Hospitals Prepare for G-8 - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

06/03/04

Hospitals Prepare for G-8

With the G-8 less than one week away, preparations continue, local hospitals are making sure they're prepared for anything, including Memorial Health, the hospital that would treat President Bush if anything were to happen. Memorial Health says it will be business as usual next week, but the hospital is putting some strategies in place to make sure this level-one trauma center is ready for anything.

The hospital sees its fair share of medical emergencies every day, but dealing with problems that arise out of the G-8 summit is a whole other story.

As director of support service Gary Milewski put it, "We want to keep things as normal as possible."

Next week, getting into Memorial won't be an easy task. The hospital is placing armed Georgia National Guardsmen everywhere, and you will need a photo ID, just to get in.

Not to mention maybe some directions, too. "Some entrances that are normally open will be closed during the event," said Milewski. "We will have signage that'll direct customers to appropriate entrance."

For years, Memorial Health has been the designated hospital for presidential visits. Now hospital officials say they are even working with other trauma one centers just in case disaster strikes. "If a trauma does occur on Sea Island or Brunswick, we can utilize the facilities in Jacksonville," explained Milewski.

And being ready for anything means not wasting any time. That's why officials at Memorial say, if you don't have a real emergency, it might be a lot faster for you to get help elsewhere. "Something that may not require emergency department, we're asking that you visit the Urgent Care Center," said Milewski.

We also spoke with officials at St. Jospeh's/Candler, and they said they have expanded their existing disaster response plan to protect patients, staff and law enforcement.

Reported by: Hena Daniels, hdaniels@wtoc.com

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