Davidson County Medical Ministries recovering after burst pipe closes clinic
Davidson County Medical Ministries is recovering after an unwanted Christmas present damaged their building and caused management to find alternative locations to see patients.
Sandy Motley, executive director of Davidson County Medical Ministries, said she was just finishing up preparing for a family gathering on Christmas Eve, when she got a phone call from an employee telling her a water pipe had burst and there was water all over the place.
“She said ‘get to the building now.’ When I got here the water was over my shoes and it was over 80% of the building,” said Motley.
Motley said there were actually three burst pipes over their mechanical room, which housed all of their electrical breakers, the phone operating system, the alarm system and computer equipment. There was also about two inches of standing water in the lobby, reception area and most of the examination rooms.
Luckily the pharmacy area and administrative hall had minimal damage.
She said although the damage was pretty severe, it could have been worse if not for an alarm on their vaccination refrigerator alerting the practice manager.
Motley said there had been several power outages in the area on Dec. 24 due to the cold weather, and the manager came to the building to check on the refrigerator alarm. When she opened the door, she was shocked to find “a waterfall” pouring down and water everywhere.
After the water was shut off, the Lexington Fire Department responded to make sure there wasn’t any potential fire hazard.
Motley said instead of having her family over for Christmas Eve, they spent a majority of the day cleaning up the water.
“I called my sister and said, ‘Come early, come to the clinic and bring boots,’ ” said Motley. “There was about 10 of us here for several hours sweeping out the water and using a couple of wet vacs. By a little after six, there was no more standing water.”
The following day, which was Christmas, she surveyed the damage and started making plans on how Davidson County Medical Ministries would continue to serve their patients.
“We were only closed for two days,” said Motley. “We were already closed on Monday for Christmas, and we used Tuesday to get people in here to assess the damage. On Wednesday we started making plans on what we were going to do.”
She said because they didn’t know if the damage could cause any health hazards, they closed the building until an environmental study confirmed last week that there were no issues.
Medical ministries staff began reaching out to their patients informing them of appointment changes because of the water damage to the building. They are not seeing any new patients until the building reopens.
Motley said they started by borrowing a mobile dental van from their partner, Kintegra Family Medicine, to set up in their parking lot, but it only has the ability to serve one patient at a time. They redirected as many patients as possible to the Thomasville clinic and began utilizing video conferencing so patients could speak with their medical provider.
The pharmacy drive through remained operational because it was not damaged.
Last week, First Reformed United Church of Christ volunteered space at their location for clinic appointments, and Daymark Recovery offered an area for their clinical pharmacist to see patients for medication management services.
Motley said now that the environmental study verified there were no health hazards due to the water damage, they have begun repainting and reflooring the waiting area and clinic rooms. She said beginning next week they hope to be able to use three of the rooms in the building that were not damaged.
The phone system, which was damaged during the event, is now operational but has been redirected to Gastonia until the building can reopen.
Motley said she hopes most of the repairs will be completed and they can reopen to patients in the next two to three weeks.
Motley said she is very appreciative of the support from Daymark and First Reformed UCC for the use of their space and for the understanding of their patients for the inconvenience.
She said although it has been a challenging experience, she still feels lucky.
“In the horrendousness of it all, we are still grateful,” said Motley. “What if that alarm had never gone off and we didn’t know about it until Tuesday? I have never been so thankful for an alarm in my life. Even though when you look at this place it looks like a disaster zone, we are getting it done. We will be back up and running soon.”
This article originally appeared on The Dispatch: Davidson County Medical Ministries recovering after burst pipe closes clinic