It is my hope that this letter finds you and your family doing well in the face of our current events. I wanted to reach out to our Peconic Bay Medical Center (PBMC) community and share some important information with you.
First, I want you to know that our team at PBMC is working around the clock to ensure our community is cared for. I encourage you to heed the advice of our government leaders and stay home. And I want you to rest assured, that while you are home doing your part to manage this situation, our team is standing ready to care for the most vulnerable in our community. I have never been more proud to lead the PBMC team. Our frontline caregivers are incredibly compassionate, competent and well equipped at this time to care for the needs of our community. I’m also proud to say that in the face of COVID-19, this amazing team successfully completed a four-day Joint Commission accreditation survey with flying colors last week.
Our ability to be able to respond today lies in our community’s past support. I want to thank you for the important role you have played in our ongoing success. Your past investments have provided the foundation for quality health care for our community. Thank you for always standing with us. In light of recent events, I wanted to share with you the steps that my leadership team and I are taking to ensure we keep our patients, staff and community safe during this crisis.
For those that were able to join us for the dedication ceremony of the Corey Critical Care Pavilion and the Kanas Regional Heart Center, you saw the shell space of that building which is earmarked for future expansion of our emergency department. The future is now and we are working around the clock to transform that space into a 16-bed COVID-19 unit. This unit will have a separate entrance and will allow our team to better serve our community during this pandemic. Please click here to see the recent news story about these changes.
Starting two weeks ago, we implemented a thorough screening process at Peconic Bay Medical Center. Additionally, we have opted to change our visiting hours for the safety of our patients, the families and our staff. You can stay up to date on these changes by visiting www.pbmchealth.org.
We have suspended the Junior and Senior Volunteer Programs at PBMC for a minimum of 45 days (through April 24), including the operations of the Gift Shop. Please note that this period of time may be adjusted further as the situation develops. I can share with you that we learned very quickly how critical this volunteer workforce is to our hospital.
We have also made the difficult decision that all community events that are sponsored or participated in by our health system, hospital or employees have been suspended or postponed through May 5, 2020 and potentially further as we continue to monitor this situation.
Finally, we will be suspending all elective surgery until April 15, 2020. There is no doubt that this is the right move to address this health crisis.
In healthcare, knowledge is power—and we are fortunate to be equipped with incredible knowledge. Between the guidance of world-renowned specialists and the cumulative experience of hundreds of clinical experts in Northwell, Peconic Bay Medical Center is well-positioned to handle the challenges that come our way. To share that knowledge with you Northwell Health has created a digital resource library for your benefit. I would encourage you to visit this site and check back for continued updates. Click here for the library.
The rapid spread of COVID-19 has the healthcare community ready to take action. We are well-equipped to treat our patients and continue to provide world-class, compassionate care. Our approach includes remaining vigilant by keeping safety as our top priority, and all of the steps I outlined above support our vigilant mindset.
Please continue to keep yourself and your family safe by following these rules:
Practice frequent hand washing, for a minimum of 20 seconds each time. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing who have a significant travel history.
Obtain your flu shot if you have not already.
Avoid non-essential travel, especially to impacted areas identified by the CDC.
If you are not feeling well, please stay home. If symptoms persist or worsen, call your healthcare provider.
In the face of great challenges, we can achieve great things when we remain calm and respond by using the best practices. We’ll continue to follow that path, rising up together to deliver the absolute best care to our community. On behalf of our entire team at Peconic Bay Medical Center, I wanted to thank you for your ongoing support of our Medical Center, support that allowed us to be ready to serve.
Andrew J. Mitchell, FACHE
President and CEO
Peconic Bay Medical Center