Shepherd Center Closing Outpatient Programs on Sept. 11 Due to Anticipated Storm Impact
With Hurricane Irma projected to hit metro Atlanta on Monday afternoon, Sept. 11, as a tropical storm with winds of 40 to 50 miles an hour, Shepherd Center is closing its outpatient programs and taking other steps to prepare for the storm, said president and CEO Sarah Morrison, PT, MBA, MHA.
Because of added traffic due to evacuees coming to metro Atlanta, the city's roads and highways are seeing extremely heavy volume. Also, storm damage to trees and structures is possible when the storm arrives in the metro area on Monday. Given expected travel difficulties, Shepherd Center is notifying patients that it is closing the following outpatient programs on Sept. 11:
- Shepherd Pathways (in Decatur, Georgia)
- SHARE Military Initiative
- All outpatient clinics (Shepherd Spine and Pain Institute, MS Institute, Multidisciplinary Clinic, Wound Clinic, Call Center (TeleMed will take calls.)
- MRI and Radiology (cancelling outpatients only; will be staffed for inpatients)
- MS Rehabilitation and Wellness Program
- Complex Concussion Clinic
- Spinal cord injury single-service outpatient therapy
- ProMotion gym and Beyond Therapy program
- Single-service outpatient program services in the Assistive Technology Center (driving program, seating clinic, assistive tech). Outpatients will be cancelled, but staff will be available for inpatient needs.
Shepherd Center's Spinal Cord Injury Day Program, located on the main campus, will remain open because it does not require any patient/family travel to and from Shepherd Center. Day Program patients typically stay in on-campus housing.
There may be weather-related delays for patients who are scheduled to admit to or discharge from inpatient programs on Monday, Morrison noted.
Shepherd Center is also preparing for the storm by adding to its normal inventory of medical supplies, food and linens.
Also, the hospital will also allow some non-clinical employees to telecommute on Monday to reduce traffic congestion and potential accidents, Morrison said. In addition, Shepherd Center is postponing orientation for 30 new employees who were scheduled to attend a full-day training session on Monday.
Check back here for further updates as conditions warrant.
Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neurological conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 740 inpatients, nearly 280 day program patients and more than 7,100 outpatients each year in more than 46,000 visits.