To the rescue

During Winter Storm Landon, the MU Police Department transported more than 125 MU Health Care employees to and from work — helping ensure patients continued to receive the highest level of care.

University Hospital during Winter Storm Landon

Feb. 15, 2022
Contact: Sara Diedrich, 573-882-3243,

Not all heroes wear capes. Sometimes they wear badges and drive all-drive vehicles that can barrel through snow like plows.

Earlier this month, while most of Columbia hunkered down for a three-day winter storm, members of the University of Missouri Police Department (MUPD) headed out into the blizzard, navigating snow-covered roadways across Boone County. Their mission? Bring University of Missouri Health Care employees to and from work. In just three days, security and police officers with MUPD safely transported 128 MU Health Care employees — plus 26 employees of their own.

“It was a huge help,” said Rob Loseman, director of security, safety and emergency management at MU Health Care. “We were so grateful for the help.”

Even before the bad weather hit, MU Health Care met with area emergency management personnel to discuss how to maintain essential services during the storm. Like other health systems throughout the state and nation, MU Health Care is experiencing staffing pressures related to record-high numbers of patients hospitalized with COVID-19, a rise in influenza hospitalizations and an ongoing nationwide shortage of health care employees. The storm had the potential to exacerbate those staffing issues.

Still MU Health Care remained committed to providing patients with the highest level of care 24/7, no matter the weather, while also keeping staff members safe and off area roadways during major winter storms.

Loseman said arrangements were already in place to house staff members who could stay on site during the storm. By the end of the week, 1,100 health care employees had taken advantage of those accommodations. Still, there were staff members who couldn’t stay overnight at the hospital because of commitments at home, such as small children or elderly relatives.

That’s where MUPD stepped in.

“They told us, ‘We are you and you are us. What can we do to help?’” Loseman said.

Personnel at MU Health Care quickly worked to set up a process to identify staff members who needed a ride to and from work. That information was communicated to MUPD dispatchers, who sent security or police officers to provide transportation.

Major Scott Richardson said as long as there were no 911 service calls, MUPD officers were available to transport health care employees.

“We were happy to help,” Richardson said. “We had no accidents and no problems. It feels good to be able to contribute to our larger campus community.”

Loseman said MU Health Care will continue to work with MUPD to streamline the protocol, but the collaboration during Winter Storm Landon was an unprecedented effort that exceeded everyone’s expectations.

Subscribe to

Show Me Mizzou

Stay up-to-date with the latest news by subscribing to the Show Me Mizzou newsletter.