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AdventHealth hosted Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at its flagship hospital in Orlando. DeSantis was joined by several AdventHealth medical experts in a roundtable discussion that focused on COVID-19 treatment, improved patient outcomes, recoveries and the importance of not delaying care.
“A big credit needs to be given to the staff. Our staff has done a tremendous job. It’s truly a team effort,” said Dr. Eduardo Oliveira, executive medical director for critical care services in the AdventHealth Central Florida Division.
An all-to-common occurrence during the pandemic has been people delaying medical care, many out of a fear of contracting the coronavirus in a hospital. Dr. Omayra Mansfield, chief medical officer at AdventHealth Apopka and AdventHealth Winter Garden, reiterated why it is important to not delay needed medical care.
“Patients have delayed access to care out of fear. That’s worrisome. Patients who have other medical problems are delaying care – chest pain, stroke, there’s a fear of getting COVID. We’re seeing some worsening outcomes because of the delayed care,” she said.
With the highly contagious nature of the virus, many hospitals implemented visitation restrictions early on to protect patients and staff, which unfortunately meant that patients battling COVID-19 and other illnesses had to do so alone. Knowing the toll this was taking on patients and their loved ones, especially in end-of-life situations, some AdventHealth hospitals have been able to make special accommodations that allow loved ones to safely be with patients in their final moments. And DeSantis commended AdventHealth for doing so.
“COVID-19 is a very lonely illness…People with the most significant health impacts don’t have the ability to be with family during those difficult end-of-life situations. AdventHealth has allowed those families to come in and be with their loved ones during those final moments. They recognized this was a really big deal and decided to make that accommodation and I think that’s been a big relief to a lot of families. Thank you for doing that. I think it’s the right thing to do,” he said.
While AdventHealth clinicians have continued to provide high-quality care for patients, they have also banned together, with the organization’s support, to care for one another as well. And in these difficult times, it’s clear that this compassionate approach to caregiving has been pivotal.
“We believe human connection is part of healing and part of comfort. It takes people caring for people to get us through this pandemic,” said Linnette Johnson, chief nursing officer in the AdventHealth Central Florida Division.