UAB became a haven for faculty, staff, students and strangers who couldn't make it home after unexpected snow quickly turned to ice Tuesday, making safe travel near impossible.
The Campus Recreation Center housed more than 100 people during the storm Tuesday. Campus Dining fed faculty, staff and stranded students for free on Wednesday. Hospital staff couldn't leave when their shift ended because their replacements could not make it to work — 11 in the emergency department alone; that was repeated throughout hospital departments.
Hospital Food and Nutrition Services served about 10,000 meals a day on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday — twice the usual amount per day. The hospital housed hundreds of family members of patients, in addition to discharged patients and their families who could not make it home. And The Kirklin Clinic provided food and bedding to more than 100 patients sheltered there.
Below are heartfelt messages of thanks to those who offered help and shelter during the storm:
- Tuesday afternoon one of the HIM CDMP nurses, Shannon Martin, left the hospital and unfortunately was stuck in traffic for hours. It was evident that unless something happened, she was going to be stuck on I-65 South for the night with no hope of getting home to her children. As time went on, she became more scared and upset and was starting to panic and so were we. I spoke with Jason Milano, the inpatient coding supervisor, about alternate routes, but, in the end, Jason left work, put his life and vehicle in danger to go pick her up on the interstate. He was in constant contact with her reassuring her that he would get to her and all would be OK. They arrived back to UAB safely and Shannon said that Jason is her “hero.” He is ours as well.
— Marquetta Barron, clinical document specialist in the Department of Health Information Management
- I just want to make sure the good folks at The Kirklin Clinic Pharmacy get a mention. We had a couple of people stranded in our building who needed medications and the pharmacy was able to help. My understanding is that they did this for lots of stranded people and continued working each day until every order had been filled.
— Paula Chandler-Laney, assistant professor of nutrition sciences
- I am writing to let you know that I am an employee for the Health Services Foundation. My mom was stranded at The Kirklin Clinic on Tuesday because of a doctor appointment and could not leave. She wanted me to tell everyone how well they were treated. She said the staff treated them like royalty. They fed them, gave them their medicines and made sure they were comfortable. She said UAB is the best, and she will tell everyone how good they were treated. I am proud to be an employee of the UAB family. Also, my supervisors were stranded in our department and stayed here and worked. They are the best! Kudos to Tannis McCombs and Linda Bagwell!
— Marquetta Givens, pre-arrival services representative for Health Services Foundation
- There were UAB students handing out water and snacks on 10th Avenue South as motorists sat stranded for hours in one spot. I was even allowed to leave my car parked in their yard as I decided walking home would be safer and faster. Thank you, and Go Blazers!
— D.G. Joseph, administrative associate for Foreign Languages
- Although those of us stranded in the School of Public Health continued to work while here, I didn't so much help to "keep UAB going" as much as benefit from the warm, safe shelter that UAB provided. The free breakfast for staff at the Commons on Wednesday morning made all the difference and was such a welcome relief to weary folks who had attempted to "sleep" in office chairs the night before. Thank you!
— Julie McDougal, program manager for Health Care Organization and Policy
See more photos from across campus in the Flickr photo gallery, courtesy UAB Digital Media, College of Arts and Sciences.