Last year at this time, it is doubtful any of us would have readily agreed to all the challenges that 2020 would present. Though it was certainly a year marked by hardship and unforeseen changes, it was also a year of learning for all of us, either at the team or individual level. Its lessons are many, and I feel incredibly blessed to lead such a resilient team of individuals.
Soon after the COVID-19 pandemic started gaining traction in early March, Loring Hospital’s Incident Command team sprang into action to anticipate all possible scenarios related to the pandemic. We adopted alternative entrances, adapted workflows, implemented a universal masking requirement, and attended daily meetings to keep up with the ever-changing information, just to name a few. Though we didn’t see a surge in COVID-19 cases until November 2020, we feel fortunate to have spent countless hours proactively planning for what was to come.
As you can imagine, the pandemic had a significant financial impact on Loring Hospital. Following state guidelines, the hospital temporary halted all non-essential and elective surgical procedures and treatments in mid-March and was unable to resume these services until June. We’re thankful for the funding that was provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which allowed us to purchase upgraded equipment and sustain 100 percent employment — something we remain truly grateful for.
Though we’ve all been confronted with adapting to new ways of learning, working and living our lives amid stressors that we have never experienced before, the past several months have united our Loring team like never before. It’s been nothing short of amazing to witness real teamwork and resiliency at play among all employees, who, as always, have an unwavering commitment to providing exceptional patient care.
For all the hardship 2020 ushered in, the year ended on a very high and promising note when members of our staff received the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. The state of Iowa is currently in Phase 1B of its vaccine distribution plan, and I think I speak for many when I say the rollout of the vaccine symbolizes hope and brighter days ahead for all.
Despite the obstacles, there are some great processes that arose during the pandemic and will remain. Adapting our practices allowed us to identify what it would take to achieve a better and more efficient flow within the hospital. This led us to begin work on what we are referring to as the hospital’s “master plan” — a major construction plan that includes bringing all outpatient services to the forefront of the hospital in an effort to make it easier for patients to get to where they need to go for healthcare services. While we will relay timely developments as the plan evolves, you may certainly share suggestions or learn more about ways to donate to the project by contacting Teresa Wirtjers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also looking into 2021, it should be noted that we are continuously looking to add more specialty clinic providers to reduce the amount of time our patients have to travel out of county. Our commitment to delivering outstanding and convenient care is what drives us each and every day, and your continued support allows us to continue to provide these services.
On behalf of all of us at Loring Hospital, we thank each of you for your ongoing trust and the outpouring of kindness and support you’ve shown us over the past several months. We wish you the absolute best in the coming year.