In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Francis Memorial Hospital (SFMH) has been extremely busy preparing for a potential surge in patients who are sick with fever and respiratory complaints.
“While much of what we hear is about how the virus spreads in larger cities, we are unlikely to escape its effects locally. We need to be fully prepared, and SFMH has pulled together to do just that. It’s imperative to keep our staff and physicians safe while continuing to provide top-notch emergency and inpatient care. It’s amazing what we’ve been able to accomplish in such a short time. It’s incredibly important work.” said Dr. Jason Malinowski, SFMH Chief of Staff.
Preparation measures include the cancellation or postponement of outpatient services. Also, every person who comes to SFMH, whether staff or those in search of medical care, is being screened at the front door. Anyone who is deemed at higher risk due to symptoms is being assessed in a separate area.
Anyone who is coming to the hospital for prescription renewals is asked to speak directly with their pharmacy or their primary care provider—or, if they don’t have one, to ask their pharmacy to fax a prescription request to the Madawaska Valley Family Health Team, which will then be in contact with the patient.
It’s important to note that anyone who needs emergency attention at SFMH will be seen and not turned away.
With the severe restrictions to no visitors other than essential/compassionate reasons, we are providing inpatients with devices so they can connect with loved ones. We understand the hardship that our patients go through when they aren’t allowed visitors.
Currently, the hospital has adequate supplies of personal protection equipment (PPE) suc as gowns, gloves, and masks, but due to global supply issues, depending on the duration of this outbreak, we anticipate that we will need more supplies as time goes on. If you have spare masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, or disinfectant wipes, we ask that you contact us at (613) 756-3045 ext 229. Thank you to those who have already donated supplies.
The public is also asked to do its part to reduce community spread of the virus so that the hospital’s resources continue to meet the demands.
“We want to remind you of the things you can do to help us—such as physical distancing and frequent, thorough hand washing and not touching your face. Please isolate yourself if you have mild symptoms, but stay socially connected to each other, because it’s easy to lose connection when we’re all physically separated,” noted Malinowski.
Finally, SFMH wants to reassure the community that it is doing okay in this incredibly stressful time.
“I am proud of our staff and physicians at St. Francis. I am not surprised at their leadership and focus on what is best for our patients, families and for their work colleagues. These past number of days we have taken strategic steps to stabilize the organization. We are focusing on the most important areas of the hospital including: clinical care, our human capital, supplies and equipment and communication. These are truly unprecedented times and I believe we are well positioned, working with our partners throughout the system, to continue providing care and support to our community,” stated Randy Penney, SFMH CEO.