Support for Hurricane Michael Victims
“As most Southeast Floridians heard of the devastation caused by Hurricane Michael in the Florida Panhandle, all we could do was pray for those affected. Many of us here at the Southeast region Wellpath Recovery facilities have at some point felt the impacts of such a storm and couldn’t help but think about what we all endured and needed at that time. On Tuesday morning, October 16th, we had been informed that Wellpath Recovery was seeking staff members who would be willing to put their own lives on hold for a short time to go and support the staff, patients and community at Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee. I was honored to be asked to help facilitate this and was taken back, but not surprised, at the overwhelming amount of staff who were willing to help.
On Wednesday morning 47 Wellpath staff members from SFETC, SFSH and TCFTC set off to assist without any real knowledge of what were we would be doing or even what we would encounter, yet spirits and motivation were high. As each facilities vans exited the highway and traveled through the communities leading up to the State Hospital, the aftermath of the storm left us speechless. As we arrived at FSH, we were amazed to be met with so many smiling faces. Many of these staff members from FSH & NFETC had put in countless hours by this point, not to mention dealing with their own personal impacts of the storm, however, you wouldn’t know it by the looks on their faces or tone of their voice. Wellpath Recovery Solutions from all 3 sites came together quickly to collaborative develop a plan for helping in any way we could.
Over the course of the next 4-5 days Wellpath staff worked in direct care roles on the units, nursing coverage, food services, laundry and more, all the while talking with staff and community members about the hardships they have endured. Despite these hardships the entire FSH/Chattahoochee community, from those working in the few business that were open to those volunteering in many areas were all in good spirits and extremely hospitable. Each day as we grew more and more tired, our energy levels continued to rise and were glad we can help our fellow man. As we set to depart Monday morning it was bittersweet. We were happy to return to our families and own lives, however wished we could stay longer and support the community. It was a very rewarding experience and one that many people will forever have memories of.” – Shaun Leydon, Training Administrator, Treasure Coast Forensic Treatment Center, Wellpath Recovery Solutions