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CEO COVID-19 Update: October 30, 2020

CEO COVID-19 Update: October 30, 2020

Some days this pandemic really feels like a roller coaster. I have the chance to talk to many people in the community, including people who are feeling weary and exhausted by the ups and downs. I try to help them remember that things will smoothen out. In the meantime, please know that there are many resources available to help with difficult emotions and feelings. St. John’s Health Foundation and the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole have put together a wonderful program called MentalHealthJH to enable people to seek support without worrying about the cost.

Living Center: Two weeks ago, I was very concerned about our Living Center residents and staff who had tested positive for COVID, and the many members of St. John’s Health staff who were quarantined. I was also very aware of the stresses and strains on the remaining staff who needed to cover in new work areas or work additional shifts to cover gaps. Today, I am elated that all of our Living Center residents are no longer in quarantine. They are all back home in the Living Center. We just received word that U.S. News & World Report has again included our Living Center on its annual Best Nursing Homes list. I am not surprised, but I could not be more proud!

Hospitalizations: We have had an average of 3-5 patients in our inpatient care units each day. These patients are receiving excellent care, thanks to the entire team. We are in close touch with our colleagues at the larger hospitals in Idaho and Utah regarding their ability to accept transfers of COVID patients as well as other emergency cases. The situation reminds us how closely we are connected to our neighbors in these states. As I watch the situation worsen in some of these areas, I am grateful that St. John’s Health has such a committed team of government and business leaders, public health officials, and partners from the non-profit community. With this leadership, I think the residents of Teton County have been able to respond to this crisis with individual actions that are truly helping.

Flu Vaccine: Our Pharmacy director has told me that we have provided more flu immunizations this fall than we usually administer in an entire flu season. That is remarkable! Thank you for making your flu shot a priority this year, when it matters more than ever.

COVID-19 Vaccine: St. John’s Health is registering with the state of Wyoming to be a COVID-19 Vaccine Program Provider. Enrollment of the hospital and clinics to receive, distribute, and administer COVID-19 vaccinations is underway. Dr. Marcia Lux, an internal medicine physician who is one of our hospitalist physicians, has agreed to be the medical director for the program. We will be working closely with the local health department.

Holiday Planning: I expect that we will all be making some adjustments to our holiday plans this year. I hope we can get a little creative and find new ways to have special time with our families. Maybe we will even start some new traditions.

Be well, and thank you for your continued support.

Paul Beaupré, MD, CEO

St. John’s Health