UCLA Hospital System CEO: Public has been 'very frightened of hospitals and clinics'

Hospital leaders and health experts are speaking out about how stay-at-home orders and deferred elective services have led Americans to delay important services. Johnese Spisso, the president of the University of California Los Angeles' health system and the CEO of the UCLA Hospital System, told Yahoo Finance May 31 that fear is keeping people away from the hospital. 

"What we learned is the public was very frightened of hospitals and clinics," Ms. Spisso said. "We had to do a lot of outreach education. We worked together as a hospital community in Los Angeles to educate the public and to tell them it's time to come back for the healthcare they have put on pause." 

She said as a tertiary medical center, UCLA Health has been especially concerned about reductions in emergency department visits for heart attacks and strokes. A recent study from TransUnion Healthcare found nationwide, ED visits are still down 40 percent and inpatient visits are down 20 percent compared to pre-COVID-19 volumes. 

"We know COVID did nothing to cure those, so we were very concerned people weren't presenting for the care that's needed. We very quickly began to see that as we opened back up, who really should have been coming in a lot sooner," she told Yahoo Finance.

To address these concerns, UCLA Health joined five other health systems in the greater Los Angeles area on an educational/public service campaign to encourage patients to seek important medical care amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign declares, "Life may be on pause. Your health isn't."

Read the full Yahoo Finance article here


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