I can honestly say that I never saw this coming. When the virus first started, we watchfully waited, and were skeptical of its threat. Soon after we learned of COVID-19, we began to get projections of infection, and the possible loss of life caused by COVID-19. After reviewing the projections, our mission was clear, and our path was obvious.
We needed to safeguard our community, and our families before we safeguarded our business. As a result, we closed our office in March, indefinitely, in support of Governor Desantis’ Executive Order 20-82. We did not file for exemption. We did not seek out a loophole. We closed. Immediately. No surgeries, no clinic visits. I saw necessary postoperative patients only. If we had to sacrifice our business to safeguard our community, so be it. We believe we live in an incredible community, and as a physician, it is not only a responsibility to protect our home, it is a privilege, and one we accepted openly. But some sacrifices are greater than others, and this one was big.
As a Plastic Surgeon, I am not considered a frontline healthcare worker, but I knew I could still help. First thing I did was get involved with the Cleveland Clinic Response to COVID-19. They provided us daily open updates on the state of our county. They provided us the most appropriate, cutting edge information on the treatment, prevention, origins, and spread of this virus. They also told us openly of their needs, specifically for personal protective equipment (PPE), and for sedative medications, both of which were on back supply. First thing we did was to give all of our remaining PPE to Cleveland Clinic. While we are not a frontline facility, we are a surgical facility. Not long after that, cases stared rolling into the hospital. There was a need for sedating medications to support patients on ventilators. So we donated all of our remaining surgical sedatives to the ICU caregivers at Cleveland Clinic.
Then, we heard there was a severe blood shortage. So, we got our amazing staff together, and under Penny Forsten’s leadership, our Spa Director’s incredible efforts, we organized a very successful and helpful blood drive. Our goal was to support our hospital system, and support our community Then we entered the long part of quarantine, and it was becoming apparent to me that misinformation was leading the way with COVID19. In response, I started a webinar series online, distributing the appropriate, accurate, clinical information without the barriers of politics or fear. We also enrolled in the Cleveland Clinic Regional Response Program, making ourselves available to become frontline workers if resources became stressed.
In the end, we did all of these things because we chose to be part of the solution to our community’s problems. We did our best to focus on our community during the crisis. And even though we have our lives back now, things have changed. We recognize these changes. We believe these changes are necessary until we have a vaccine, and that vaccine will be coming soon. But in the meantime, I am here today to tell you two things. One, we understand how the world has changed and we are ready for it. And two,
WE ARE BACK.
WE ARE OPEN.
WE ARE PROUD TO SERVE YOU IN A SAFE AND COMFORTABLE ENVIRONMENT.
Times have evolved, and there is going to be a new norm in terms of personal interaction. We recognize it, and we know that our clientele’ will demand a higher degree of personal protection when they visit Ocean Drive. How are we addressing this tectonic shift in the workplace?
In the unlikely scenario that a staff member becomes infected with COVID-19, they will be quarantined from Ocean Drive. They will not return to work until they are no longer infectious based on further testing.
We fully intend to honor the federal recommendations on social distancing.
At our core, Ocean Drive is a boutique, destination plastic surgery center, emphasis on surgery. Unlike many other offices, we are surgeons, and surgeons scrub. Scrubbing hands is different, and vastly more effective than washing your hands. Every member of the office has been trained not on how to wash your hands, but on how to scrub your hands prior to intervention. Essentially, we invested in our patient experience by amplifying and distributing surgical sterility protocols from our Operating Room to our spa, our clinic, and our administrative offices. Also, patients undergoing laser, filler, ultrasound, or surgical procedures will be offered a complimentary hand sanitizer at checkout.
After elevating our hand wash hygiene, we then invested in elevating the cleanliness or our office, and by increasing the availability of hand washing/sanitization stations. We have installed new hygenic equipment in literally every room of our center. Every room. Spa, massage, consult, postop, bathrooms, everywhere. Each room will now undergo what is called a “terminal clean” after each patient encounter. This is the same type of cleaning we use routinely in our Operating Room. We will be applying those principles to every spa and treatment room for every visit. Regardless of reason for visitation, we will maintain a surgical level of sterility throughout our office during your visit.
Our primary goal at Ocean Drive Plastic Surgery and MedSpa is patient safety. Always has been, always will be. Because of this, we closed very early in response to this crisis. We did this to reduce the spread of this virus, but also, we did it to protect our facility from exposure. We are confident that our facility is safe and clean. To ensure this, however, we have elected to elevate the bar for our patients even further when it comes to their safety.
All patients receiving any surgical procedure may receive a free COVID-19 test. This test has been validated and approved by the FDA, and has a 97% accuracy rate. Antigen tests are also available for a $95 fee.
Crisis does not create a person’s character. It reveals it.
We believe that COVID-19 was a test, of us individually, and as a community. We believe that we did everything possible to support our home in its time of need. Further, we believe that we have taken remarkable precautions to safeguard our patients and our staff, and we firmly believe that we are a safe, comfortable environment for spa services, Dermatology, and Plastic Surgery. We hope to see you soon. Stay safe!
At Ocean Drive Plastic Surgery in Vero Beach, Dr. Alan Durkin and his team of providers deliver incredible results tailored to your needs in a relaxing and uplifting atmosphere. Learn more about the Ocean Drive difference by scheduling your one-on-one diagnostic consultation with Dr. Durkin today.