A Message from Kate Walsh: April 17, 2020
It has been 45 days since we activated our Incident Command structure to accelerate preparations and ensure coordination across our teams. In that time we have transformed our clinical footprint to create additional ICU and medical care space for COVID patients and reimagined how to meet the needs of other patients and our community. From finding creative ways to support our patients with substance uses disorders to creating a mobile van to provide pediatric vaccines in our community, we have maintained our important connection with our patients to improve their health and also minimize the short- and long-term impacts of physical distancing.
Over the past 45 days we have sustained a level of intensity that I have not experienced in my healthcare career. This intensity has gone beyond the work being done within our hospital walls. It was clear early on that COVID-19 was disproportionately impacting minority communities and the most vulnerable among us, which is likely the reason BMC was the first to see a surge in patients and is why our peak could last longer. As we and other healthcare leaders statewide weighed the normally unthinkable situation where clinical need might exceed resources, we moved to ensure that the standards of care guiding us don’t exacerbate inequities that low income and minority patients, and patients with disabilities, face every day. This is a critical issue, especially for BMC, where equity is our core mission.
Our hospital has always been more than just a place to receive medical care, and while this pandemic has resulted in some very difficult days for our BMC family, it has also brought out the best of BMC and shined a light on the importance of our mission. All of us are bound by our commitment and compassion for our patients, community, and each other, and that has been evident in the gestures of support among staff, the passionate pleas for equity, and the long hours at the bedside of our patients.
This crisis is far from over, yet I continue to be encouraged each time we discharge one of our COVID patients home to their family. Thanks to the incredible hard work of our providers and care teams, as of today we have discharged 299 patients. And 104 of our colleagues who had tested positive for COVID have recovered and returned to work. I hope you continue to draw strength from each other, and the love, support, and admiration from your peers and the world that is watching and cheering us on.
Thank you for continuing to exemplify and live our values every day.
President & CEO