Don’t ignore health problems during crisis

Dr. Steve Leonard is President and CEO of Peninsula Regional Health System.

The Coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot of understandable concern. As all health care providers work together to control the spread of the virus within their communities, they want you to know that your health and safety remain their top priority.

“We have made great strides in keeping people well, directing them to the right level of care, and preventing unnecessary use of services,” said Dr. Steve Leonard, President and CEO of Peninsula Regional Health System.

“Now, as we begin our transition from Covid-19 to more traditional hospital and physician office care, we face a situation where people who are sick and need our attention are concerned or afraid to come,” he said. “These are very real concerns we have chosen to address together.”

Atlantic General Hospital, Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, the McCready Health Pavilion, Peninsula Regional Medical Center, and the health departments of Worcester, Wicomico and Somerset counties are collaborating on a “Safe, Ready, Waiting” message.

It is an informational campaign adopted from one the Maryland Hospital Association is sharing throughout the state.

“This message from MHA is one that applies to all our hospitals and satellite locations across the Delmarva Peninsula,” said Penny Short, President of Nanticoke Memorial Hospital.

As Covid-19 hospitalizations continue to decrease across Delaware and Maryland, providers are getting back to the business of healthcare and working to identify what a new normal looks like. “Our goal is to convey to the public that their hospitals and medical practices are safe, ready and waiting to deliver the care they may need, including emergency care, added Michael Franklin, President and CEO of Atlantic General Hospital.

“We want to allay fear and be sure residents understand never to delay seeking emergency or urgently needed medical care. The Covid-19 public health emergency only enhanced already comprehensive efforts to keep patients and staff safe.” 

The traditional and social media campaign features leaders of local hospitals and health departments encouraging the community to rediscover healthcare – to avail themselves of the many services offered at different care levels.

It’s designed to make sure patients know that Maryland and Delaware hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, family medicine and specialty care offices are safe, ready and waiting to address critical and emergency care needs. 

“You’ll hear familiar terms we have all been using like social distancing, masking, intensive cleaning and visitation restrictions,” said Lori Brewster, Health Officer for Wicomico and Somerset counties.

“Covid-19 may never go away, but we can manage it, and our hospitals and medical practices are open to safely care for everyone, 24/7.” 

Print, social media and radio messages will remind the community of the risks related to delaying care. They will reinforce that all hospitals, physician offices and labs always use safety precautions, distancing of patients and infection prevention measures, regardless of a patient’s condition or diagnosis.

Telehealth remains a viable primary care or behavioral health option for those who are unable to see their medical provider in-person. Be sure to check with your care provider’s office for telehealth opportunities.

“A common theme throughout the pandemic has been that we’ll get through this together,” said Rebecca Jones, Worcester County Health Officer. “Each team, each organization and each person in our health community has demonstrated that we can respond quickly, effectively and with a strong purpose to remain steadfast in our mission to care for our communities.”


Helpful Coronavirus links

Maryland Department of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage

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