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COVID-19: A Letter from CEO Todd Willert

“If you are going through hell, keep going.”
-Winston Churchill

We are living through events on a scale never before seen in our lifetime. For many of us, 9/11 may be the most comparable moment. Although 9/11 attacked our sense of security and safety and exposed the vulnerability of our nation, COVID-19 assaults the very fiber of who we are: social creatures who depend on our relationships with others. Broadway is dark, casinos have closed, stadiums are empty, schools and churches are shut, and even restaurants are open only for carry-out. Weddings and funerals are limited to 50 people, and we are told to stay away from our loved ones in nursing homes and care facilities. For many, this is a kind of hell.

Through it all, the nation is looking at healthcare and our public health departments for reassurance and answers. Our politicians can only offer assistance and the tools we need. In the end, we are the ones who will make a difference in stopping this virus.

Hospitals throughout the state are responding in different ways to this crisis. This has led to numerous questions about why Community HealthCare System is not doing some of the things other facilities are doing.

Unfortunately, we have no playbook for the COVID-19 pandemic. At CHCS, we have adopted the philosophy that we will take a measured approach. We will not overreact, nor will we jeopardize the safety and well-being of our patients, associates, and communities. Hospitals have chosen to react differently, and that’s fine, because there is no one right way to approach this public health emergency. We have elected to base our decisions on guidance from the CDC and KDHE in partnership with our medical staff. Our physicians and providers are helping us make decisions, and we all know that these decisions can and will change from day to day. At the same time, we are in constant communication with other hospitals in the area, public health authorities, emergency response personnel, and state and federal agencies. The situation is fluid, and we are communicating constantly by meeting and bringing the right people to the table to remain flexible and make the best decisions.

No one knows how long this will last or how bad it will be. We are preparing for the worst and praying for the best. What I know is that I have great confidence in our associates to keep going and doing what is best for our patients and our communities. I also know our medical staff will help guide us to the best course of action.

Thank you for your efforts during a difficult time. 

Todd Willert, CEO


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