by Collier County Medical Society
Many community residents think of the emergency room as the “front line” of the pandemic. However, during a global pandemic, there are multiple front lines. Our physicians have answered the call of duty in many ways.
With precaution measures heightened, all nurses and medical assistants are on the front lines. They are the ones pre-screening patients, distributing masks, and taking the initial impact of patient fears and anxieties as they enter the office.
Efforts to protect patients paid off though. In one letter to Radiology Regional, the patient expressed how impressed she was with the precautionary steps taken and acknowledged the professionalism displayed by their staff.
Some of our local medical professionals were called to duty in a different way. Emily Snyder, a nurse practitioner at Korunda Medical Institute, had her Army Reserve unit activated. For two months of this crisis, she was stationed at the University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, assisting clinical staff in a coronavirus hotspot.
Moreover, CCMS board members have advocated for the health of the community in front of the Collier County Board of Commissioners by speaking in favor of science-based measures that would help slow the spread of COVID-19. CCMS Board Members and the CCMS COVID-19 Task Force have been working to provide local physicians with the tools and resources they need to protect themselves, their patients, and keep their businesses up and running.
Giving back in unique ways
There are many ways to protect the health of a community. In addition to providing direct care for their patients, physicians such as Dr. Joseph Magnant and his staff at Vein Specialists sought to help the families residing at the Ronald McDonald House of SWFL.
Safety measures put into place because of the pandemic prevented the families at the Ronald McDonald House from cooking their own meals, leaving families living with another health crisis struggling with the increased costs of buying take-out meals. The team at Vein Specialists launched a GoFundMe page to ease the costs for families in need.
Dr. Magnant even applied his surgical skills to sew scrub hats and rebuffs from recycled t-shirts. While the items are offered to the community for free, donations are gratefully accepted in support of the Ronald McDonald House of SWFL.
Continuing the health of the community
Through the fear and panic that COVID-19 has brought to the medical community, one of the greatest ongoing needs that has not been forgotten is the patient. In Southwest Florida, community physicians ensured that those at greatest risk during this pandemic still had access to the ongoing care they needed.
From patients with chronic heart conditions, to diabetes, skin cancer, and pain management, staying home simply was not an option. We applaud the doctors who work quietly and diligently to communicate with their patients and ensure they came to the office, despite their fears.
CCMS is with you through the storm
The social, emotional, and economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak will certainly last months and potentially years. During a crisis, protecting mental health is an important issue. We encourage our neighbors to see support to address their behavioral well-being.Physicians too, are encouraged to seek support for themselves in order to continue to care for our community. Members of CCMS have access to the physician wellness program, which was extended during this pandemic to non-member physicians and the physician spouses of the CCMS Alliance.
We will continue providing COVID-19 resources and information to our members and the community. We ask everyone to take CDC-recommended precautions to decrease the spread of the virus and protect our most vulnerable patients, including physical distancing, mask-wearing while indoors, staying home while ill, and hand washing.
Thank you to all of the many businesses and individuals who are following the CDC guidelines, and to those who have donated food, supplies,and services to our healthcare workers and first responders during this pandemic. We are grateful for your support!
April Donahue Executive Director
Collier County Medical Society Foundation of Collier County Medical Society 88 12th Unit 200, Naples FL 34102