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Business Community Combating COVID-19

November 16, 2020

Last week your Chamber Chair, Marshall Morris, sat down with Hendrick Health President and CEO Brad Holland to discuss challenges we are facing as a business community due to the impact of COVID-19.

In the interview, Holland provided insight into the current situation at Hendrick Health and clarified the Governor’s 15 percent capacity order. A large takeaway from the interview was learning that the number of beds available in our statistical area (TSA D) doesn’t necessarily mean those beds are capable of the care needed to treat patients with the virus or, that the current number of total beds available is reflective of the stretched resources of our local hospitals.

The trickle-down effects on the ICU beds remaining at capacity means surgeries such as bypass, open heart or brain could be deemed elective or required to be rescheduled. While Holland stated he wasn’t sure most would consider those elective, that’s what has to be done in order to treat the current level of COVID patients.

Holland assured Morris that the hospital was prepared for the current surge and that they have overflow strategies in place but hopes that those won’t be needed.

Another takeaway is the challenge of available workforce. Like most businesses, as noted in the most recent Chamber survey, Hendrick needs more skilled and trained workers capable of providing specialized care to patients in order to keep up with the rapidly increased demand.

When asked what we do as a community to help, Holland stressed “controlling your controllables”. Look at your business and see if there are any areas where you can help mitigate the spread.

The challenge of this virus continues to be balancing our local health system’s needs against the growing number of cases in this surge. Our City and Hendrick have the burden of providing us the best care possible while trying to ensure our economy remains open.

It’s immensely difficult to balance both, and we’re grateful for the steadfast management of our city and the commitment to keep our economy open and functioning. While that puts the safety burden on us as citizens (where it belongs), it’s up to all of us to do all that’s reasonable and necessary to maintain an open economy while helping Hendrick manage the stressful burden on our health system.

To view the full interview, click here.

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