Alexandria, LA – Hospitals around the country found 2020 looked nothing like what they expected. And just when COVID seemed to be under control, hurricane season began.

“Every year, we know hurricanes are a possibility,” said Jason E. Cobb, FACHE, Rapides Regional Medical Center Chief Executive Officer. “We were hoping for a quiet hurricane season in 2020, since all of us had spent much of our time, energies and resources on COVID, but Mother Nature had other plans.”

Thankfully, nonprofits such as Shepherds Pie, The United Way of Central Louisiana and The American Red Cross were there to help when Hurricane Laura roared through Cenla as a Category 2 hurricane on Aug. 27 and Hurricane Delta followed on Oct. 10.

 “We’ve never experienced a Category 2 hurricane this far north, for as long as I can remember,” Cobb said.

RRMC employees were still cleaning up after Laura when Hurricane Delta hit.

“While employees were here working to take care of our patients and community, their homes were damaged, property lost and family members were living for days without power and sometimes without water,” Cobb said.

“Our employees and our community benefited from the generosity and resourcefulness of our local Red Cross, United Way and the grassroots Shepherds Pie nonprofit.”

That’s why HCA, a part owner of Rapides Regional Medical Center, is saying “Thank You” with donations to each group; The Red Cross will receive $20,000, the United Way of Central Louisiana will receive $20,000 and Shepherds Pie, which provided 40,000 free meals in the days and weeks following Hurricane Laura, will receive $10,000.

“The United Way of Central Louisiana is extremely grateful to Rapides Regional Medical Center and HCA for their support,” said Dave Britt, President and CEO of the United Way of Central Louisiana. “The leaders and employees at Rapides Regional have supported the Central Louisiana community through our United Way for many years, and this extra support in a time of crisis is particularly appreciated. Our community is immeasurably stronger because RRMC is such a strong leadership presence. We value our partnership and look forward to working through this year’s challenges together.”

“The recovery for those impacted by Hurricane Laura is not over. The recovery continues and will continue in the weeks and months to come. The Red Cross is committed to being there," said Red Cross Regional CEO Joshua Joachim. "We appreciate our partners at Rapides Regional Medical Center and HCA that responded to the needs, and make this recovery process possible. With their generous donation, individuals impacted by this disaster will receive the supplies, food, shelter, access to health and emotional support, and most importantly, hope, that they need during this trying time."

“We have officially entered a season of Thanksgiving,” Cobb said. “It’s only fitting that HCA and Rapides Regional Medical Center send their thanks – and a donation that will help these organizations pay it forward to other residents in need. Our community is better when we all work together and take care of each other. Our employees are used to taking care of others. We are humbled when someone goes out of their way to take care of us.”