HAMMOND — Fifteen hospital patients from the Lake Charles area are now receiving care at North Oaks Medical Center in Hammond, a press release said.

The 15 patients were evacuated to North Oaks Medical Center from Lake Charles Memorial Hospital on Aug. 28. The Lake Charles hospital evacuated all 146 of its patients to other Louisiana hospitals in the face of being without an adequate water supply for an extended period in the wake of Hurricane Laura.

“When disaster strikes, the true strength of our state’s medical community is realized,” North Oaks Health System President/Chief Executive Officer Michele Sutton said. “With the assistance of the Louisiana Emergency Response Network, we pull together and do whatever it takes to make sure hospital patients can continue to be cared for safely.”

While two patients arrived in the early morning hours Aug. 28, the remaining 13 made the four-hour trek from Lake Charles in a convoy of ambulances that arrived all at once around 3 p.m.

North Oaks Chief Operating Officer Michael Watkins credits Chief Medical Officer Dr. Robert Peltier, and Chief Nursing Officer Kirsten Riney for orchestrating a smooth transition for the patients. “With their guidance, the clinical resource nurse and a dedicated team of physicians, nurses, case managers, respiratory therapists and support personnel began reviewing each patient’s case and making preparations for their arrival,” Watkins said.

“I am so proud of our team’s preparation and compassion,” Sutton said. “Within 20 minutes of the convoy pulling up to our ambulance entrance, they had every patient in a hospital room and receiving appropriate care. Our caregivers are honored to assist Lake Charles Memorial Hospital in the care of their patients. We truly are all in this together.”