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Resuming healthcare safely, together

Since early March many of us have stayed home, followed the guidelines to help slow the spread of COVID-19. We know these actions weren’t always easy, but they made a difference, and for that, we thank you. These actions have helped prevent a massive spike in cases that would have potentially been overwhelming to our local health system.

Caring for COVID-19 patients now and later

Our teams at Memorial Health System have quickly learned how to manage COVID-19 patients in the past few weeks. We’ve established care units, care teams, and processes that will direct the care of these patients now and into the future. This is what we’re built for – caring for our community’s health in the best and most challenging times. We’ve worked tirelessly to ensure we’re prepared to manage everyone’s health and keep our hospitals, clinics, and facilities a safe place to receive care.

We must be realistic moving forward. There will be spikes of people who become sick. We’ll need to continue to monitor these outbreaks and work quickly when they arise. We’re ready.

This week Governor DeWine and Dr. Acton shared a plan for gradual expansion of healthcare services and business openings as we slowly emerge from our quarantine and lift our eyes to what’s next.

Here’s what that means for you at Memorial Health System.

We are moving into this next phase with both caution and eagerness. Our providers want to see you in person again because in many cases, it’s the best way to provide the care you need. We want to ask how you are doing, hear how you are feeling, and understand what health concerns you may have.

We’ll continue to offer telehealth visits for those times it is appropriate for your health needs. This means you can communicate with your doctor or advanced practice nurse without having to go to the office. Using this technology through your phone or computer we can still see you.

Keeping you safe

Your health will always be our top priority, so we’ve implemented the following safety measures in our hospitals and provider offices:

¯Increasing our already stringent cleaning and disinfecting processes.

¯Checking all visitors/patients for fever and respiratory symptoms

¯Asking those who cannot social distance safely to wear a cloth mask during their visit

Continue physical distancing

¯Using wait in line process of waiting in the car for your appointment, and being taken right back to a room whenever possible

¯Gradually resuming surgeries and medical procedures. While this might feel like a scary time, let us assure you your safety is important, and we’ll be working through this together

¯We’ll be assessing individual patient needs and discussing your condition and needs

¯While we will be wearing protective gear when we see you, please know it’s for your safety and ours. We’re still the same caregivers and we’re smiling and happy to see you.

Emergency care during this time

We stand ready to serve you. If you are experiencing serious symptoms, injury or an urgent need, don’t put off care. We are taking extra measures for you to receive the care you need in our Emergency Departments. Our wait times are less than 10 minutes. You can expect to receive a quick screening and be placed in a room quickly.

Community support has been great

Thank you to those organizations, individuals, businesses and groups who have shown an outpouring of generosity, compassion and support to all of our health system team members. Your connection with your local health system has grown stronger, and we are glad to see the pride you have in your local health system. We stand ready to partner with you at all times — Together We Can. Together we will. It’s what we do.

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Scott Cantley is president and CEO of Memorial Health System.

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