To the Editor,
So many times, we think of all the bad things happening around us. It clouds our ability to see wonderful things are happening, even during tragedies. On Saturday morning, June 27, 2015, I witnessed a group of dedicated people working together to save as much of Gibson Cancer Center as possible. Many thanks to the Lumberton Fire Department and those volunteer departments that served as back-up support. Our loss would have been much greater had this group of individuals not been responsive, collaborative and professional. I heard one person comment on how the “team was so organized, everyone knew his role and carried it out well.”
While we watched the firemen work, the team from Southeastern Health began planning to ensure no patient experienced a disruption in his ot her care. Physicians, nurses, technicians and leaders worked diligently throughout the day on Saturday to locate an alternative location for the medical oncology patients. Local citizens and property owners quickly responded with a location on Oakridge Blvd that could serve as a temporary location for this service. By Sunday afternoon, it was cleaned and outfitted with necessary supplies and equipment, and patients had been notified of appointment times beginning at 8 a.m. on Monday.
Plans for relocation of radiation oncology patients were worked on by staff and Dr. Walden. While we could not accommodate those patients in Lumberton, the medical community stepped up to assist in a smooth transition to an alternate radiation oncology service in nearby facilities. Clinic space for evaluating those patients in Lumberton was also ready for service on Monday.
As president and CEO of Southeastern Health, I am so proud of the response of members of the Southeastern team and our local first responders. I am humbled by the reaction and support of the local community and state medical community. Thank you to all those that have offered prayers, words of support, and donations. There are too many people to personally thank for this outpouring of love and concern. Our community is fortunate to have all these resources available.