The number of hospitalized CoxHealth patients with COVID-19 dropped below 130 this week. The rolling 7-day average of symptomatic individuals is just under 21%, which is another encouraging trend. While these data points are always welcome news, we must remain vigilant, as this illness is still affecting so many lives. I learned about one of our employees who lost his wife, brother, mom and dad to COVID in the past three weeks. It is important that we all understand the pain, loss and love that fuels our team’s fight against COVID-19.
COVID-19 vaccine update
CoxHealth has administered all 6,700 doses that we initially received from the state for ‘first dose’ employee vaccinations. This week we received 6,700 more doses for ‘second dose’ vaccinations that begin next week. Employees who were not in this first round are getting on a waiting list for when we receive more vaccine for our employees.
Missouri officials announced the next tiers of individuals eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. We hope to receive more information from the state soon about when, how much and what type of vaccine we will receive so we can make plans to begin vaccinating our patients. You can read our response to the state’s announcement here. Anyone with questions about the COVID-19 vaccine can view this site on coxhealth.com. Additionally, we are asking any CoxHealth patient who is interested in receiving the vaccine to complete an interest survey available in their CoxHealth Express patient portal.
CoxHealth announces new system nursing leader
A longtime CoxHealth nursing leader has been selected as the health system’s new System Chief Nursing Officer. Beth Polivka, who has served as a Director of Nursing for the past eight years, will assume the role on Feb. 15.
“Why I’m getting the COVID-19 vaccine”
From Dr. Anees Afroze, Ferrell-Duncan Clinic Pulmonology: “The vaccine is the first tangible thing that showed me that there was an end in sight. I went from feeling resigned to energized.”
Musical end to the week with Dr. Wong
As we wrap up this week, I thought it would be nice to hear the work of my friend Dr. George Wong, a neurologist with CoxHealth, who is also an accomplished banjo player. Here, he shares Edelweiss, a song that brings peace to many. It has special meaning in his life: He plays to pay tribute to his mother, who came to the United States 62 years ago from Europe in the wake of World War II.
Here's what he wrote about the song: "Edelweiss, a flower that survives the harshest alpine environments, represents courage, bravery, and love. Let’s all stay the course, and we’ll survive this darkest of winters -- together as a nation!"
Voice of the patient
“Thank you Dr. Steinberg for being the kind and caring surgeon that you are. I will never forget the call I received from you the night before my surgery. You set my mind totally at ease about the events to follow. That was 15 years ago and it has made a lasting impression. God bless you.”
Thank you for caring for our community,