Our Response to COVID-19
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?