September 13, 2021

On Sunday, August 29th, 2021, Hurricane Ida, a Category 4 storm, rolled through the Southeast United States, devastating the coastal towns of Louisiana and moving northeast, leaving many cities in its path with immense damage and a lack of resources. 

Residents of the Team Gleason House for Innovative Living, located within St. Margaret’s Skilled Nursing Facility in New Orleans, were safely evacuated to Riverside Hospital in Alexandria, Louisiana. Under the leadership of CEO Larry Stansberry, the staff at St. Margaret’s did an incredible job of executing their evacuation plan, organizing the transportation of five residents – all of whom are on ventilators and require 24/7 care. The staff at St. Margaret’s served as advocates for the residents, ensuring their devices and stands were transported with them on the nearly 4 hour ride. 

St. Margaret’s staff prioritized the residents’ ability to communicate, arranging video meetings with Riverside’s staff to get their communication devices set up quickly and efficiently. “The staff [at Riverside Hospital] are respectful and professional,” says Team Gleason House resident Francis B., “They are learning to take care of us individually, and are eager to learn the computer as well. This has been a good experience for me.” Additionally, St. Margaret’s sent over low-tech eye gaze pages and additional resources to allow residents the ability to communicate their needs at all times.

“All of our ALS residents require a lot of attention and patience. Nurses, Respiratory Therapists, and CNAs never give up on our residents; they are always attentive to our residents’ wants/needs,” states Sherry Tran, Respiratory Therapist with St. Margaret’s, who evacuated alongside the residents. “I am delighted and blessed to work with the wonderful staff here at Riverside Hospital to provide care for our ALS residents. The evacuation plan St. Margaret’s had in place was crucial to providing uninterrupted care. Residents who were evacuated will stay at Riverside Hospital until further notice as New Orleans continues its recovery process.”

We would like to thank the staff at St. Margaret’s for their continued dedication to the Team Gleason House residents.

Ida became the second-most damaging and intense hurricane to strike Louisiana.

The St. Margaret’s and Riverside staff are “always here to help!” – Helen T., Team Gleason House Resident