Excerpted from January 24, 2022 message to the community, inspirahealthnetwork.org/covid19
Hello. It’s hard to imagine January went just like that and February is now upon us. We really have had a rough January and I want to thank all of you for the tremendous support, whether I’m in the ShopRite, in church, you know, you all have been watching the videos and shared with me your support of our teams, and I really appreciate that, and it means so, so much to them.
Some 6.4 million New Jerseyans are fully vaccinated, as of this week. We are seeing our transmission rate go down and that is very good news, but I want to caution—our hospitals are still very, very busy and we know that we expect to continue to be busy for the next few weeks as we move forward. Our COVID numbers have, I would say stabilized, they’ve gone down, we’re under 200 at this point, but we go up and down every single day, and we watch those things just like you would watch your blood pressure monitor, because that’s how important it is that we stay absolutely on top of those things.
I’m thrilled to let you know that our staff is well and coming back to work for those who had been impacted by Omicron. And so again, all of that is very helpful. The COVID numbers are one piece of the equation for a hospital, but the other folks who are just generally sick, as part of the normal things that happen in this busy time of the year for us, this is our busy season, if you will. Our non-COVID patients are significant. And so again, I ask you for your patience as we continue to work through the emergency room access issues, as well as our physicians offices.
We still have our vaccine clinics available and the hours are on the website. I’m so thrilled that we continue to offer our outreach. On Wednesdays this week, we were at Taylor Farms. You’ll remember from the summer probably, that we talked about Taylor Farms because we went out and vaccinated over 100 employees, and they had 70 different dialects that they spoke. So, we took our translation system from the hospital with us, out there and it just did a great job of making sure everybody had informed consent, and we were able to communicate that way. And we did it again as part of the boosters—again, vaccinating over 100 people, and we’re really grateful for Taylor Farms.
Obviously, if you have an organization or if you’re an employer, please contact us. We’ll be glad to make that available to you as well. So, sometimes I get depressed because often the only letters I get are letters of complaint that they, you know, people don’t get in fast enough or the experience wasn’t what they want, but I got a handwritten letter from Christine Pantellas, about her experience. She had first written to me when her dad had come in to the vaccine clinic and had his first set of vaccines. He was recently in the hospital over Christmas and she wrote a seven-page letter telling me about everybody that she came in contact with, whether it was the registration staff or even on the exit, the transporters, just about the way that they cared for her dad and the way that he kept her informed.
We still are under red rules as I’m taping this, that could change, but that is tremendously stressful for families and for the patient, not being able to have their loved one right there, but she, again, described in great detail, the things that we did, the things that really mattered, and it really is helpful for us to celebrate our team members who do such great work, but also to give us the tools to be able to train on, to make sure that we can do that for others. So, I just want to thank Christine for her generosity and taking the time to share this, and also to her dad for allowing us to care for him. We do treasure those things and especially at 95, we know how important it is to make sure that we are holding his hand through every step in this process….
Until we meet again, be well and stay safe.