Jason Little’s COVID-19 Update 3-23-20: PPE Supply


Good afternoon.  I and our administrative staff have been working throughout the weekend, meeting with physicians, epidemiologists, mayors, business and community leaders and our teammates to respond to every need or new piece of information available.  My goal is for you to feel completely informed and equipped in your role at Baptist.  As of my final meeting last night, we have tested 2,293 patients at Baptist either in the hospital, in a clinic or urgent care, or in a drive up testing location.  Of those tested, we have had 181 test positive with 436 tests still pending.  The numbers are increasing, and we continue to plan and alter our approach based on expert recommendations, available supplies, and attention to your safety.

As you know, the supply chain for PPE has been disrupted across the country.  Nevertheless, we are determined to go to exhaustive measures to protect our team.  As a result, we have found international suppliers of FDA approved PPE that we have authenticated, tested and shipped to Memphis.  Unfortunately, we have had to pay as much as 6 times the normal cost for these products, but it is worth it to give you the tools you need.  Today, we received an order for $900,000 worth of surgical and N95 masks that we placed on Saturday.  Moments ago, I authorized our team to place another order for  over $1.3 million worth of gowns and face shields.  We are determined to keep you safe at any cost, but remember these supplies are precious and in short supply, so please use them appropriately.

Additionally today, we decided to begin using a special supply of N95 masks for patient use.  Any patients who present to our facilities with Covid-19 symptoms will be masked for the protection of staff and other patients.

Finally, we are working to keep others informed beyond just our employees.  We are also sending daily updates to our providers with the latest protocols and data.  And we have produced brand new public service announcement commercials that are airing in communities across our region.  You can watch these Baptist TV commercials by going to our coronavirus resource website at baptistonline.org

That’s all for today.  Please keep your questions rolling in to me, and I will answer them.  We will have a number of news things to announce on Wednesday in regards to testing and sick time, so please tune in.  I continue to receive a number of texts and emails from people praying for Baptist and for you.  I hope you are feeling those.  I am.  Let’s talk again on Wednesday.  Thank you.