BE EXTRA CAREFUL THIS JULY 4th WEEKEND
Kansans are just as COVID vulnerable as any other State’s residents, except that through our lower population density, we are naturally more distanced. But…COVID positive tests are rising again in Kansas. Across the State, the month of June yielded an average of 155 cases per day, compared to the year to date average per day of 130, since our first positive was identified on March 11th. This rise has most government officials nervous as we head into another gathering focused National Holiday. Holidays mean traveling and travelers elevate exposure risk. If you are going to be seeing travelers, then you owe it to each other to protect each other by wearing masks and sanitizing regularly. The idea of thinking you can survive a COVID infection should be offset with concern over the 14 day quarantine period you will receive once you are tested positive. That reality ought to be a serious deterrent to NOT wearing a mask, now that most have returned to work. And, keep in mind: others will not survive a COVID infection. Please be careful this holiday weekend!
This week brought to fruition the installation of a long planned release of a new centralized patient monitoring system at Morris County Hospital. From the Nurses Station, one person can track heart rates and other vitals on up to ten patients on Telemetry, all five potential patients in ER beds, Surgery recovery beds, and each Obstetric bed. It is a fully integrated system covering all of our patient service areas, with many built in alarms and patient safety measures. It is one of the last projects completed by our departing Chief Nursing Officer, Kiley Askins, who is stepping down from her role at the end of this week…primarily to take a break. A replacement has been named, Sean Gooding, who is moving here from Topeka. We thank Kiley for her four years of excellent leadership, and we are glad she is remaining on staff as a nurse.
A new health plan has been adopted for the MCH staff, effective July 1st. The design of the plan is such that other employer sponsored plans can join it as well, when their renewal periods come along over the next 12+ months. It is being called a Community Health Plan and the participation requirements will include a membership in the Chamber of Commerce. We are finalizing the provider network and some of the perks of the plan, all of which I am very excited about in terms of the added cost saving features. We will be getting out some informational flyers on the model in the coming few weeks.
I do want to close with a special thanks to all of the MCH employees and every other employee that has been devoted to protecting their customers and each other from the silent killer with whom we have been dealing. And for those of you who have just stayed home…we know the significant value which that choice has given to the rest of us! A whole lot of right things have been done in Morris and Chase Counties, to have kept this virus at bay as well as it has been kept. Despite such, these times are remaining quite uncertain relative to the course this pandemic is charting. The year of 2020 is offering anything but how we are accustomed to living. But just knowing that nobody is exempt from these life changes, somehow seems to make it more tolerable. It says a lot about us liking to share things in common with others.
Do have a good long weekend, and do STAY SAFE. MCH, CEO, Kevin Leeper