As we have felt the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in our area, there have been many expressions, from all quarters, of thanks and admiration for the dedication and amazing work of the employees and medical staff of Island Hospital. The hospital’s Board of Commissioners is also greatly appreciative of, and inspired by, this terrific team that continues to care for us all in this trying time.

I would like to bring to your attention to other examples of those who have met the unusual challenge we face in a way that is also remarkable – the Island Hospital Foundation and our hospital’s community at large.

For the foundation, it has been business unusual from the start. Major fundraising events to support capital projects and programs for next year and beyond were postponed or perhaps canceled. Instead, there was, and continues to be, an immediate need to provide funding support at a time that the hospital’s revenues were being severely curtailed.

Moreover, it was now necessary to incur significant new costs to properly equip our staff to deal with COVID-19. This included additional ventilators, tele-ICU equipment, tele-medicine equipment and critically important masks, gowns and other protective supplies for all involved.

Foundation staff, Jeannette Papadakis and Janie Crane, devised and implemented a powerful campaign to get the message out. That message is simple — the need is great, and the need is now. Webcast updates by Island Hospital’s senior leadership were produced on a regular basis. Mail and email messages were sent out explaining the situation in detail. The website was redone, and Facebook was utilized. It has been a masterful effort.

However, as terrific as this was, it would not have mattered without the equally amazing response of our Island Hospital community. We are here to care for you, and you have shown that you truly care for us. We have received donations $10 dollars at time, hundreds of dollars, thousands, tens of thousands and more. Previous donors as well as new contributors.

Donors specifically came to support the acquisition of items listed above – tele-medicine equipment, tele-ICU, ventilators and the personal protective equipment. Thanks to that support, Island Hospital has been able to purchase what has been needed to provide the care that our community needs and deserves. Yes, the need is great, but the response from all of you has been greater in many ways.

At this time, Island Hospital is transitioning to full operations. Almost all services, inpatient, outpatient and clinics are up and running, accepting patients at all levels of need. Later this month, our Walk-in Clinic and Cardiac Rehab will open. Our team is ready to schedule your next appointment.

Note that I did not say that we are at normal operations. Suffice it to say that nobody knows how long it will be until we can say that. However, with the support of our dedicated employees and medical staff, we will continue to provide the best care possible in the best way possible. That has always been and always will be our overarching commitment. All the while, we will continue to be challenged by the coronavirus, and your continued support will be vital to our success. It’s not over by any means, but by working together we can get through this and be even stronger when we do.

On behalf of the Board of Commissioners of Island Hospital, I commend and thank the Island Hospital Foundation for a challenge met and a job well done. To the Island Hospital community at large, I offer our sincere, heartfelt expression of thanks and appreciation.

Please stay safe everyone.

Resources:

To be on the list for alerts to future webcast update sessions about Island Hospital services and our response to COVID-19, email Janie Crane, IHF development coordinator, at Janie.crane@islandhospital.org.

For information about hospital services and dealing with COVID-19, please go to www.islandhospital.org/coronavirus/

 

Warren Tessler

President, Island Hospital Board of Commissioners

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