Apr 1 Update from CEO Lynn Ricci Regarding COVID-19/CoronavirusApril 1, 2020
An Update from CEO Lynn Ricci Regarding COVID-19/Coronavirus Released April 1, 2020
Our entire world has changed in recent weeks. The frameworks we all use to keep our daily lives in order have shifted. Our social networks and supports have been disrupted. Our vulnerabilities have been exposed. And remarkably we still find ways to unite, albeit at a safe social distance, and to share our core humanity.
We see it as thousands of retired health care professionals volunteer to fill the gaps in our statewide workforce. We see it as manufacturers like Okay Industries, in partnership with the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, and GKN Aerospace Engineering Systems put their exceptional ingenuity to use to make and donate personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect health care workers. We see it as our outpatient and community physicians have stepped forward and begun training on our inpatient units. We see it as health care, child care and other essential workers, teachers, neighbors, and good Samaritans step forward to support our families.
Here at Hospital for Special Care we are not immune to the risks the novel coronavirus presents. Like your family, our employees, their families, friends and neighbors are also at risk. Just as members of your own circle have been impacted, a few of our employees have recently received positive test results for COVID-19.
First, and most importantly, our colleagues have experienced only mild or moderate symptoms and are expected to recover fully. Each of these individuals followed all guidance and did not come to work while experiencing any symptoms. Community-spread means we are all vulnerable to some extent.
This is not unexpected. We have prepared for this and will move forward based on our structured risk mitigation, patient communication and monitoring plans. Every day, on every shift, we screen everyone who enters the hospital for risk and temperature. We have issued personal protective equipment to all staff with patient contact, adopting the CDC’s guidelines for limited reuse and safe storage to ensure responsible use and minimize waste of this precious resource.
We have rapidly expanded telemedicine services in both neuromuscular and behavioral health. This week our Autism Center will launch these services to ensure children and families can receive the care they need. Our physical, occupational and speech therapists have already begun preparations to explore these new opportunities to provide care to their most vulnerable patients.
Across our system we have made difficult decisions about program closures and temporary reductions in force. We have redeployed staff to meet new and emerging needs on all shifts. We have dedicated countless hours to keeping our current patient safes and preparing to care for those patients who will need us most during and after the expected surge.
I have confidence in our capacity to navigate the challenges ahead together. I have confidence in each of my colleagues and I have confidence in your continued support.
Lynn Ricci, FACHE
President and CEO