April 16, 2021
COVID-19 vaccination updates
Nearly 86,000 total doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered at CoxHealth, and this number will increase with Friday’s vaccination clinic in Springfield. We are seeing more and more how vaccines make a huge difference in keeping our communities safe, and are still striving to increase the numbers of those who are protected.
After today’s event, we are adjusting our approach for vaccination, and will begin centralizing our efforts at a variety of clinics throughout the region. As patients see their providers for appointments, we want to be able to administer the vaccine immediately if they choose receive it. We are also scheduling on-site clinics for businesses, churches, and civic organizations throughout the region to make it convenient for employees to be vaccinated. If you know of any groups that are interested in this service, please pass along this survey so we can follow-up for more information.
While CoxHealth has not used the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at this time, I would like to offer some information about that particular vaccine in case you get questions from others in our community. Given the data we currently have, the risk of a CVST blood clot is extremely low: Around one out of 1.2 million, or 0.09/100,000. (The data indicates the risk of this clot in the general population is actually higher at 0.5/100,000.)
Out of an abundance of caution, the vaccine’s use is currently paused across the country to allow for more evaluation. I can appreciate this decision as we can afford the patience to be extremely cautious given we have two other EUA approved vaccines in good supply. This provides time for further data evaluation and it allows doctors to report cases that in retrospect might now be considered linked. With this data, the CDC can risk stratify, if necessary, who should receive this vaccine.
Launch of Pediatric Oncology
Tuesday marked a moment that brought great joy. It was the final chemo treatment for Donovan, a teenager from Nixa, and the launch of our Pediatric Oncology program at Cox South.
We are offering this through our partnership with St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and I greatly appreciate our staff’s dedication to making this day a reality. While we never want anyone to face a diagnosis such as this one, and especially not our pediatric patients, we are glad to have treatment options that keep them closer to home. Other pediatric specialties that we offer may be seen here.
We wish Donovan the best, and celebrate this moment with him!
'Top Moment' of the past year
Over the past few weeks, our employees have been gradually voting – “March Madness” style – to see which moments from the past year felt most significant. Our vote has rendered a top winner: “No Layoffs Despite the Financial Challenges of the Pandemic.” It narrowly prevailed over “Construction of the COVID-19 Unit.”
The past year consists of many moments we would never have chosen, nor would want to repeat. But we are thankful for the spirit of our staff, and your support of this organization, and the good things that have come out of moments of heartbreak. To see a full list of the “top” moments, click here.
Growth from within
We are fortunate to have many employees who come to CoxHealth and grow their careers with us. I was reminded of that this week, when Kristen Hall became the new manager of the NICU. She has been in the unit for 20 years, and rose through the ranks while serving countless babies and their families. She is one of many individuals whose ongoing commitment, I believe, makes them an asset to this organization and our patients.
Voice of the Patient
From a Facebook comment: “Dr. John Waites put such a detailed description of my symptoms into the system that not a single doctor since has ever questioned my rare diagnosis. I’m constantly hearing doctors read over my file impressed with how much work he put into it.”
From a CoxHealth at Home employee: Because I am for every one of us, the entire herd! I want to keep you safe.”
Thank you for all you do,