In June 2008, a historic flood ravaged parts of central and southern Indiana. Particularly hard hit were several areas in Vigo, Monroe and Bartholomew counties, including the city of Columbus. The flooding became so severe that many businesses, and residents, along Haw Creek were forced to leave. Among them were the 250 patients and employees from Columbus Regional Hospital who were safely evacuated within three hours after floodwaters filled the basement with 12 feet of water. Many laboratory, pharmacy, information technology and electrical systems were damaged or destroyed with total damage estimates exceeding $210 million.
A longtime client of the Firm, Columbus Regional Hospital sought the advice and counsel of Ice Miller's health care and other attorneys. The Firm's team of lawyers were in daily contact with hospital representatives and addressed many areas of legal, financial, and regulatory concerns including a number of issues relating to patient care, disaster recovery, document access and recovery, and facility maintenance. The Firm also assisted the hospital with claim issues with insurance companies, FEMA and other government entities.
With support from the local community, state officials and elected representatives, Columbus Regional Hospital was able to open an interim emergency department on Aug. 1. Less than five months after the disastrous flood, on Monday, Oct. 27, the hospital resumed its full range of inpatient and surgical services including overnight acute care and intensive care units, as well as birthing and cancer services. The opening far exceeded initial estimates which projected the hospital would be closed 12-15 months, based on the severity of the damage.
Through crisis management, rapid response, teamwork and a continued commitment to staff and patients, Columbus Regional Hospital is once again open for business and providing first-class care and support to Hoosiers.