St. John’s Health CEO Update: Increase in COVID-19 as testing increases & restrictions are relaxed

From CEO Paul Beaupre, MD:

We are seeing more COVID-19 in the community as testing increases and restrictions on business and personal activity across the country are relaxed. Some western states are among those seeing a spike in the number of cases and hospitalizations. This week at St. John’s Health, we admitted a COVID-19 patient to our ICU, and our COVID-19 Hotline saw its largest daily volume of calls since March 16. While we keep an eye on numbers, it’s important to remember that all persons with COVID-19 deserve to be treated with respect. On behalf of St. John’s, I want to assure you that all patients can expect to be treated with dignity and with the best care possible. The new cases represent people that are important to all of us. Whether they are your neighbor, a member of your family, a visiting friend, or someone that is vital to our businesses, all of these individuals deserve to be treated with respect by all of us.

Positive News: We currently have adequate supplies to test our elective surgery patients, and we are beginning to participate with businesses to test the COVID-19 status of the employee workforce. We have started a voluntary testing program with Grand Teton National Park to test approximately 50 employees and concessionaire staff weekly. We are also working closely with the Teton County Health Department to support a random testing program for workers around the community, beginning in July.

A few reminders: Testing is a good thing. When we can identify people with COVID-19, we can help them get any medical care they need and isolate them to reduce the spread of illness. Secondly, your decision to wear a mask is both smart and kind. Many reputable scientific studies show that if everyone wears a mask when around others, there will be fewer virus transmissions. This means by wearing a mask you can help save lives. I believe that most people don’t want to go backward and have the community close down again, so please do your part. Lastly, when you are around other people, be mindful that risk is higher when you participate in gatherings of any size, but in particular when many people gather together. Humans are social creatures, but we need to stay aware of some of the realities of our current situation.

Recognition: I want to thank all of our hospital staff and physicians for their remarkable dedication to bringing all of the St. John’s Health services back online for our patients during these very trying times. I am constantly amazed and inspired by their dedication and bravery. This week I learned that Newsweek included St. John’s Health on its list of the Best Hospitals, including being named #1 hospital in Wyoming. I am not surprised, based on what I am lucky enough to witness at our hospital and clinics every day. It is truly a privilege to work with this incredible team.

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