Open Letter From Steve Long, Hancock Health CEO

It has been another day of change in our national, state, and local environments. The virus has now been diagnosed in all 50 states. The CDC released the “15 Days to Change” information and recommended limiting gatherings to less than 10 individuals. Governor Holcomb signed the Executive Order formalizing his declarations yesterday in relation to closing restaurants , bars and nightclubs and limiting gatherings to less than 50 attendees. The Hancock County Board of Commissioners issued a “Travel Advisory” limiting travel in the county to necessary destinations only (work, grocery store, hospital, etc.) Our “open letter” to the community was published in today’s Greenfield Daily Reporter.

All of these actions are exceptional steps aimed at preventing a national tragedy. The impact to daily life in our country is extraordinarily painful and folks will quickly begin to grate under the pressure they are feeling, especially in relation to finances, so I think it is incredibly important for us to keep the end in mind. To help us do that we recorded a video today that presents this perspective: SEE VIDEO

Following are a few highlights of things we experienced today at Hancock Health:

• NineStar Connect has removed all data caps from our lines – we now have the
fastest connection speed they offer – should help those working at home
• Foundation and Volunteer Services have provided resource lists to our volunteers
to assist them in their time away from us
• Dr. Laura Rife has begun working with the Covid Triage Line as we anticipate
calls volumes may go up considerably in the coming days
• Developed a protocol for minimizing elective surgeries by focusing on ensuring
patients will still get surgery if not doing so would result in negative outcomes for them
in the next 30 days
• Clarified that the decision to prohibit outside food deliveries was meant to
restrict the delivery people from entering the building, not from ordering the food
(please meet the delivery folks outside)
As we move forward, there are just a few things that become important: we must have
patience as we work through the uncertainty of these times, we must prepare ourselves
for the potential influx of patients to come and conservation of supplies is absolutely
essential, and we must endeavor to keep a positive attitude. To this end, I received the
following from associates today:
• Viruses are contagious. So is panic. Fear. Hysteria. Calm. Love. Enthusiasm.
Kindness. Joy. Choose wisely.
• There is a sense of Providence watching over us during this time. This little video
of a mom teaching her kids why handwashing helps, contains the image I’m using as I
pray. Watch how the “germs” move away from the soapy finger! That’s how God’s
protection works too. Very helpful!