COVID-19 response and recovery: What 5 hospital CEOs are doing

Hospital CEOs across the nation are responding and looking to recover from COVID-19 in ways that are unique to their organization's needs and population.

Here are examples of how five hospital CEOs are addressing COVID-19 response and recovery:

1. Warren Kean Spellman, CEO of Grady Memorial Hospital in Chickasha, Okla., is warning about potential community COVID-19 spread and calling for continued caution amid the pandemic. During a Grady County commissioners meeting May 18, Mr. Spellman expressed concern about community spread in Chickasha, saying there are people who have an infected loved one who then go to work or go out in public without a mask on.

2. Maureen Tarrant, CEO of Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center and Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, both in Denver, said Americans need to be reminded that these facilities are still safe places to get healthcare when they need it. While Ms. Tarrant said her hospital was "never overwhelmed with COVID patients," there was another effect. "I think we had an unintended consequence: I think we made people afraid to come back to the hospital," she said.

3. Reginald Eadie, MD, CEO of Trinity Health of New England, examined how stay-at-home messages have affected hospitalizations for life-threatening illnesses — including heart attack, heart failure, stroke, appendicitis and gallbladder disease — as well as at-home deaths. "These increases in at-home deaths are stunning, and in my opinion, clearly show that community members listened to the stay at home messages they heard," Dr. Eadie wrote.

4. Brian Gragnolati, CEO of Morristown, N.J.-based Atlantic Health System, told Becker's about how the system is educating employees about self-care and following protocols. "If they do become ill, have processes around that getting them back to work," Mr. Gragnolati said. "This is an all hands on deck exercise." 

5. Paul Kempinski, president and CEO of Children's Mercy Kansas City, said that due to its lower volume of COVID-19 patients, his organization could act as a regional resource and help mitigate the burden adult hospitals could feel if there is a COVID-19 surge in the Kansas City area. In turn, Children's Mercy Kansas City developed a pandemic response plan.

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