were taking care of not only our patients, but each other while we were all sealed in by the snow and ice," said Greg Singh, Operation Coordinator for Patient Access Services and a key member of the Code White team.

Besides taking care of the patients already at the hospital and families that were visiting, the hospital received numerous calls from folks who found themselves stranded on the roads on their way to the hospital.

"The thing that stuck out to me was how willing our staff was to go above and beyond. Even though people were sacrificing time away from their homes and families, I kept hearing phrases like; "whatever you need me to do", "what else can I do?", "do you guys need any more help?" Singh added.

A pregnant woman was brought to the hospital as her baby decided it was time to be born while traveling on 400. A mother and her 10 year old were provided shelter as it was obvious driving home was not safe.

As with other community services personnel, such as emergency response units, firefighters, law enforcement, teachers, bus drivers, and a host of other individuals, the healthcare providers at Northside Hospital Forsyth once again answered the call to serve.

"Unexpectedly having to spend days at your job without being able to go home can be tough, but the helpful and unselfish approach of our staff to this situation was awesome to witness and to be a part of," Singh concluded.

"Knowing that people are safe and properly taken care of is what matters," added Putnam.

The hospital now readies itself for the next winter/ice storm conditions that are set to blanket Georgia.

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