Mar 23, 2020 7:49 PM

Healthcare professionals exemplify teamwork in fight against COVID-19

Posted Mar 23, 2020 7:49 PM

By KEN JOHNSON

Hutchinson Regional Healthcare Healthcare System

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — It was my good fortune this past week to join a group of Reno County healthcare professionals and Mayor Jade Piros de Carvalho to participate in a Town Hall meeting on the subject of COVID-19. The presenters at the forum included representatives of the Hutchinson Clinic, PrairieStar Health Center, the Reno County Health Department and Hutchinson Regional Medical Center. Thanks are in order for the Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce in hosting this event during a time that has been described as the nation’s most sobering healthcare crisis in a century.

The meeting was put together to provide reassurance to our community of the high quality of healthcare organizations that exist within Hutchinson and of the significant amount of resources available. It was readily apparent that we are blessed with a proactive and highly trained group of healthcare providers who are working in tandem. Many communities of our size across the nation do not have the number of services available as Hutchinson.

Each organization pledged to work together to utilize the full resources of their facility or organization to find the best solutions to combat COVID-19.

Many things come to mind as Hutchinson Regional Medical Center activates detailed contingency plans to deal with our current emergency. By nature, we as human beings are social creatures and thrive on social interaction with family, friends and work associates. We are strengthened and empowered through these associations. In the short term, this must all change.

As the old expression goes, we all need to “hunker down” and, for the foreseeable future, change our normal lifestyle and routines. The sooner we do so, the quicker we can move beyond COVID-19.

We may hear the term “social distancing” more than we wish, but no two words better explain a significant aspect of what is required to move beyond the current crisis. We should maintain a radius of six feet when communicating with another person and limit our interactions to 10 minutes when possible.

Other precautions that deserve repeating include washing hands thoroughly and often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.

If you are concerned about symptoms of COVID-19, call your doctor for guidance about how to proceed. Your doctor will help you decide on the next best course of action.

Reno County Health Department Director/Health Officer Dr. Nick Baldetti urged participants in the meeting to prepare for the long haul as the length of the crisis can’t be forecast yet.

Mayor Piros de Carvalho summed up the meeting by pointing out that COVID-19 is not Hutchinson’s first crisis. During the past 20 years, Hutchinson has dealt with issues including natural gas explosions to devastating fires to the north of our city. To our credit, according to the mayor, Hutchinson and Reno County emerged as a stronger community and more prepared to deal with the next challenge.

This week, Hutchinson Regional Medical Center closed its door to all visitors. The COVID-19 virus poses an unprecedented threat to the health of our community. We acknowledge this will be stressful to our patients and their families, but it is necessary to protect the health of our patients, providers and staff. During this trying time, we ask everyone to treat others with patience and grace as we overcome these challenges.

Other changes in place at Hutch Regional to deal with the crisis include steps to ensure the hospital environment is pristine clean, holding group meetings online and reducing travel to a bare minimum. Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System entities including Hospice & HomeCare of Reno County, Health-E-Quip, and Horizons Mental Health Center remain open for business. In some situations, Horizons Mental Health Center therapy may be interactive through Tele-Medicine. Horizons is available with counseling services to assist individuals having a psychiatric crisis. If a crisis occurs after hours, Horizons provides a Crisis Line answered by clinicians and can be accessed by calling 1-800-794-0163.

This crisis will pass and, as long as we remain calm and focused on caring for one another, we will come out of this a stronger and more connected community.

Continue Reading Hutch Post
Mar 23, 2020 7:49 PM
Eagle launches new website to help local businesses during crisis
Click here to visit the site" />
Click here to visit the site

At Eagle Radio of Hutchinson, we are committed not only to serving our listening and online audiences, but also helping our business partners and advertisers during this difficult time. 

Already, in this time of social distancing, we see businesses across the area working hard to take care of their employees and customers by creating a safe shopping, dining or service environment. Getting the message of those efforts out to the public not only helps protect businesses, but assists in instilling a sense of confidence and calm to the community in the face of the serious situation before us.

“Across each of our markets in Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri we at Eagle Communications pledge to help our communities to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Local businesses want you to know they are taking the necessary measures to provide a safe place where you can shop, dine out and support your local community during this difficult time,” Kurt David, president and CEO of Eagle Communications, said. “Go to helpstopthespread.org for a list of local businesses who have taken the pledge to help stop the spread.”

To help “get the word out” about local businesses, Eagle Radio of Hutchinson is offering a free directory of businesses that “Take the Pledge to Stop the Spread” by following the simple guidelines put forth by the World Health Organization.

Businesses in each of our markets pledge to keep the following standards of safety:

1.  Make sure your workplaces are clean and hygienic.

2.  Promote regular and thorough hand-washing by employees, contractors and customers.

3. Promote good respiratory hygiene in the workplace.

4. Advise employees and contractors to consult national travel advice before going on business trips.

5. Brief employees, contractors and customers that, if COVID-19 starts spreading in your community, anyone with even a mild cough or low-grade fever (100.4 degrees or higher) needs to stay at home. They should also stay home (or work from home) if they have had to take simple medications, such as paracetamol/acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin, which may mask symptoms of infection.

Visit www.helpstopthespread.org to access a list of businesses who have taken the pledge. To have your business added to the free listing, contact your Eagle Radio of Hutchinson representative or call 620-662-4486.