Health Care is a Basic Need
As always, pandemic or not, healthcare providers are keeping a watchful eye on our community. I must say, although people are following most advice, there is one thing that I have noticed from the front line; some people are waiting far too long and are arriving at our healthcare facility doors very late and very sick.
People have told us they are avoiding coming to doctor’s offices, urgent care clinics and emergency departments. I have seen patients and heard stories of people delaying their concerns about chest pain, then finally arriving at the hospital with very serious heart attacks that could have been prevented by coming in earlier. Patients have tolerated abdominal pain and come in with a hole in their appendix after it ruptured and now requires prolonged surgery. Likewise, I know of a pregnant woman who developed a medical issue and showed up late for fear of catching COVID-19 in the hospital. And I have heard from other physicians that people are not going for their important blood thinner testing. I am afraid people are putting themselves at risk because of COVID-19 fear.
Clinic Spaces are Kept Safe
I and my fellow healthcare providers want to make sure you know we are keeping our spaces safe. We screen all people coming into our clinics and hospitals, we offer telemedicine visits you can join from home, we stood up Acute Respiratory Clinics to keep people with symptoms separate from those without, we boosted our already strict cleaning procedures to be super clean and designed separate areas in our hospitals to care for those with COVID-19. We are a safe place to come when you need care.
My ask is that you call us, use the telemedicine options to connect for regular appointments and discuss the importance of maintaining your screening program (such as mammograms, blood testing, etc.) with your doctor. If you have a chronic illness, stay on the rhythm of appointments and tests as you normally would. If you are experiencing new or worse symptoms, you must quickly connect with your doctor, or go to urgent care or the hospital. We want to make sure that you visit a healthcare provider for the same level of care you would expect at any other time.
I value the trust that you put in our teams to provide for your health and well-being. You can trust us now, more than ever, with your care.
Connie Davis, MD
Chief Medical Officer