In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, I am sending this message to our community stakeholders to share Drew Memorial Health System’s continued commitment to our mission of enhancing healing, health and wellness is Southeast Arkansas.
First, please know that DMHS and its medical staff are doing everything we can to provide immediate health care services to those in need. Second, as we fulfill our mission, we do so with a protective responsibility for our physicians and staff , while they in turn work tirelessly to tend to those in need. An important component of doctor and staff safety is providing them with the proper personal protective equipment (PPE). We are reviewing our stock of PPE each day and have asked everyone to be mindful of the limited supply we face both locally and nationally.
I would like to thank the many companies and individuals in our community that have reached out to us and offered their assistance. We have not only received donations of PPE, but have also received commitments from companies and individuals to manufacture PPE on their own. Although we have not had to purchase non-FDA approved PPE, the sentiment expressed from our local businesses to provide such in our nation’s time of need is overwhelming.
In addition to PPE, DMHS has taken additional precautions to protect staff and patients with respect to limiting access to our facility. During the week, patients, staff and caregivers may enter through the Main Entrance, Allied Health Entrance and Emergency Department Entrance during the hours of 7:00 A.M. through 5:00 P.M. After hours and during weekends, all patients, staff and caregivers must enter through the Emergency Department Entrance. We have staff staged at each entrance to screen those entering by checking each person’s temperature, and asking key questions about exposure potential to the COVID-19 virus. Further, we are following all recommended guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control, and the Arkansas Department of Health with respect to cohorting patients, or reorganizing patient bed assignments to limit potential exposure. In our efforts to do so, we have temporarily modified areas of our facility to protect against cross contamination.
Finally, I would like to say thank you for your support and patience as we meet the demands of this unprecedented medical event. Please remember the simple defenses of healthy hand hygiene, social distancing, and limiting your risk to exposure. I want to encourage you to Choose Well, and know that yourhealth care team at DMHS is doing everything we can to meet the medical needs of our community, and we are confident that will we will defeat this pandemic!