Coronavirus Update: April 6, 2020

It would appear that our awaited surge may have begun over the weekend as we experienced an uptick in inpatient admissions for symptomatic patients (PUI) awaiting results of their COVID-19 tests.  Because these patients tend to require a longer length of stay, especially in the critical care environment, I am thankful we have made room for them through our efforts to reduce other clinical services and increase critical care capacity.  We currently have several patients in the PUI status (two requiring ventilation) and a couple of COVID-19 positive patients, with just one requiring ventilator support.

As I write this note, I find myself searching for a different word than “COVID Patient”.  It seems impersonal and cold.  It is as if we are talking about a disease that has a person, rather than a person who happens to have the disease.  Perhaps I feel so strongly about this because I made a call just a few hours ago to a member of our Hancock family who lost their spouse to this disease over the weekend.  Though our conversation was brief, I could sense the anguish on the other end of the line and my tears flowed freely when our call ended.

I HATE this disease.  I hate what it does to people and I hate what it has done to our country.  We are engaged in a war against this disease and Hancock Health is just one front of the battle.  Though I am prior-military,  I have been reluctant to use the verbiage of warfare to describe this disease.  But, as things progress, I increasingly recognize that our experience has all the markings of it.  The long hours of anxious waiting, the moments of terror, the individuals engaged in the firefights, the casualty count.  Let’s call it what it is and know that we will win the battle in Hancock County and the war will be won the world over, one human being at a time…

  •  Our efforts to reduce our regular patient care volumes as much as possible has worked and we are currently at the lowest inpatient census and outpatient visit level of the last ten years and are well-placed to handle a surge of COVID patients.
  • The Hancock Triage Clinic, Hancock COVID Triage hotline (317-325-2683 (COVD), and email lines continue to provide needed service to the community during this time.
  • Work to retrofit the Reflections unit to our first COVID care is complete.  The second floor of the Gateway facility has been converted for use as a 50 bed unit in case we need it (and we pray we do not).
  • The end of in-person patient visitation has gone well and we have used the e-visitation system to great effect a few times.  We have revised the policy in relation to deaths and births – please ask your department director for more details.  Learn more on e-visitation at
  • We are blessed to be finding new avenues to obtain additional PPE and for a very generous community as well who are finding and bringing in additional supplies.  Should you have folks in the community who would like to donate to the cause, please have them contact Nancy Davis at
  • We have developed a temporary transportation team and a food delivery team to help our patients to receive food items and make it to their health care appointments since other transportation options are closing for a while.  If you have patients that need transportation assistance, please contact Amanda Everidge at
  • We have made arrangements with Fairfield Inn to house hospital associates and medical staff, as well as first-responders in the community, who need temporary housing if they are concerned about carrying the virus home with them.  Our efforts are being coordinated by Gretchen Pike and Amanda Everidge and Hancock Health is covering the cost of these rooms and additional information.  Please contact you department director for additional information.
  • Do your best, prepare for the worst – then trust God for the victory – Proverbs 21:31 (The Message translation)

All the Best,