Valley Health lost a lot of money և several employees during the COVID-19 epidemic, but thanks to its dedicated staff, it will be able to meet any future challenges, the health system president said at an autumn corporate meeting on Tuesday.

“Valley Health is the people. “It’s all about the people,” said Mark Nantes, chief executive officer of four Virginia hospitals, chairman of a local health care provider with two West Virginia hospitals. “We are all called to serve.”

Nants discussed with other Valley Health executives and physicians the financial well-being of the health care system over the past six months and its ongoing impact on the community through the COVID-19 epidemic.

Personally speaking to audience at Winchester Medical Center միջոցով via Zoom, Nantz said he was interested in seeing how Valley Health և and its staff learned to do better than their challenges each time there was an increase in և hospitalizations.

He said that in the first wave of COVID-19, the hospital system drastically reduced its services, including most of the elective procedures, “we lost a ton of money.”

Although it did not close during the second wave of events last winter, he said it was “terrible, but we overcame it and lost a lot of money.” He noted that the wave, which began in July: in October, was “one of our biggest waves”, “we only lost a little money”.

“We are getting better,” Nants said.

“The organization is learning at an accelerated pace. We learn how to isolate patients, we learn how to keep our staff healthy, keep our staff safe, և every time we have done a little better financially, և our staff has been able to manage a little better : »:

If there is another increase, he said, “People at Valley Health will handle it even better than last time.”

Despite the losses in 2020, Valley Health reported that its in-kind financial assistance to the community benefit programs was $ 76.7 million, explained Dr. Jeffrey Faith, the community’s population health officer, during the meeting. Of this, $ 61 million was paid by the organization for non-reimbursable health services, which means for those who can not pay.

It also paid $ 7.8 million for hundreds of nursing, pharmacy, physical or occupational therapy students, and $ 7.9 million for health prevention programs that benefit thousands of people through free screening and preventative care. և Health programming.

Valley Health has also donated more than $ 1,192,000 in in-kind grants to inpatient clinics that offer free, low-cost health care.

It provided 500 heart attack risk screenings conducted during its regional health activities, and offered free support services to 3,540 individuals through its financial advisors.

Valley Health helps more than 150 organizations with cash donations.

Despite having fewer financial losses in 2021, the last few months of the epidemic have largely led to many more struggles, Nants said.

One of its biggest challenges was the increase in cases that began in July after the delta version arrived in the region.

To illustrate how different channels have affected Valley Health, Dr. Nicholas Restrepo, Valley Health’s Quality և Patient Safety Officer, said that the health care system reached 40 COVID patients during the spring 2020 growth. Over the next 24 hours, its largest increase in 16 hours brought 163 patients to six Valley Health hospitals.

Last summer, it reached a 24-hour peak of 52 COVID patients, but the latest fall growth brought 177 patients to hospital beds in 24 hours.

He said patients come and go from the hospital within 24 hours, so they do not have to be there for the entire stay.

«[The numbers have] “It has been going down for the last few weeks,” he told the audience, but “you can see that the epidemic is still very much here. It still has a big impact on the care we provide. It still presents a number of challenges. ”

Winchester Medical Center reported 30 confirmed COVID-related hospitalizations on November 5, 30 on November 6, and 32 on November 7.

Over the past few weeks, Restrepo said, the Virginia Hospital և Health Association has ranked Winchester Medical Center among the top two or three hospitals in the state in terms of the number of COVID patients admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.

“We have a very sick group of patients that we take care of,” said Restrepo. “It is disproportionately large compared to some of the other medical centers you see.”

Another major Valley Health campaign also took place in July, when it became one of the first health systems in the country to announce a vaccine mandate for its employees և contractors, which went into effect earlier this fall.

“Unfortunately, we lost about 200 people,” Nants said. “We lost 100 because we refused, and then we lost 100 that just didn’t work out.”

When Valley Health made its announcement in July, only 58% of the staff had been vaccinated, he recalled.

Nants, meeting 42% of their workforce to leave, not to be vaccinated, said. “I was scared to death. “I do not think I have ever been more afraid of anything.”

But in the end, he said. “I believe in the people of Valley Health. “I knew they would eventually take care of their patients, their families, they did.”

Although the vaccine mandate has caused controversy in the community, he said Valley Health has been discussing the decision for some time before applying it, after hearing from experts that there is a possibility of summer growth.

“We need staff,” he said. “Everyone in America needs staff.”

But if there is another winter increase, he said Valley Health will not have to worry about most of its staff being quarantined as they are now vaccinated.

“It all has to do with your healthcare system. I’m going to tell you that it’s because of the courage of the planning, the management, the medical staff. So we’re proud of that.”