On September 28, 2022, Hurricane Ian made landfall in Southwest Florida. The Category 4 Hurricane slammed the Southwest Florida corridor with winds exceeding 150 mph and an unprecedented storm surge. PartnerCare’s Corporate office in Tampa and Jaffe Sports Medicine (JSM) clinics in Naples, Fort Myers, and Cape Coral, Florida, lay in its path of destruction.
With the storm initially expected to land near Tampa, PartnerCare’s CEO Eric Worthan and Senior Team jumped into action and decided to close the Corporate office. “Our staff and patients were the main priority. We wanted to ensure that everyone had ample time to evacuate their families and get to an area of safety,” said Eric. “Jaffe Sports Medicine became a massive concern for us as the storm path continued to shift south. We quickly realized that what we thought was coming to Tampa was going to our team in Naples, Fort Myers, and Cape Coral.
Chris Greengrass, the Practice Administrator with Jaffe Sports Medicine, sprung into action implementing a safety plan for the staff and patients. “The JSM leadership team quickly joined forces with PartnerCare to formulate a plan of action for our staff and patients. We utilized every PartnerCare resource available from HR to Communications to IT to allow us to communicate with our team and patients,” said Chris. “Eric Worthan called me every day to check on our team.”
The support from PartnerCare did not stop with Eric Worthan. “Amanda Nelson (HR) checked on every employee to ensure they were safe and accounted for. Jennifer Starling (Marketing) ensured that communication with our employees, patients, and the community was effective and transparent.
Last but not least, Rodney Bandy and his team in IT ensured that all of our technology was up and running quickly after Ian impacted our area,” noted Chris. “We could not have responded so quickly and effectively without the support of PartnerCare. Our entire system came together in a time of crisis to help one another. It is what makes our partnership with PartnerCare, so unique. We are more than a team; we are a family.”Thanks to those combined efforts, Jaffe Sports Medicine was back open and seeing patients Monday, October 3, less than one week after Hurricane Ian hit South Florida. “We know we got lucky. Our clinics weathered the storm well,” said Chris gratefully. “Only our Cape Coral office will be closed as we assess damages. However, our other three offices are open. Our main focus continues to be serving our patients and our community.”
In the upcoming weeks, the team at PartnerCare will continue to work hand in hand with JSM to assess the needs of both employees and the community. Amanda Nelson stated, “we want to ensure that our JSM employees have everything they need as they rebuild their lives in Southwest Florida. We are making every resource we have, from employee assistance resources to community resources, available to them at this time. Our main priority is always the safety and well-being of our team members.”
While Hurricane Ian took many things from the people of Southwest Florida, the one thing it did not impact was the power of community. “During Hurricane Ian, this team came together effortlessly,” said Eric Worthan. “Compassion was evident everywhere you looked. Every team member across the country asked, ‘What do you need?’ Every team member stepped in to help and serve. It was humbling to watch that in action. It reinforced what we are building here at PartnerCare, a community of people who genuinely care about each other, our patients, and the communities we serve.”