Monday, March 16

A Message from the President and CEO of Mountain Health Network

This week, there have been many local developments as the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread across the country. But spreading even faster than the virus have been rumors and false statements regarding the disease and our plans to respond.

First, let me assure you that the safety of our employees, patients and visitors is our top priority. Both Cabell and St. Mary’s have implemented procedures for early identification and appropriate care of any potential COVID-19 patients to minimize any risk in accordance with the current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). We are working together with the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, first responders, and local, state and national public health officials to coordinate our efforts and to provide updates and information to our physicians, staff and community.

As always, the best way to prevent infection is to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

If you are sick with COVID-19, please stay home. If suspect you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, call your healthcare provider ahead of time so that the physician’s office can take steps to limit exposure. If your illness worsens — for example, if you have difficulty breathing — please seek medical care. Remember that we also have Mountain teleHealth as an option for you to receive care without leaving home. More information and instructions on how to use it are available on each hospital’s Intranet. With all of the attention currently being paid to COVID-19, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by information. The most current MHN information is available on our website at www.mountainhealthnetwork.org/coronavirus. Links to the most current CDC information are available there as well. Also, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources has created a 24/7 information hotline to address public and medical provider questions and concerns regarding COVID-19 at 1-800-887-4304.

As hospital employees, you are representatives of the health community, and so I also ask that during this time you be cognizant of what you share on social media. Information about a patient’s identity or health condition is never allowed, according to HIPAA. In addition, our social media policies ask that staff not share any information learned during internal meetings as those items are for preparedness planning purposes.

We will provide further updates as needed when new information becomes available. As always, thank you for your commitment to our patients and communities we serve.

Thank you and take care,

Mike Mullins

President and CEO of Mountain Health Network