PRNNWS-04-18-20 ODEGAARD COLUMN_MUG

Dan Odegaard

First and foremost, I want to let everyone know that Caldwell Medical Center is here for our community. These are uncertain times with a lot of unknowns, but you can gain some peace of mind with the knowledge that we are taking the COVID-19 outbreak very seriously and aggressively working to keep you and our entire area safe during this outbreak.

In addition to that, I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you and praise to all of the professionals working on the front lines of this event. We all owe our health care workers, emergency responders, local officials, and essential businesses a debt of gratitude for their willingness to serve our needs throughout this unprecedented time. In an effort to be transparent and keep you informed, I would like to provide an overview of how our organization is tackling this situation.

Our administration, medical team, and staff are taking steps to keep you safe while giving you access to the health care you need. Caldwell Medical Associates now offers telemedicine options for our clinic patients to reduce unnecessary in-person visits as a measure to blunt any unnecessary exposure to infection. We have made the process for these appointments easy and straightforward for your convenience. All you have to do is call any of our clinic locations and they will assess whether you are a good candidate for telehealth and personally walk you through the steps to set up your virtual visit.

There are new visitation restrictions in place for the safety of our patients and for our health care providers and employees as well. Until further notice we are not allowing visitors to our hospitalized patients; anyone arriving with an outpatient or emergency patient will be asked to stay in their vehicles instead of the waiting areas within the hospital, and our front doors will be locked at 4 p.m. until 6:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and will be closed at 4 p.m. Friday until 6:30 a.m. Monday. The Emergency Room doors will remain open at all times. Anyone allowed into the facility will be screened upon entry into the hospital until further notice.

Our facility has invested in new equipment to help our environmental services department prevent any unnecessary disease spread within the hospital. We have added an electrostatic sprayer to our infection control toolbox that charges disinfectant spray droplets to ensure rapid coverage of critical surfaces. We have also added a MoonBeam 3, which is an on-demand, broad area disinfection tool that uses powerful UVC light to disinfect high-touch areas in exam rooms and inpatient rooms in as little as 90 seconds.

Though we are doing everything in our power to confront this virus, we cannot meaningfully take it on without your help. Being vigilant in your social distancing practices, general hygiene, wearing a facemask when you have to go in public, and regular handwashing are essential to solving the problem we face. The more we all do our part, the quicker we can get back to normal. I am very encouraged by the sense of togetherness that is being expressed in our community and that everyone is working hard to be a part of #TeamKentucky.

I would like to end with a big thank you to the communities that we serve. The outpouring of support, donations, and well wishes we are receiving every day has been overwhelming and humbling. To know that you all see us as family and a partner in this circumstance is a huge boost to our morale and gives us the strength to stay positive and effective while overcoming this challenge.

We will get through this, and more importantly, we are going to get through it together. We will come out stronger on the other side.

Dan Odegaard is the chief executive officer at Caldwell Medical Center in Princeton. For facility updates and any late breaking developments, you can follow @Caldwellmedical on Facebook or visit caldwellmedical.com.