Baptist Health Medical Center-Conway Designated Storm Ready Hospital By National Weather Service

CONWAY, Ark. –Americans live in the most severe weather-prone country on Earth. Some 98 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather related, leading to around 500 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage, according to the National Weather Service.

Through advanced planning, education and awareness, the NWS StormReady program helps communities, counties, colleges, hospitals, and others with the safety skills needed to save lives and property before, during and after severe weather.

In addition, StormReady helps communities respond to hazardous weather – from tornadoes to hurricanes –by providing community leaders and emergency managers with clear-cut guidelines on how to improve their hazardous weather operations.

Baptist Health Medical Center-Conway recently received its official StormReady designation. To receive this classification, the hospital had to apply to the NWS and:

  • Establish a 24-hour warning point and designate an emergency operations center
  • Have more than one way to receive severe weather warnings and forecasts and to alert the public within the hospital
  • Create a system that monitors weather conditions locally
  • Develop a formal hazardous weather plan, which includes holding emergency exercises

“We want the community to know that we’re prepared should there ever be a weather-related disaster,” said Jody Carter, Baptist Health Emergency Preparedness coordinator. “It’s important to us that we’re involved in not only healing patients in our communities but also protecting their safety.”

Baptist Health Medical Center-Conway opened Sept. 16 with 24 available beds, 325 healthcare professionals, six operating rooms, a helipad and a full-service emergency room staffed with specialized personnel including paramedics.

Some of the services offered at the $150 million, 260,000-square-foot hospital include surgery; imaging; urology; dialysis; physical, speech and occupational rehab; wound care; mammography; gastroenterology; oncology; cardiology diagnostics; and nephrology. The women’s center, which will offer labor and delivery services, is still under construction and is expected to open in November.

Baptist Health is an Arkansas-based, locally owned and managed, not-for-profit, and faith-based healthcare organization. Baptist Health is also Arkansas’ most comprehensive healthcare organization with more than 8,840 employees operating nine hospitals. For more information about Baptist Health or Baptist Health Medical Center-Conway, please call Baptist Health HealthLine at 1-888-BAPTIST.

Storm ReadySteve Drillette, meteorologist in charge, NWS Little Rock, and Dennis Cavanaugh, warning coordination meteorologist, NWS Little Rock, present Jacob Robinson (far left), BHMC-Conway assistant administrator, and Jody Carter (far right),Baptist Health Emergency Preparedness coordinator, with the official StormReady designation sign and certificate to display within the hospital.