Due to the generosity of UnityPoint Health team members across the system, support continues for our Marshalltown colleagues who were impacted by the tornado that swept through the community on Thursday, July 19.
Read the stories below from your Marshalltown team members and learn how we are proving to be stronger together.
Julie Taylor, Environmental Services
“While I was in the basement of the hospital, it was eerily quiet. You could hear a pin drop. Suddenly, we heard the wind of the tornado and found out it hit the hospital while we were in the basement. When we finally went upstairs, it looked like a war zone outside. People were everywhere and damage was all around. When I got to my van, I found tree limbs sticking through the windows. It wasn’t drivable, so my sister came to pick me up. The drive home was the most devastating thing I had seen in my life. Roofs were gone off houses, people were looking at their property and crying and trees were down everywhere. It was horrible.
I cried when I learned what the foundation was doing to support employees. They’ve always stressed that we’re one family and one entity, but this really proved it. It meant so much to me that our organization was watching out for their UnityPoint Health family members.”
Bradley Rozell, Laboratory Technical Associate
“I was working at the south Medical Park lab when I saw that it was very dark to the north. I didn’t think much of it, but then I heard the radio sirens go off in the lobby. When I came out of the lab, people were talking about how the tornado hit town. The word started to spread that staff should report to the north side of the main hospital and we moved patients downstairs. I have a military background, so I tried to stay calm and focus on the patients. It’s chaotic in those kinds of situations, but you learn to just react.
When I came home, I had broken windows and found that I needed new siding and a roof. I was overwhelmed the first night because we were without power and gas and had to stay at a hotel.
Receiving support from our foundation says a lot about our leadership. From day one of joining UnityPoint Health, I could feel the strong sense of team here. I’m proud to say that I’m a UnityPoint employee and to feel like I’m part of something bigger.”
Christina Cheville, Patient Access Associate
“The sirens on my phone went off around 3:30 pm, but I looked outside and thought it was a fluke. Again, the sirens went off at 3:45 and that’s when I decided to go down to the basement with my five-year-old. When my husband got home, he asked what we were doing because he didn’t see any storms. No less than a few minutes after he came downstairs, the tornado hit. We had a desk in our northeast corner, so I shoved my daughter underneath and wrapped a blanket around us. The lights went out and there was so much pressure that my ears popped. I felt the house sway and then heard an explosion and thought, “there went my house.’ When the tornado passed, we came outside to find that our trees exploded and the storm had taken some of our shingles and siding. We were lucky we didn’t lose a lot more.
With the support that we received from the foundation, we were able to clear our tree after 12 truckloads of wood. It meant a lot to me that UnityPoint wanted to help employees who had been impacted. The FOCUS Values go to show that our organization cares not only for our patients, but for our employees and their families as well. It makes me feel great to work here.”
As we continue to share stories regarding our team members in Marshalltown, learn how you can directly support those affected.