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Valley Health CEO Discusses Plans for Re-Opening Services

7 May 2020

We pre-recorded today’s episode via Zoom for a conversation with Mark Merrill, CEO at Valley Health to discuss their plan for re-opening services – specifically for elective surgeries.

In Virginia, Governor Northam lifted the ban on all elective surgeries on May 1, 2020. Mark explained a few of the reasons behind that decision:

  • Number of new cases continues to increase daily, but the growth rate appears to be slowing
  • Number of hospitalizations remain steady
  • Supply of PPEs is more secure

Mark also explained the plan they’ve put in place at Valley Health to begin expanded access on May 4, 2020 at the Diagnostic Center located on the campus of Winchester Medical Center. They have also begun increasing access to elective procedures for those with time-sensitive medical needs. He told us that further delay of care is not in the best interest of many of their patients & that they have a physician-led steering committee that is providing oversight to help prioritize procedures based on clinical necessity. That plan includes:

  • isolating the care of COVID-19 patients at Winchester Medical Center;
  • developing a solid plan for handling surge capacity issues;
  • ensuring an adequate supply of personal protective equipment and other supplies,
  • and implementing policies for all staff to perform daily wellness checks and wear face masks.

We discussed community collaboration and risk mitigation efforts that Valley Health has put into place and that will continue into the foreseeable future:

  • Restricted visitation; cancelled events; postponed non-essential services
  • Instituted telework for Valley Health employees
  • Encouraged social distancing and launched a multi-media campaign featuring Valley Health caregivers to encourage community to embrace stay-at-home orders

Finally, Mark gave us a quick rundown of several examples of the outpouring of support from individuals in our community as well as many local businesses:

  • Sew Helpful Community Challenge: over 24,000 masks donated
  • N95 masks from Ferguson
  • 70 skids of paper products from Mercury Paper
  • PPEs from Harbor Freight
  • 3 ventilators from Shenandoah University
  • TJ Kim, 16-year-old from Maryland, Operation SOS – Supplies over the Skies – flew his plan to Woodstock and Luray to drop off supplies
  • Noah Ryman, 8-year-old from Woodstock, donated $7.87 to Shenandoah Memorial Hospital to help sick people; staff matched his gift and raised over $3,000 and they held a parade past his house
  • Faith communities holding prayer vigils and drive-through blessings
  • More food donations than you can shake a stick at!!

For more information about their response to COVID-19, visit their website: https://www.valleyhealthlink.com/

To hear more conversations with Valley Health professionals, visit the podcast page: https://theriver953.com/valleyhealthpodcast/


Valley Health CEO Discusses Plans for Re-Opening Services

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