A message from Jen Doty, CEO and Sidney Health Center medical staff
Every newspaper, television program and internet headline has appropriately discussed all of the issues of dealing with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Some geographic areas have been hit extremely hard. It is true this pandemic affects large urban areas with a heavy concentration of people the most – primarily because of their inability to maintain social distancing, which every expert agrees is a good idea.
Fortunately, Montana has not experienced a surge of cases beyond its capacity – largely due to the national and statewide precautionary measures that were implemented across the state early on. Over the last six weeks, Sidney Health Center has followed all the national, state and local guidelines to protect its patients, residents and staff. Weekly conferences continue to be held to enact guidelines and disaster preparedness as Sidney Health Center’s administration, medical staff and employees take this national health emergency very seriously.
On April 22, 2020, Governor Steve Bullock announced the “Reopening of the Big Sky” with a 3-phase approach. The relaxation of restrictions comes as a relief to many who are ready to get back to work. Many of us in healthcare agree, the downtime has allowed us to get our organizations ready to respond to a community outbreak of COVID-19 as we move forward through the phased approach to re-open many of our services.
Through all of this, a significant concern of physicians has been the non-COVID health consequences due to the shutdown. Studies have shown that people are not coming in for necessary non-COVID health care needs. Certainly, people who experience chest pain, stroke, non-COVID infections and other health problems, should seek the immediate medical treatment they need. Cardiovascular disease, cancer and multiple other problems will continue to take many lives unnecessarily if we do not diagnose, treat and manage their symptoms early on. Not doing appropriate prevention, medical care and surgical care will take its toll on the overall health of our community.
At Sidney Health Center our mission remains the same – to help you achieve your highest level of health and well-being. As an organization, we are committed to treating COVID and non-COVID patient populations. It is important to re-start routine testing and screening through lab and radiology, and provide urgent and elective surgical procedures to avoid unnecessary delay in treatment.
As Sidney Health Center gradually re-opens its service lines, patient care delivery will look a little different from pre-COVID times. In line with the CDC’s strict guidelines, we are requiring all who enter our building to wear a mask to protect themselves and the healthcare workforce. The organization will continue to implement social distancing practices, be vigilant in hand washing procedures, adhere to self-quarantining guidelines, continue testing for COVID-19, and take all the precautionary measures to ensure our patients, residents and staff are safe and healthy.
At Sidney Health Center, we take our responsibilities to the community very seriously, and appreciate the loyalty and support many individuals and organizations have demonstrated through these challenging times. We look forward to seeing and serving you and your family with the best possible care and treatment. Stay healthy!