Megan Barone, Director of Development at UPMC Chautauqua introduced our speaker, Cecil Miller, CEO of UPMC Chautauqua.Cecil and his wife Lisa have 3 children and he has worked for UPMC for the past 20+ years.
Cecil started by assuring the membership that the hospital was well-prepared for the worst case scenario of difficulties of the COVID 19 virus. Luckily, that has not occured here in our community. To date, the hospital has seen 28 + cases, with 3 deaths and a 2% positivity test rate.
Mr. Miller is pleased that UPMC is well prepared with Personal Protection Equipment having a plentiful supply of masks and gowns.They do have a supply of rapid tests that return results in 45-60 minutes. This is especially helpful when someone presents themselves with full blown symptoms and the hospital can quickly move the patient into a negative pressure environment and take much more extensive precautions.
The hospital moved quickly at the start of the pandemic and closed the facility to visitors. People entering the hospital are required to have their temperature taken and to wear a facial mask.
Hospital finances have been deeply affected as 80% of all surgeries have been postponed. It has been important for the hospital to be able to perform rapid testing for the virus on patients who may need emergency surgery.
Sue Jones complimented Mr. Miller on the way the hospital has continued to manage patients for blood tests and other testing, making sure only one person at a time is in the phlebotomy room, etc.
Cecil said physician recruitment is continuing and he is anticipating that a medical oncologist is scheduled to arrive in the spring along with two orthopedic surgeons. He attributes that to the association of the hospital with a major medical center UPMC.
The CEO was questioned about people being discouraged from going to the ER with symptoms of COVID 19. Mr. Miller responded how important it is to keep anyone with active symptoms away from the hospital until or unless aggressive intervention is necessary.
Miller said he is pleased that they have been able to provide the proper equipment and protection to the staff who are working so hard to keep everything under control.
He also thanked everyone for their expressions of thanks and kindness during this stressful time.