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Weekly Update: Declining COVID-19 Hospitalizations, Masking in Schools

by Amy Mansue, president and CEO, Inspira Health

Excerpted from February 7, 2022 message to the community,

This week has been some monumental days for us. Just this morning, taping on Monday, we had under a hundred COVID patients across our three hospitals. That’s the lowest we’ve had since the 6th of December. Many, many people have been vaccinated, 6.6 million are fully vaccinated, and we’ve boosted over 2.8 million people. Hopefully, our hospitalizations will continue to remain low because that’s what the vaccines and the boosters do.

The governor will be having some announcements, I understand, this week. Certainly, we understand by listening to Dr. Rubin, the expert from CHOP, that he is making some recommendations about changing and mask mandates for children. You know there’s lot of opinions on this on all sides. And as things change, we will continue to be your trusted source of information to keep you up to date.

I do appreciate my friends at church, both Debbie and Elizabeth came up to me this weekend and said, “We saw the video, we saw things are getting better.” It was nice to know people besides my own family are watching the video. But what really is good is that we are sharing information because we want to be there with you. And I am grateful that we continue to do this and I’m thankful for the team of people that put all this together so we can do this on a weekly basis.

February is National Cancer Prevention Month, and we know that so many people have delayed screenings or just put things off or, “Oh, I can go get that mammogram at another time,” and the reality is that now is the time. Cancer will not wait. It will just continue to grow and become insidious. And so making sure that we can do that early prevention is important. This week’s story that I get to tell you comes to me from a longtime donor, a volunteer, Auxilian Foundation Board member, Kathy Schultes.

Kathy was in volunteering with us, helping us put test kits together so we could perform all the COVID tests we needed to do on our employees and make them available to our employees. And Kathy shared with me this wonderful story about Dawn Weikel, and Dawn came in to us because she had breast cancer. She tells the story about waking up from her breast cancer surgery and on her table, there was a beautiful comfort bag from a group called Mothers Matter. And they provide these gifts bags for all women who are going through any type of struggle.

Dawn became such a big advocate and she wanted to do something to give back. So she went to her church, United Methodist at Newfield, and she said, “I wanna collect toiletries and other little sundries to put in these bags to make for other people.” And then she organized that for the Mothers Matter group so they could make more bags. But she didn’t stop there. She actually invited Dr. Kulkarni to come speak to the group, to be able to talk about breast cancer, to talk about cancer prevention in general, to provide that expertise in the community.

And now, after she’s received her care, healed, she’s giving back to others to make sure that they have the same comfort that she did while she was in and that they have expert information provided by her own Dr. Kulkarni. That personal connection I think is what we makes us different. It certainly is what makes me proud of our staff for all that they have given and all that they do give. And it certainly makes me proud to be part of this community and to have volunteers like Kathy and Dawn who give so much of themselves to better others.

Until we meet again, be well and stay safe.