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National Hospital Week – May 10-16, 2020 - Letter to the Editor

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Contact: Lynn Falcone, CEO

May 12, 2020

Hospital Week at Cuero Regional Hospital is certainly different this year, but an incredible celebration nonetheless as our staff continues to persevere and provide compassionate care to all we serve. On March 18, COVID-19 hit Cuero Regional Hospital; the pandemic became very real with our first positive test result. And, did our staff panic? No, we prepared and we responded appropriately, as we have been trained to do. Our entire ICU was converted to a negative pressure unit so we could isolate our COVID-19 patients and preserve PPE. An agreement was set up to provide tele-pulmonary services to COVID-19 patients in support of our local physicians. Our physicians and clinic staff set up phone visits to help people stay at home, yet get the medical attention they needed. When lab testing was required, patients were directed to the hospital drive through lab. Our rural Cuero Health clinics did a great job with their patients and even assessed in their cars in the clinic parking lots. It has been clear that our staff and physicians’ concern for their patients was paramount!

As our community stayed home, the pandemic brought incredibly low volumes in the hospital, the clinics and in the ER. Staff were sent home on overstaff because the number of patients needing care was so low. I am thankful for the Hospital Board’s support and the team’s work over the past four years to put Cuero Regional Hospital in a strong financial position so that we were able to pay each employee 100% of their base pay, despite their worked hours, through the end of May.

As of today, we have re-opened surgeries and we are pleased to announce the re-opening of our Wellness Center on May 18th. I have witnessed our team become a stronger family during this time. Staff working to support other departments, doctors working to get more PPE, providers giving up vacations to ensure the hospital was covered and sharing gifts from the community across the organization. Resilience. Team. Family.

During this pandemic, we celebrated Doctor’s Day, Nurse’s Week and now we celebrate Hospital Week! We are blessed to have had individual and business donations that allow us to do hospital week, albeit a bit different. We will still have hospital week t-shirts for our Healthcare Heroes (designed by a hospital pharmacy employees, Olga Jackson and Lisa Chavez) and we will still have a cook out for the organization.

A special thank you to our sponsors: HHS, City of Cuero, Cuero Hospital Volunteers, Prosperity Bank of Cuero, Victoria Hospitalist Associates and Cuero Walmart. Also, thanks to: DeWitt Medical Foundation, Faye & Joe Sheppard, GVEC, Hall Electric Company, Inc., Regional Pathology Associates, Southwest Medical Associates, Inc. and Weber Motor Company, as well as the individuals that contributed: Alma & James Alexander, Dolan Rental Properties, Lynn & Jeff Falcone, First Presbyterian Church of Cuero, Judy & Larry Krupala, Denise & Jeff McMahan and Jackie & Charles Papacek. Also our in-kind donations: Townsquare Media, Cuero Nursing & Rehab, Ful-O-Pep of Cuero, Cuero Chamber of Commerce, Exibix, Inc., McMahan Services Ltd., and The Cuero Record.

While this pandemic is not over and we are ready to care for patients testing positive, every part of our organization is ready to care for you today! I am blessed to be a part of Cuero Health and thank the staff and physicians for being healthcare heroes everyday as they deliver new babies, care for those in crisis due to a stroke, heart attack, cancer, or mental health issues. Being a health care worker is no easy task. Each day they strive to be better and care for our community despite the circumstance. I thank all of our community members for trusting us to care for you!

Happy Hospital Week Cuero Regional Hospital (Clinics, Home Health, EMS, Wellness)!

Thanks for the incredible work you do!

Lynn Falcone, CEO of Cuero Health