Mary Rutan Hospital issues letter regarding impact of COVID-19 on hospital

Mary Rutan Hospital today issued a letter regarding the impact of COVID-19 on its facility.

The letter is in its entirety “

Dear community,

We need your help and understanding. Mary Rutan Health has been your trusted healthcare provider for over 100 years. We are here for you and are proud to serve our community. However, our individual and regional resources are overwhelmed by the global pandemic.

COVID-19 is widespread in our community. All of the hospitals in our region have been operating at excessively high capacity and have been doing so for months. As of January 6, 2022, the total count of COVID-19 patients in our region was at its highest level during the pandemic. We are also seeing more patients with other serious health conditions that cannot be delayed or ignored any further.

While we understand how desperately we want life to get back to normal, nothing that we experience in healthcare is normal. Our goal is to support our community with the healthcare resources it needs. To help us achieve this outcome, we believe it is important to share the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare at Mary Rutan Health and in our region.

HOW IT IMPACTS YOU:

·Emergency care. Wait times for non-life threatening care are longer than usual. Hospitals in our region face a limited and sometimes non-existent number of inpatient beds or transfer options for patients and are forced to provide extended patient care in emergency departments.

·Intensive care, transfers and shortage of beds in retirement homes. Our intensive care unit (ICU) has been operating at full capacity for months. As the number of COVID-positive patients grows rapidly and healthcare organizations continue to face staff shortages, finding an intensive care bed available elsewhere is not easy, or sometimes not at all. These shortages are also impacting the beds available in nursing homes in the region. Additionally, even when a bed is available, ambulance transfers may be delayed.

·The need for more health care providers. Like other industries in our region, state, and country, we also face staffing issues. Our team members continue to work tirelessly, many of them canceling vacations and working extra shifts to manage the increased needs of our community. We are incredibly grateful to our dedicated staff, but we know this pandemic has taken its toll on all of them, as we can see in their faces every day.

·Elective procedures. For months, elective procedures requiring an overnight stay have been subject to cancellation depending on bed availability. As of January 6, 2022, hospitals in central Ohio have agreed to postpone non-essential surgeries requiring an overnight stay until January 21, 2022.

HOW CAN I HELP YOU:

·To get vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and FDA approved, and vaccines help prevent hospitalizations, death, and the continued spread of disease. The majority of patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19 across the country are not vaccinated. On average, ninety percent of hospitalized COVID-19 positive patients at Mary Rutan Hospital have not been vaccinated.

·If you choose not to get the vaccine, hide yourself from others and distance yourself socially. Correctly worn face covers are a form of source control. Because those without symptoms can spread COVID-19, wearing a face covering prevents further transmission. Also, avoid large crowds if possible.

·If you are sick, stay home. Mild symptoms of COVID-19 can be similar to other illnesses. Stay home when you are sick or have tested positive for COVID-19.

·Choose the appropriate level of care. Emergency departments are for emergencies and we need to keep beds available for patients requiring emergency medical care. Please consider contacting your primary care provider or visiting our emergency care if the care needed is not an emergency.

·Be nice. We know it has been a difficult time and while we cannot control the duration of the pandemic, we can control the way we treat each other. Our staff members deserve the kindness as we come together to care for the community we love.

Thank you for your continued support and patience as we go through these challenges. Our mission is to be there for you and your family when you need us. As dedicated healthcare workers, we will continue to do everything in our power to care for our community. However, healthcare in our region is overwhelmed and we need your help and understanding to keep going. “

Carol N. Valencia