This year’s flu season has officially begun. You or someone you know may have already been affected, and unfortunately, it has already claimed lives.
I’m praying that this year’s flu season is not as bad as last year’s, when about 80,000 people, including 180 children, died. No matter how severely the flu affects our communities this year, we will be prepared to answer the call.
Several of our entities are once again offering free flu vaccines, the best protection from the flu and the serious complications that can come with it. Many more people will come to our primary care facilities for flu shots.
But we know many people will get the flu, and they’ll come to our facilities for care. I know you’ll be prepared to treat them, and I want you to know that our entities will be ready, too.
Through our Telehealth program, we can connect physicians in one community to patients in another without having to move patients away from their homes and families.
Our eICU virtually monitors intensive care patients throughout our system, looking for subtle changes in patients’ conditions. Critical care nurses work with on-site ICU teams to ensure proper intervention happens before patients’ conditions worsen.
The Patient Placement Center helps ensure we have beds available for patients who need to be admitted to our hospitals.
Last year, our facilities saw a huge increase in the number of patients who had the flu, or who developed life threatening conditions after getting the flu. You did a tremendous job of caring for these patients, and I am so proud of the work you did. This year’s flu season could be as bad or worse. No one can predict that, but I am so thankful that I can count on you to provide the same empathetic care you always do.