May 29, 2020
Catawba Valley Health System entered the fight against COVID-19 in early
March. We have seen our organization, our community, our state and our
world be transformed since then. At our hospital, we implemented unprecedented
changes in response to the pandemic in order to keep our staff and our
patients safe. The work done by those on the front lines and in support
of these efforts has been nothing short of extraordinary.
We describe our promise to the community with the phrase “where compassion
meets innovation.” It is not an exaggeration to say we have seen
both compassion and innovation reach even greater heights among our doctors,
nurses, administrators and support staff. We mobilized an Incident Command
Center before even the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed, and we continue
to operate that Command Center 24/7. Our leaders are ensuring all who
enter our facilities and clinics are safe, given the support and comfort
they deserve, and receiving the highest-quality care available.
Initial projections of COVID-19 cases were alarming, but our planning and
preparation was thorough and well-coordinated. Critical care unit (CCU)
capabilities were expanded throughout our medical center, singularly focused
on ensuring all patients with COVID-19 symptoms were isolated and receiving
safe care. In an abundance of caution – and in accordance with local,
state and federal guidance – we suspended non-emergent tests, procedures
and surgeries, as well as prohibiting visitation except for extreme circumstances.
Again, all our actions centered on one thing: safety.
We are proud to report that all within our organization have performed
exceptionally, with many employees often serving in non-traditional roles
in order to assist our response planning. These heroic efforts have allowed
us to begin transitioning back to offering tests, diagnostics, procedures
and surgeries that had been suspended. Extra processes are in place to
protect patients needing those services, including being tested for COVID-19
before their procedures, the requirement to wear masks, and being screened
at the door before entering. Physical distancing is enforced throughout
our facilities and, in the case of our physician practices, telehealth
or curbside services are often an option.
While we know there is still uncertainty about the prevalence and duration
of this virus, our message to our community is that our hospital is a
safe place to be, and that you should not delay getting the care you need
from us if you are ill or injured. An unfortunate result from this crisis
is that patients with serious conditions have been staying away from the
hospital and their doctors’ offices out of fear of the virus. You
need to know that we have taken extraordinary measures to ensure that
all patients are safe, that our facilities are clean, and that we segregate
those with respiratory symptoms from all other patients. By putting off
care for illness or injury, you could be putting yourself at risk.
Therefore, we want to reassure our community that we have remained ahead
of the virus with planning and preparation, and we have remained diligent
in maintaining the highest levels of safety and quality as well. Your
trust in our organization is cherished. We look forward to serving you
and your family’s needs.
Eddie Beard, RN, President and CEO
Philip Greene, MD, Chief of the Medical Staff
Catawba Valley Health System