COVID vaccinations open across Missouri
Today represents a new milestone in the fight against COVID-19: Anyone who lives or works in Missouri and is at least 16 years old is now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. We celebrate this day, as it means that we are closer to the end of this fight. However, in order for this to mean something, we need people to get vaccinated. Supplies have greatly increased over recent weeks, so no one should hesitate to receive one. Each person’s immunity contributes to our community’s overall health, and helps protect our economy and ability to recover.
We are still giving vaccines in Springfield, Branson, Lamar and Monett, and have administered nearly 77,000 total doses so far. While each of these is special, one moment from last week sticks out: A patient who came back to our vaccination clinic in Monett for his second dose brought a bouquet of flowers in appreciation. Our joy comes from helping ensure the safety and the health of our communities, but it was heartwarming to see that people we serve are thankful – as we are – for the progress in this journey.
This week, it was announced that Dr. Frank Romero has decided to step down from his role as System Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Medical Affairs. Dr. Romero wants to return to full-time patient care as a Hospitalist. The effective date for his transition is May 5.
We are fortunate to have Dr. Shawn Usery, our Chief Medical Officer for CoxHealth’s Community Hospital Group, who will serve as interim system CMO as we search for a permanent replacement. That search is now underway and we will share updates as progress is made.
Success with food oral immunotherapy
A few months ago, we announced that food oral immunotherapy is now available at CoxHealth. This therapy helps individuals overcome allergies so they can eliminate reactions from exposure, or even integrate foods as part of their daily life. We’re seeing success with the program, and want to share the story of 12-year-old Preston Beard, who is now able to eat peanuts after never being able to before. Click here to watch his story. We can’t wait to see others whose lives are also changed through this therapy.
Diaper drive now underway
Our annual diaper drive is now in progress. This effort, in its eighth year at CoxHealth, is meaningful to us because it supports the health of some of our area’s youngest residents and helps reduce stress for their families. We partner with several local charities throughout our service area to distribute the diapers to families who need them. Click here to learn more about the drive, which continues through April 30.
Voice of the Patient
“The NICU doctors and nurses are amazing! My son was a preemie and we spent 31 long days at Cox South. I seriously cannot say enough wonderful things. Every year, we bring treats for his birthday. He turned 4 in February and were not able to do that this year due to the pandemic. Nonetheless, every day I am thankful for the care he received.”
From a CoxHealth employee: “At first, I didn't want to get vaccinated. I didn't trust the government/drug companies and I didn't want to be a guinea pig for new vaccines that hadn't been time tested. Then a joke came to mind. I recognize this isn't a joking matter but that is what happened and bear with me on this. I thought of the joke where a man is stuck on his roof during a flood. A boat comes by to help him and he says ‘No, God will save me.’ Later a helicopter comes and he says the same thing. The man dies and he asks God, ‘Why didn't you save me?’ God replied that he had sent a boat and a helicopter. So in my mind, the answer was, when God sends you a vaccine, you should get it.
I later realized that if my daughter had the chance to be vaccinated before me, I would hope she was vaccinated to help ensure her safety and added protection. I'm grateful to be vaccinated now so I can associate with the more vulnerable people in my life and we can all be more protected. I'm also grateful that the more people who get vaccinated the sooner our residents in nursing homes or who are home-bound can have their freedom back.”
Thank you for all you do,