NorthShore University HealthSystem CEO shares COVID-19 diagnosis, recovery

J.P. Gallagher, president and CEO of NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, Ill., tested positive for COVID-19 and has since recovered, he said in an April 2 memo to staff shared with Becker's Hospital Review

Mr. Gallagher said several weeks ago he went to one of NorthShore's immediate care centers after experiencing mild fever-like symptoms. A test revealed a few days later he had the novel coronavirus. 

"My thoughts and concerns immediately shifted to my wife and our kids — particularly given that our oldest daughter lives with a chronic autoimmune disease," he wrote. "Thankfully, they didn't show signs of the virus as my symptoms ultimately passed and I was cleared by Employee Health to return to work."

In his letter, Mr. Gallagher thanked NorthShore's staff for the preparations they've taken amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He said volumes at the health system remain within capacity but the acuity of patients is increasing "and the impact of the virus is becoming personal."

"I've learned through this experience, the most important thing each of us can do in this fight is follow the guidelines and policies we've shared," he wrote. "These include adhering to social distancing wherever possible, being vigilant with hand hygiene, and using protective equipment appropriately. It's also critical that we get rest, recharge, and enjoy time away from work with family and friends — whether virtually or otherwise."

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