An open letter from regional health systems: Collaboration is key to address COVID-19

“We are all in this together” has never been truer than it is right now in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

In the western Kentucky and southern Illinois region, this means a shared feeling of sacrifice, resilience and endurance. For the region’s major health care providers, it also means our commitment to work together to serve you — our community — and advance the care of all of our patients.

Mercy Health — Lourdes Hospital, Baptist Health Paducah, Jackson Purchase Medical Center, Murray Calloway County Hospital, Marshall County Hospital, Trigg County Hospital, Caldwell Medical Center, Livingston County Hospital, Crittenden Community Hospital and Massac Memorial Hospital are pledging our partnership during this difficult time to serve the western Kentucky and southern Illinois region as we navigate the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19. We have been working together over the past weeks to share information and our health systems’ predictive analytics models, allowing us to align our treatment efforts, expected surge volumes, resource needs and our plans to address the curve when it reaches its apex.

Our hospitals are also partnering with local and state health and emergency management departments to speak with one voice and to work as a unified team to face this threat. Our strength is in our shared mission to protect lives, care for the stricken, and work together to face this virus head on using our best resources.

Our health care teams and administrations are working together. We are supporting one another so that we can protect you. We will remain steadfast in that commitment for the weeks to come until this COVID-19 threat has eased for everyone.

We cannot do this alone. We need your help. This is not a threat that can be solely tackled within the four walls of a hospital. Success is in our collective hands — yours and ours. Here is what we need you to do:

• True social distancing. Stay home. Keep your contacts to only immediate family members within your household.

• Wash your hands, often.

• Follow directions from emergency managers and elected officials.

• If you must go out, only do so for medical care, to buy provisions for a week or more at a time, or for essential work duties. And wear a face mask.

By following these guidelines, our communities have the ability to make a tremendous impact on the progression of the disease. We can flatten the curve if we don’t let up now. Our actions in the coming days will be critical in our efforts to return to our lives and our friends and family.

Our hospital systems remain devoted to this community, and we are prepared to care for you and your loved ones if you need us. This is what has allowed us all to play a vital part in keeping our friends and neighbors safe and in good health for decades. We will continue that mission through this crisis and beyond. We are far stronger working together as health partners and as a community than we could ever be alone.

Sincerely,

Rick Goins, CEO Massac Memorial Hospital,

on behalf of CEOs and presidents of regional health systems

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