Winter Weather Update: Message From MedStar Franklin Square President

Associates, please check your MedStar e-mail account, StarPort, the MedStar Franklin Square website, and Facebook for operational updates.. Patients, our hospital is staffed and operational if you have an emergency.

January 24, 2016

Tuesday, Jan. 26, 12 p.m.: 

I am happy to report that we are progressing nicely toward normal operations.  We are fully operational, all practices are open and the parking lots and sidewalks are in much better shape than yesterday.

The snow removal crews continue to work hard on making the campus lots and sidewalks as snow and ice free as possible.  I ask that you use caution as you drive and walk on campus as there will be the potential in the coming days for melting and re-freezing.

Tomorrow morning we will be back to normal parking operations, including the overflow Lot #3 located on the CCBC-Essex campus.  Please follow the standard Associate parking policies. The shuttle bus is fully operational and will support our associate parking lots.

We continue to ask that Associates refrain from parking on Franklin Square and Hospital Drives to allow for additional snow removal by Baltimore County over the coming days.

The provisions of the Inclement Weather policy went into effect at 5 p.m. on Friday, January 22, and will end 6 a.m. Wednesday, January 27, 2016. For questions related to the policy, please see your supervisor.

Again, THANK YOU for all your efforts in caring for our patients during this snow storm.  Your great attitude and teamwork throughout this event has been impressive!  Please continue to be safe. 

Samuel E. Moskowitz, FACHE
President, MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
Sr. Vice President, MedStar Health 

Tuesday, Jan. 26, 11:30 a.m.: 

The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) Essex Parking Lot 3 is now open for associates even though the campus is closed. Please note, the shuttle is also in operation to the lot. 

Managers/Supervisors: If associates contact you about not being able to find a parking space elsewhere, please direct them to this lot. 

Tuesday, Jan. 26, 10 a.m.: 

The Red Cross blood drive scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 26, 12 to 5:30 p.m., has been canceled due to inclement weather. 

Monday, Jan. 25, 1:20 p.m.: 

Again, let me say THANK YOU to our Associates and personnel from support organizations who stayed with us or travelled to MFSMC throughout this record-breaking snow storm.  I have always been proud of our team here at MedStar Franklin Square and it is experience like the one we had this past weekend and today that just reinforces that pride.  It has been impressive to see our team in action and the great attitude our Associates took throughout the weekend to provide the compassionate care our community expects and needs. 

In the community and at MFSMC, we are slowly returning to normal operations.  We are still, however, facing some challenges, most of which regard transportation issues.  The following is an update on where we anticipate our operations will be by 7 a.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, Jan. 26.  The bottom line is that we will be fully operational by that time. 

CONDITIONS IN OUR STATE AND LOCAL COMMUNITY

Maryland is still under a State of Emergency and many counties and jurisdictions continue to be in their Phase II Snow Emergency Plans. 

At present, one of our biggest challenges is that road access is making it difficult to rotate staff home.  Many communities, especially in Baltimore City have yet to be plowed, making it difficult for Associates who reside in those communities to drive into work for their scheduled shift.  Plus, the MTA has reduced services today, which has impacted the availability of our Associates who ride the MTA.  MTA officials tell us that they are gradually resuming service and expect to have all services fully operating by Tuesday, January, 26 and by no later than Wednesday, January 27.   We ask those who rely on the MTA for transportation to and from work to check their website www.mta.maryland.gov   for the latest information. 

STATUS OF OPERATIONS

I am very pleased with the progress we have made in the past 24 hours toward our goal of being fully operational by Tuesday.  At this time, we are on track to achieve that goal.  MedStar Franklin Square will be fully operational on Tuesday including all physician practices both on and off campus being open.    If you are scheduled to work on Tuesday, please make plans to arrive to work as scheduled.

This evening, sleeping arrangements will still be available in Room G of the Crawford Conference Center for those Associates who need to/choose to spend the night.

PARKING INSTRUCTIONS

Undoubtedly, clearing available parking space on campus has been a challenge for us throughout this historic blizzard.  Removing more than two feet of snow from our parking lots and sidewalks, just like you may have experienced at home, takes time.  Overall, our campus parking lots and sidewalks are in pretty good shape.  The crews continue to work on clearing the snow and ice from the lots and sidewalks.  You will see continued progress. 

But, we heard you!  The feedback this morning was that the East Lot was not very well cleared.  This is partially due to the challenge of removing snow while cars are parked on the lot.  It is for that reason, we made the decision to close the East Lot to new vehicles effective 12 p.m. today.  Reducing the number of vehicles on this lot will allow our snow removal teams to have clearer and easier access to the lot so they can remove the snow.  We fully anticipate the East Lot will be cleared and reopened by 7am on Tuesday. 

In the meantime, Associates coming into work on Monday afternoon and evening should use the ASC or Visitor Lots.     

The ASC and Visitor parking lots will continue to be available to Associates on Tuesday January 26.  We ask that you not park in the White Square and Medical Arts building parking lots.  The overflow Lot #3 located on the CCBC-Essex campus continues to be closed.

We are requesting that Associates continue to refrain from parking on Franklin Square and Hospital Drives to allow for additional snow removal by Baltimore County over the coming days. 

The shuttle buses have been operating under the normal schedule.

THE REMAINDER OF THIS WEEK:

Again, we are moving toward returning to normal operations.  It will take a couple of days to fully recover from this historic storm, and we need to free up time for leadership and Associates to focus on doing so while continuing to care for our patients.   It is for these reasons that we have made the following decisions: 

  • Town Hall meetings originally scheduled for this week will be postponed and rescheduled in February.
  • The Management Council Meeting scheduled for Tuesday afternoon has been canceled.

I will continue to update you on the progress we are making toward a return to normal operations.  Please continue to monitor your emails, Starport, Facebook and the MedStar Franklin Square Website for updates.

Again, THANK YOU for all your efforts in caring for our patients during this blizzard.  Your great attitude and teamwork throughout this event has been impressive!   Please continue to be safe. 

Samuel E. Moskowitz, FACHE
President, MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
Sr. Vice President, MedStar Health

Sunday, Jan. 24, 6:30 p.m.: 

Let me say THANK YOU to our Associates and personnel from support organizations who have stayed with us or travelled to MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center (MFSMC) throughout this record-breaking storm. More than 300 Associates and members of our Medical Staff have stayed at MFSMC, many since Friday, to ensure we provide the care that our community has come to expect.  I suspect we will have stories to share that demonstrate the camaraderie and commitment we have to support one another. For now, let me say THANK YOU knowing that this is not the last communication on what many of our Associates have done to take care of our patients during this extraordinary time. 

CONDITIONS IN OUR STATE AND LOCAL COMMUNITY

At this time, Maryland is still under a State of Emergency and many counties & jurisdictions are in their Phase II Snow Emergency Plans. It is unlikely these restrictions will be lifted before the end of the day (Sunday).  A reminder that Franklin Square Drive is a snow emergency route, and therefore parking is not allowed on that street during Phase II of the Snow Emergency Plan.  We are continuing to monitor the road conditions on our campus and surrounding community.  While the major roads have been cleared, we are aware that many secondary streets have yet to be plowed which has limited our Associates from getting in.  We do want to commend those Associates who planned early, came in and even offered to assist others with rides.  Some of our Associates have even chosen to walk.

At present, one of our biggest challenges is that road access is making it difficult to rotate staff home.  Also, the MTA is not in operation, although they hope to have buses operating on Monday (but it will be on a limited schedule).  We ask those who rely on the MTA for transportation to and from work to check their website, www.mta.maryland.gov, for the most recent news.

STATUS OF OPERATIONS

MedStar Franklin Square will continue to function under limited operations.  Our goal is to be back to full operations by Tuesday morning as we continue to monitor our patient and staffing levels. 

At this time, I wanted to share the following information with you regarding hospital operations as of Monday, January 25.  We ask that you contact your immediate supervisor if you have questions.  

In short, here is where we stand for Monday morning:

·         Our OR’s will be in limited operations (focusing on emergent and inpatient cases) with all elective surgical cases cancelled.

·         Our Behavioral Health Ambulatory Clinics will be open.

·         Our Retail Pharmacy will be open

·         Our Ambulatory Infusion Center located at the Weinberg Cancer Institute will be open.  The physician practice will be closed.

·         The Bel Air Infusion site, however, will be closed.

·         The Coumadin Clinic will operating on a  modified schedule, opening at 12 noon.

·          All other Ambulatory offices—on and off-site—will be closed.

·         Outpatient Rehabilitation Medicine in White Square will be closed

·         The CyberKnife Center will be closed

As a small token of our appreciation for those associates who stayed overnight on Sunday or arrived early on Monday, we will be offering free breakfast from 6:30am to 8:30am in the cafeteria.

PARKING INSTRUCTIONS

Parking was a challenge for us and was a limiting factor.  As of this writing, we believe that our parking lots for Associates will be clear by 7 PM on Sunday.  We ask that all Associates continue to park in their current lot.  The ASC and Visitor parking lots will be available to Associates on Monday, January 25.  We ask that you not park in the White Square parking lot.  The overflow Lot #3 located on the CCBC-Essex campus is closed.

We are requesting that Associates refrain from parking on Franklin Square and Hospital Drives to allow for additional snow removal over the coming days.  We will assess this as we move ahead. 

The shuttle buses will be operating under the normal schedule tomorrow, Monday.

WHAT SHOULD ASSOCIATES DO IF YOU ARE UNCERTAIN?

All associates who are scheduled to work on Monday but have questions should contact their immediate supervisor for directions.  Watch for additional communication regarding Tuesday operations.  Our goal is to resume normal operations by Tuesday. Please continue to monitor your emails, Starport, Facebook and the MedStar Franklin Square Website for updates. 

I know I speak for all of our MedStar Health Leadership when I say THANK YOU, again, for all your efforts in caring for our patients during this blizzard.  Please be safe.


Samuel E. Moskowitz, FACHE
President, MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
Sr. Vice President, MedStar Health