By Dr. Lori Morgan, President and CEO, Huntington Hospital
Even as the spread of COVID-19 impacts the health of our community and upends our daily living, we want to assure everyone that Huntington Hospital remains committed to the mission and purpose that has guided us for more than 128 years: to provide excellent health care and compassionate service to each patient entrusted to our care. As it should be, our main focus is caring for our patients and community in this unprecedented health crisis.
Huntington Hospital is doing everything it can to ensure the finest care for all its current and future COVID-19 patients. Our highly skilled medical professionals are following all the right processes and procedures to help protect those most in need. Importantly, we are preserving limited supplies of essential medical resources and taking steps to increase hospital bed capacity for COVID-19 patients. We are also focusing first on those patients most severely and seriously in need right now.
In addition, Huntington Hospital has a well-defined process in place to ensure the health and safety of everyone who enters our hospital in the face of communicable diseases, which reflects medical best practices and necessary precautions.
Here are some of the things we’ve done so far:
We have canceled all elective surgeries. This reduces the risk of transmission for all patients and staff, helps preserve finite hospital supplies and ensures hospital care is reserved for those who are in the most critical condition.
We have temporarily limited visitors to the hospital to minimize potential exposure to Huntington’s frontline health-care workers. Their good health is essential if we are to continue treating patients.
We have also suspended all volunteering activities and classes, required non-essential employees to work from home, and we are now offering free online educational resources to expecting mothers.
Even as we work around the clock to care for the sick inside the hospital, you can help prevent the spread of the virus in our community. Practice social distancing, maintain hygienic practices and adhere to local health department recommendations.
And importantly, we kindly request that you do not come to the hospital if you are healthy or do not require emergency care.
We also request that those who are able consider donating blood in order to help alleviate the critical blood shortages nationwide. Huntington Hospital has temporarily moved its usual blood donation program to an off-campus location to balance our essential visitor restrictions with the need for critical blood supplies. Our blood donation center will support donor health and safety by enforcing appropriate social distancing and through robust disinfecting and sanitation practices.
Even as we each do our parts to social distance and remain isolated, we must remember the community that we are all fighting to protect. Together with each of you in our community, Huntington Hospital will continue to combat this pandemic. We are counting on you to help contain the spread of this virus while we work to care for those most at-risk patients.
We look forward to the day when we can thank you in person for your role in keeping our community safe. Until that time, please stay safe and stay healthy, and know that we are here for you.