The following is an update on COVID19 from OhioHealth Marion General Hospital.
In an effort to help our community stay informed, I wanted to provide an update on the work going on at OhioHealth Marion General Hospital as we serve Marion and surrounding communities. First, I’d like to recognize the work of Battelle in developing an innovative sterilization process that allows for us to re-use and conserve Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers. I sincerely thank Governor DeWine for pushing the FDA to approve expanded use of this new technology and am immensely proud that OhioHealth is partnering with Battelle in this effort.
I also want to share some important developments happening here in Marion.
EMERGENCY ENTRANCE TENT: If you’ve driven by the hospital, you may have noticed that we have tents outside our Emergency entrance, allowing us to quickly separate patients who have flu-like symptoms from those who do not. These tents are NOT test sites for COVID-19 screening. The tents will be used if a significant surge in emergency patients occurs due to COVID-19 and outside triage is needed. This will help limit the exposure to other members of the community and care team.
DONATIONS: Situations like COVID-19 shine a spotlight on the generosity and support of our community. Several organizations, including restaurants and other vendors, have reached out to offer support to our associates and physicians by providing discounts and even delivering free food to our hospitals.
To ensure the safety of our associates and to support the community with social distancing, we can no longer accept food donations to our hospitals or other OhioHealth locations. We are grateful for the support and want to encourage anyone in our community wishing to help to please consider the following opportunities to help our associates:
- Support our Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and medical supply donation centers. We have established a donation center at Marion General in conjunction with Marion County EMA and have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our community. The collection site will remain open until April 10 or you can contact Sarah McNamee at Marion County EMA at (740) 223.4142 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Continue to offer restaurant and other discounts which we will promote to our associates.
- Contribute to the Marion General Hospital Foundation Associate Emergency Assistance Fund by contacting Beth Meadows at (740) 383.8682 or email@example.com.
- If you have other supplies or donations that are not PPE, we encourage you to send an email to SUPPLYDONATION@OHIOHEALTH.COM. Someone will be in touch to answer your questions and discuss your offer of help.
VIRTUAL HEALTH: TELEPHONE VISITS: Throughout our system, OhioHealth Physician Group (OPG) providers have “seen” more than 5,500 patients via telephone visit in the last week, averaging more than 900 telephone visits per business day. We anticipate video visits to go live next early week for both OPG primary care and specialty visits and OhioHealth Home Care. Interested in a virtual visit with your provider so you can stay home but still receive the care you need? Check to see if your provider is scheduling virtual appointments via MyChart.
SURGE PLANNING: Finally, I’d like to take a minute to share how we’re planning for a surge of patients with COVID-19 which is anticipated in the coming weeks. We’ve been working closely with our regional and community resources like Marion Public Health, our local Emergency Management Agency, and other hospitals in our area to ensure we can care for patients who need different levels of care. We’re working on surge planning locally, and in collaboration with the OhioHealth hospitals in central Ohio. We are transitioning beds here in Marion to be able to care for and cohort patients, securing additional equipment, and working on staffing to be able to support higher levels of care on several of our units. Traditional referral patterns will continue for our regional and central Ohio care sites. You’ve likely heard about plans to use the Columbus Convention Center as an alternate site of care, and our colleagues in Columbus are working with the other Columbus-based healthcare systems to convert that facility to be able to care for approximately 1,000 non-critical COVID-19 patients, making more space for critically ill patients who need to be cared for in our hospitals in central Ohio. This resource will only be used if needed.
These are trying times, but I can assure you that the team here at Marion General is working hard to ensure we’re ready to care for our community. I am so proud of our team – every member of our team – for their dedication, their innovation, their strength, their teamwork, and their relentless commitment to our patients. I also thank you for your collaboration, your donations, and your support as we continue our work. We’ll be in touch again next week with updates about our progress. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to me at Curtis.Gingrich@OhioHealth.com with questions or suggestions.
Yours in good health,
Curt Gingrich, MD, Chief Operating Officer
OhioHealth Marion General Hospital