Drew County ArkHospital

Press Release- Blue and You Grant 07142020

Pictured above: Rebecca Pittillo, Associate Executive Director Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas, Dan Bloodworth, Vice President, Provider Networks and Payment Innovations, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Christy Hockaday, Vice President, Provider Network Innovation and Strategy, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Scott Barrilleaux, CEO, Drew Memorial Health System, Rusty Bryant, CIO, Drew Memorial Health System, Seth Givens, COO, Drew Memorial Health System, Melodie Colwell, CFO, Drew Memorial Health System, Stephanie Norris, Administrative Liaison and Director Drew Memorial Health Foundation, Becky Hammett, President, Drew Memorial Health Foundation, Kristi Prince, Chairman, Steering Committee, Mike Akin, Chairman, Drew Memorial Health Foundation Board, Dr. Frederick Hueston, President, Hueston

Drew Memorial Health System proudly announces that we have been selected as one of seven recipients of the Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas Rapid-Response COVID-19 Relief Grant.  Our award of $139,900, will be used to purchase a state of the art Cepheid New GeneXpert Testing Instrument.  This platform will provide table top COVID-19, Influenza, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) testing for both adult and pediatric patients with the capability to test as many as 125 specimens per day.  Reliable test results will be available within ninety minutes or less of a patient providing a swabbed specimen.  Current testing protocols return results within as little as twenty-four, and as much as seventy-two hours following the receipt of a patient’s swabbed specimen.   During these windows of time, the opportunity for worsening symptoms and continued exposure to others can further exacerbate the patient’s condition, and increase the risk of continued spread.

The addition of this technology to Drew Memorial Health System provides our service community peace of mind knowing that we are better prepared to provide accurate testing results, which will in turn expedite our ability to treat symptoms and further reduce the risk of the spread of these illnesses.

Drew Memorial Health System estimates that the Cepheid Instrument will be operational by October 1, 2020, and further allow DMHS to continue our mission to enhance healing, health and wellness in Southeast Arkansas.  We are truly grateful for our community and our partnership with Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas in providing us this opportunity to further serve the people of Southeast Arkansas.

As a reminder, please continue to practice safe hand hygiene, use hand sanitizers, and avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.


Stephanie Norris, Administrative Liaison

Scott Barrilleaux, Chief Executive Officer

Wesley is the owner of South Ark Weather, LLC™ which owns and operates searkweather.com You may contact him at [email protected]

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