Letter to Our Community (4/28)
As we approach the busiest time of year in our region, we are cautiously optimistic that everyone will be able to enjoy a healthy, prosperous summer season around the lake.
We know our community already has been impacted financially. We also know that the measures we have taken to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 have flattened the curve and successfully avoided overwhelming our dedicated teams within Lake Regional Health System.
Please also realize that this virus will continue to spread. As the state begins to reopen, we must actively monitor the prevalence of cases in our community, execute contact tracing and isolate infection as much as possible. We strongly encourage continued vigilance, social distancing and limiting exposure in public places.
If you have a moment, we invite you to hear from our first inpatient success story, who spent 16 days in Lake Regional’s ICU before returning home and receiving a negative COVID test on April 20. You can see the interview we held with him at lakeregional.com/covid-19.
We’re proud of his recovery and proud of our team for their professionalism and compassion in the face of a novel virus and new protocols.
We are committed to working with Gov. Parson and local public health officials to follow the Show-Me Strong Recovery Plan, in effect through May 31. In addition, we’ll be following the federal government’s Guidelines for Opening Up America Again.
Based on the gating criteria outlined in the federal plan, we believe our region is currently in Phase 1 of 3.
Phase 1 of the plan includes encouraging telework where possible, prohibiting visits to senior living facilities and limiting social gatherings to fewer than 10 people. We’ll be monitoring the trajectory of flu-like illnesses, as well as documented cases or positive COVID-19 tests.
For our part, we are following the Core State Preparedness Responsibilities as outlined in the federal plan. That includes testing and providing results within 24 hours and working with local health departments to trace contacts and follow up with at-risk individuals. We are also working to maintain sufficient levels of PPE and critical medical equipment and putting surge plans in place in the event we should need additional ICU capacity.
Per phase 1, we are implementing wider use of telemedicine, so patients do not need to come into the hospital or clinics in order to meet with their doctor or specialist. We are also cleared to increase outpatient procedures, as clinically appropriate, beginning this week.
As important as it is to deliver excellent care to our patients, we are also protecting our care providers and constantly monitoring for any signs of an outbreak.
Our entire team remains fully intact and ready to address the health care needs of this community. The health of our organization has a direct impact on the health of the region, and we take both responsibilities very seriously.
Ultimately, we see a path toward steadily and carefully expanding services through the summer while keeping patients and employees safe. Thank you, from all of us at Lake Regional, for your support and consideration during this crucial time of rebuilding and restoration.
Let’s take it slow, so we can get back to normal faster.
Our Commitment Runs Deep,
Dane Henry, FACHE
Chief Executive Officer
Lake Regional Health System