Last week here on the gulf coast, we got hit by Ida.

 

I live about 130 miles from New Orleans on the AL coast. We prepared for Ida, but she only gave us rain.

 

One of our favorite old clients serves New Orleans and the Northshore. My history with them goes back 16yrs when the owner, a nurse, Ms. Lenora, called me three days after Katrina hit and said.

“I have lost so many patients. I have to rebuild. Will you help me?”

 

At that time, I lived in Miami, and I was no stranger to hurricanes, but Katrina was a big one, and I was happy to help.

 

I spent the next 3 years helping Ms. Lenora, her son Richard, and her brother-in-law Norman rebuild their agency. It was one of the most challenging times of my marketing career.

 

We “marketed” to doctors who were in makeshift offices in the Lord and Taylor budling. The nurses treated patients under bridges because their homes were not safe.

 

To say it was challenging is an understatement. Ms. Lenora had grit. She built that agency from the ground up, and she was determined to make it again…And she did.

 

When my contract ended as an “Outsourced Sales Manager” after the 3 yrs, she had her full census back to 300 patients and opened her Hospice.

Image from NBC. All rights reserved.

I have worked on and off for this family for the last 16 yrs helping them grow their agency. Ms. Lenora recently passed, and her son Richard asked me for help again to grow his agency.

 

His team is impressive and embraced the structure of the High-Performance Sales Process and the Roadmap to Referrals. When they were engaged in the sales programs with the help of one of the best operators I have ever worked with, their Director of Nursing, Elizabeth, they achieved record admissions.

 

In May, Richard sold the agency to a large national company. And while we do not work with their team currently, when I saw Ida heading their way  – and on the anniversary of Katrina – well, my heart sank.

 

All those patients in their homes. The thought sends shivers down my spine. I text Elizabeth and asked her how they were and could I help? Unfortunately, they didn’t have electricity.  The utilities reported it could be upwards of 4 wks before power would be restored.

 

She had a generator, and she was “ok.”

 

I asked about patients. She said all patients were accounted for! Whew – we have come a long way in our emergency preparedness programs since Katrina and Ida put them to the test again!

But still four weeks without electricity. Can you imagine? It’s currently 89 degrees and 90% humidity. It’s hot…and what about food and water?

 

Many organizations are coming to NOLA and bringing food, water, bug spray (yes, there are a TON of bugs), toilet paper, baby wipes, gas, etc. Our local American Legion is a donation center, and my boys and I cleaned out our pantry for all nonperishable items and went shopping for bug spray and water.

 

My heart goes out to the nurses and therapists who see patients every day even though their own homes and lives have been damaged. Caring for seniors is their calling. The determination and caring of this community are overwhelming.

Thank you to everyone who is donating time, supplies, and money to help these patients and clinicians.

 

We love NOLA – it’s a great city!

 

Keep safe, and thank you for continuing to serve seniors!

 

Melanie

P.S. If you would like to “do something,” this organization has been extremely helpful in the area and acts quickly to respond to the food needs of the community.

 

 

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