Volunteering to Serve After Hurricane Irma: Living the Core Values of Team and Accountability
Editor’s Note: This is the third post in a weekly four-part series highlighting teammates who supported the Village during two hurricanes in 2017.
I’ve always known there’s something special about DaVita – when a teammate in my facility gets sick or has a family emergency, we all step up and help. We let each other know that their teammates are there for support.
So a few months ago, when I saw the devastation in Houston with Hurricane Harvey, I knew I wanted to help in any way I could. I wanted to be of service to my career and to patients. As an RN and clinical coordinator for DaVita in Menifee, Calif., I was quickly able to get the nursing license required of the state of Texas to help the clinics in the area affected by Harvey. I then learned I was no longer needed in Texas as DaVita had a lot of teammates helping but I received an email asking if I could travel to Florida as Hurricane Irma was approaching the east coast.
I spoke with my wife and son and we agreed it was the right thing to do for the Village, my fellow teammates and the patients in Florida. I was quickly on a plane to Miami, Fla. where I spent 11 days filling in shifts as assigned and working with my teammates on the opposite side of the country.
When I landed in Miami it was late at night and as I found my way to the hotel, I kept asking myself why it was so dark – streets were hard to find and debris from road signs and trees was everywhere. So many neighborhoods did not have power those first few days and I realized then – before the sun even came up on my first day – how impactful Hurricane Irma was for the people of Florida. Eleven of the 21 DaVita clinics in the area did not have power.
I got to work early the next day, reporting to clinics as I was needed at the direction of a Group Facility Administrator. Teammates and patients were so kind to me and grateful that I was there to help. Many of them had families to take care of and homes that did not have electricity. But DaVita really stepped in to help. On my second day I met a security guard who was guarding the clinic’s generator. He had been there for three days making sure our generator was protected so we could treat patients.
What struck me was that the computer systems in Florida were exactly the same as my facility in California so I was able to get right to work and help patients in the centers. It’s a great system that made it easy for me to quickly help my teammates.
After 11 days of serving patients and teammates in Florida, I landed home in California with a refreshed sense of gratitude for the people I work with every day. DaVita has a lot of resources and we work really hard to support our clinics locally and globally. We truly live our Core Values and in this case, I personally felt the Core Values of Team and Accountability.
I’ve worked in hospitals and other health care companies but I’ve never experienced the teammate morale like I do at DaVita. I know that if we’re taking care of each other as a team, we’re providing better care for our patients.