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Review our current Visiting Guidelines or learn more about COVID19.

Daily Updates

Dear Community Partners,

COVID-19 infections continue on the rise, with 30 inpatients today who are positive for the virus. With community spread fueled by the delta variant, we are witnessing increases in the need for respiratory care, COVID-19 testing, and enhanced primary care services for those with COVID-19. Stormont Vail’s Incident Command took these actions this morning to address this situation:

Facemasks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • We will again require all individuals – patients, visitors, team members, volunteers and vendors entering Stormont Vail facilities to wear medical grade facemasks. Medical grade masks will be available at entrances for those needing one.
  • Masks are required at all times, including during meetings, even for those who are vaccinated.
  • All team members need to make sure they are following personal protection equipment (PPE) guidelines which have not changed, other than the medical grade facemask requirement noted above. Clinic and hospital areas with face shields or eye covering requirements need to ensure there is compliance. Rounding will occur to make sure PPE is utilized appropriately.

Visitor Policy

  • No visitors under the age of 12 will be allowed in Stormont Vail facilities. The tightening of the visitor policy is to keep everyone safe. We strongly encourage all visitors be vaccinated.

Meeting Guidelines

  • All meetings should be conducted virtually unless approval for an in-person meeting is granted at the department director level. Criteria for in-person meetings is that the work can only be facilitated by being in person. If a meeting is in-person, all those attending must wear facemasks and social distance. No food is allowed at meetings.

Business Travel

  • We are examining our business travel policy and are holding any future business travel requests. All current plans for business travel will be reevaluated on a case by case basis.

Educational Offerings

  • Individuals attending educational offerings provided by Stormont Vail must attest that they are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, with the exception of childbirth class offerings. All education needs to be provided in areas that allow for social distancing with everyone wearing facemasks.

Here are today’s updates:

  • COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Updates

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 metrics:

  • Today we have 30 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive.
  • We have 50 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 11.6%.
  • We have administered 86,828 vaccinations, which included first and second doses of the vaccine.
  • All Kansans age 12 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are available through the Stormont Vail Retail Pharmacy, 2252 S.W. 10th Ave.
  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
  • Walk-ins are welcome from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

The year 2020 was a challenging one with the COVID-19 pandemic impacting nearly every facet of our lives. We pined for 2021 to get everything back to “normal.”

Now the delta variant of the virus is spreading through our region and we are faced with the reality that the pandemic isn’t gone. Some people are still reeling from issues rooted from the past year with job changes or loss, family challenges, schedule changes with schools closing or going online, illnesses or fear of COVID-19 infections, and community tensions from conflicting opinions about vaccines, facemasks and more.

“We need to be responsive to people. They have already been in this for a year and a half,” says Brad Chapin, Clinical Director of Stormont Vail Behavioral Health Services. “We need to talk about what they’ve seen and experienced and acknowledge that.”

What’s different about the COVID-19 pandemic compared to other challenges or catastrophic events is three-fold, according to Brad.

  • The breadth of the pandemic. It has had wide impact affecting many areas of our lives, not just one part. It also has impacted people around the world, not just one region.
  • The intensity of the pandemic. It’s been a threat or challenge to us physically as well as socially and emotionally.
  • The length of the pandemic. It’s been of long duration, with no defined end in sight.

“Not a lot of people have had experience in how to manage a challenge,” Brad says, especially one of this magnitude. He notes there is no playbook for a pandemic. Even if there was, not everyone is starting at the same place.

Brad says people recognize and reflect on the pandemic experience in different ways – through stories, memorials and other expressions. “It’s really important to acknowledge this is a big deal,” he says.

It’s also important to gain an understanding of how we respond to challenges – in healthy or unhealthy ways – and to learn tools to help us cope. Tools include physical, emotional and cognitive regulation skills that can help us develop self-awareness of our fight or flight response and help us examine how core beliefs affect our responses. These are taught in a program called Skills for Recovery and Resilience developed by Brad and Brian Avila, Wellpower supervisor. Team members interested in the program should contact wellpower@stormontvail.org.

“We have a great deal of knowledge and ability to create balance and a recipe for dealing with all of these challenges we’ve experienced,” Brad says. “We can learn and practice healthy ways to reduce reactivity in the face of challenges.”

Brad said Behavioral Health Services has worked diligently to meet increased demands for mental health services since the pandemic arrived. This has included the addition of telehealth outpatient services and a professional assistance line for health care workers needing urgent support.

Here are today’s updates:

  • “To Your Health” on WIBW-TV Tonight
  • COVID-19 Updates

“To Your Health” on WIBW-TV Tonight

Dr. Randall Schumacher, pediatrician, will discuss kids and their return to school on tonight’s “To Your Health” segment at 10 p.m. on WIBW-TV, Channel 13. The segment will typically repeat at 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. Fridays on 13 News This Morning and be posted on wibw.com.

COVID-19 Updates

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 metrics:

  • We have 26 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 41 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 12.4%.
  • We have administered 86,747 vaccinations, which included first and second doses of the vaccine. These were first provided through our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center that closed July 9.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are now available through the Stormont Vail Retail Pharmacy, 2252 S.W. 10th Ave.
  • All Kansans age 12 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
  • Walk-ins are welcome from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Appointments take approximately 30 minutes, including a 15-minute required observation.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

As we see increases in COVID-19 infections fueled by the delta variant spreading across Kansas and now in our backyard, we are making preparations to ensure our organization is ready and our team members are supported.

As of today, we have 22 inpatients with COVID-19. The acuity and complexity of patients we are seeing has been very high. The positivity rate of testing across our system is increasing, as well as other indicators showing the virus is spreading – particularly among people who are not vaccinated. Our experience is consistent with COVID-19 increases at other Kansas hospitals. Of great concern is the situation in southwest Missouri, especially the Springfield area, where high infection rates are overwhelming health care organizations and communities.

Projections for our area for this latest increase don’t indicate that we will experience the same high levels we saw last winter in the short term, but infection rates will likely continue to climb over the next few weeks. To take precautions and prepare, we are making adjustments. These include:

  • Reconvene Incident Command, which is a three-deep emergency management structure that oversees pandemic operations at Stormont Vail. This group will meet Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Operating Committee is the first tier of the Incident Command.
  • Offer work opportunities for LPNs and RNs across the Stormont Vail system to sign up for additional shifts in the hospital in Intensive Care, Medical-Surgical and Surgery areas. Caring for increased numbers of COVID-19 inpatients while caring for our usual medical and surgical patients, is taxing our current acute care clinical team.
  • Continuation of cohorted patient care areas for COVID-19 patients so they are separated from non-COVID-19 patients.
  • Conduct twice a week “mass hiring” events for RNs and PCTs (Patient Care Technicians) to join the Stormont Vail team. These are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday at Stormont Vail Human Resources, 1615 S.W. 8th. Current openings are listed on org.
  • Review policies for visitors, facemasks and personal protection equipment, and other operational guidelines to determine if changes are needed should infection levels continue to rise.
  • Distribute CEO communication daily (Monday through Friday) with COVID-19 scorecard.

We monitor a number of factors through a Surge Capacity and Resource Management Plan, which indicates whether we are in green, yellow, orange or red zones. Based on that plan, we have moved from green to yellow and are approaching orange.

While no one wants this scenario, it’s here. The difference this time is there is a safe and effective vaccine – but more people need to get it. It is available for individuals age 12 and older.

Do your part to keep everyone safe.

Here are today’s updates:

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health
We are witnessing increases in the positivity rate of COVID-19 infections through testing Stormont Vail conducts in our region. That results in increased hospitalizations and patients being cared for through our Enhanced Primary Care program. The program provides additional care and monitoring on an outpatient basis to individuals positive with COVID-19.

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • Today we have 22 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive and 15 patients suspected of having COVID-19.
  • We have 35 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 12.7%.
  • The number of calls to our “Call Before You Go” line increased to 127 calls on Monday from 38 on the previous day. The Call Before You Go line is (785) 354-6000. If a patient is exhibiting COVID-19-like symptoms, please call this number prior to going to our facilities.
  • We have administered 86,667 vaccinations, which included first and second doses of the vaccine.
  • All Kansans age 12 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are available through Stormont Vail Retail Pharmacy, 2252 S.W. 10th
  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
  • Walk-ins are welcome from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Appointments take approximately 30 minutes, including a 15-minute required observation.

Health Care Workers Vaccination Update

COVID VACCINATION UPDATE:
Health Care Workers who have completed series: 3,452*
Tested positive after dose #1: 47
Tested positive after series completion: 12

*Information available through 7/17/21. It does not include those who have received vaccine outside of Stormont Vail Health.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Kansas is facing a new surge in COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths. The highly contagious and transmissible delta variant of the virus is now the dominant strain in our state. At highest risk are people who are not vaccinated for COVID-19.

Look to our neighbors in Missouri and Arkansas, where the delta variant is spreading rampantly in areas with low vaccination rates. Patients ill with the virus are seeking care at hospitals running short-staffed and having to borrow ventilators.

The scenario next door should be incentive for Kansans to get vaccinated – and soon.

In the past week, Stormont Vail has seen a marked increase in COVID-19 inpatients and testing positivity rates. Today, we have 18 COVID-19 positive inpatients and 10 suspected of COVID-19. Both nationally and at Stormont Vail, the vast majority of people with COVID-19 hospitalization and with severe disease have been unvaccinated. We are seeing infections in fully vaccinated people, but they remain a very small subset of the total. The vaccines continue to be very effective in preventing infection and severe illness.

As a health care organization, Stormont Vail Health seeks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of our communities. The vaccination is our best defense. An estimated 65 percent of our team has received the vaccination, primarily through our vaccine clinic.

In the near future we will be conducting a survey of team members who have not reported their vaccination status to get a fuller picture as we assess a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for team members, volunteers, students, vendors and contractors. This requirement would be similar to our influenza vaccination policy that provides exceptions for people with medical and religious reasons.

Some health care organizations are now requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for their staff. At least five hospitals in Missouri have announced mandates, including Mercy Hospital in Joplin and BJC Healthcare (Barnes Jewish) in St. Louis. Health care workers who are fully immunized for COVID-19 protect their patients, particularly the frail and elderly, their families, neighbors and themselves.

To reduce community spread and ultimately curb this pandemic, as many as possible community members, age 12 and up, need to be vaccinated. Anything less, due to hesitancy to get vaccinated, will result in unnecessary illness and death that could have been prevented by the vaccine.

This is the time to protect yourself and others by getting the vaccine.

  • Coaches protect your team and your season by strongly encouraging your players to be become fully vaccinated.
  • The new school year will be here very soon. Parents and teachers and students do your part to protect the promise of a new year.
  • This is a plea to businesses, restaurants and churches: please do all you can to encourage your workforce, patrons and parishioners to protect the activities that define our community.

None of us want to deal with another shutdown. The vaccine is our way forward out of the claws of this pandemic. Now is the time. Take the vaccine, encourage others, we together.

Here are today’s updates:

  • “To Your Health” on WIBW-TV Tonight
  • COVID-19 Updates

“To Your Health” on WIBW-TV Tonight
The mother of one of our Miracle Kids for Children’s Miracle Network at the Stormont Vail Foundation will be featured on tonight’s “To Your Health” segment at 10 p.m. on WIBW-TV, Channel 13. Hannah Maddy with Children’s Miracle Network will also explain that individuals can help with CMN funding by donating to the Walmart campaign. Customers can donate at the register or round-up their total. The campaign continues through July 25. The To Your Health segment typically repeats at 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. Fridays on 13 News This Morning and be posted on wibw.com.

COVID-19 Updates
Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 metrics:

  • We have 18 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 26 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 8.9%.
  • We have administered 86,591 vaccinations, which included first and second doses of the vaccine.
  • All Kansans age 12 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are available through the Stormont Vail Retail Pharmacy, 2252 S.W. 10th
  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
  • Walk-ins are welcome from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Appointments take approximately 30 minutes, including a 15-minute required observation.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

The delta variant of the COVID-19 virus has become the dominant strain spreading across Kansas. It is now causing increases in infection rates and hospitalizations almost exclusively among those who have not received the COVID-19 vaccination. The delta variant is highly contagious with a much higher rate of transmissibility and is impacting younger age groups.

Stormont Vail Health had four hospitalized patients with COVID-19 a week ago. By Monday, that had increased to 16, with seven more inpatients suspected to have the infection, awaiting testing results. Today, we again have 16 COVID-19 positive inpatients and nine patients suspected to have COVID-19.

The COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others from infection. The vaccine is currently available to anyone over the age of 12. Vaccines for younger individuals are anticipated to be reviewed for approval later this year.

All community members who are unvaccinated - regardless of whether you have had a previous COVID-19 infection - are encouraged to get vaccinated. If you have questions about your specific situation, contact your primary care provider. Stormont Vail is now offering COVID-19 vaccines at its retail pharmacy at 2252 S.W. 10th Ave. (Information to get a vaccination is listed below.)

Dr. James Lawler, a professor of medicine in the Infectious Disease Division at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and deputy medical director of the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit, recently spoke to Kansas hospitals about COVID-19 variants.

  • The delta variant is gaining traction, especially in unvaccinated communities which are usually in rural areas. Those communities “will be incredibly vulnerable,” Dr. Lawler said.
  • Vaccines are “safe and effective” and “every death that occurs now is preventable and tragic,” Dr. Lawler says. He believes infections of the delta variant, as well as deaths, will occur this fall in younger adults, likely under the age of 40, after schools open with no social distancing or masking, thus increasing transmission. Older age groups will be better protected because of higher vaccination rates.
  • Prior infection does not provide protection from variants – only vaccination gives protection, Dr. Lawler said. “We are dealing with a totally different virus and it doesn’t matter if you’ve been infected in the past,” he said.

The time to be hesitant regarding acquiring a vaccine is long past. We face the potential of another crisis, driven by infections in those not vaccinated. The vaccines are safe, widely available and effective. There have been 3.4 billion doses of the vaccine given worldwide, and 160 million people in the United States are fully vaccinated. Please consider getting the vaccine at your earliest opportunity.

Here are today’s updates:

  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (English | Spanish)
  • Stormont Vail Events Center Re-opens

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 16 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 22 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 6.9%.
  • We have administered 85,790 vaccinations, which included first and second doses of the vaccine. These were first provided through our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center that closed July 9.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are now available through the Stormont Vail Retail Pharmacy, 2252 S.W. 10th Ave.
  • All Kansans age 12 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
  • Walk-ins are welcome from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Appointments take approximately 30 minutes, including a 15-minute required observation.

Health Care Workers Vaccination Update

COVID VACCINATION UPDATE:
Health Care Workers who have completed series: 3,452*
Tested positive after dose #1: 47
Tested positive after series completion: 11

*Information available through 7/10/21. It does not include those who have received vaccine outside of Stormont Vail Health.

Stormont Vail Events Center Re-opens
The Stormont Vail Events Center completed a major renovation project and hosted a ribbon cutting for the grand reopening of the facility last Friday. A walk-through tour of the facility highlights some of the renovations. The facility name was changed as part of a 10-year agreement between Stormont Vail Health and Shawnee County, which owns the facility, and Spectra, which manages the facility. The name of the facility changed from the Kansas Expocentre to Stormont Vail Events Center in 2019.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

As we close our mass COVID-19 vaccine center at the Stormont Vail Events Center Friday, we continue to offer this important immunization to our patients and the community at the Stormont Vail Retail Pharmacy, 2252 S.W. 10th Ave., just east of 10th and MacVicar.

Through our events center location, our community has received more than 85,665 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, including both first and second doses. The vaccine offers the greatest opportunity for ending the COVID-19 pandemic - and providing individuals with a higher level of protection from COVID-19 illness, particularly severe illness and hospitalization.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines reportedly also provide protection to variants of the virus, including the Delta variant which is causing a rise in positive COVID-19 cases in communities with low vaccination rates and low rates of prior infection.

Joseph Rogers, Pharmacy Manager, Stormont Vail Retail Pharmacy, said COVID-19 vaccines for patients and any community member still unvaccinated are available through the pharmacy. Individuals age 12 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

“We have been reaching out by phone to the families of our 12- to 18-year-old patients just to let them know we have vaccine available,” says Joseph. “We are working through our patient list and will be contacting our older patients as well, but the younger population is our current focus.”

  • To schedule a vaccine appointment, call (785) 270-0675 or (785) 235-8796.
  • Walk-ins are welcome from 8:30m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Appointments take 20 to 30 minutes.

“The COVID vaccine is very similar to the other vaccines we administer at the pharmacy, so preparing for this has been very natural,” Joseph says. “Several of our pharmacy technicians recently became certified to be able to administer vaccines, which will help with the increased volume we expect to see.”

In addition to providing COVID-19 vaccines through the Stormont Vail Retail Pharmacy, they are offered to hospital inpatients, and patients seen in the Emergency Department.

Here are today’s updates:

  • “To Your Health” on WIBW-TV Tonight
  • Cruise Night to Benefit Children’s Miracle Network
  • COVID-19 Updates

“To Your Health” on WIBW-TV Tonight
Dr. Sri Donepudi, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Quality Officer, will be featured on tonight’s “To Your Health” segment on WIBW-TV, Channel 13, to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine and changes at the Stormont Vail Vaccine Center. The segment will typically repeat at 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. Fridays on 13 News This Morning and be posted on wibw.com.

Cruise Night to Benefit Children’s Miracle Network
Sam’s Club on Wanamaker will host their Cruise Night to benefit Children’s Miracle Network at Stormont Vail Health at 6 p.m. Sunday, July 18. Volunteers are needed from 5:30-8:30 p.m.  If you are willing to volunteer for this wonderful event this year, please e-mail amy.burns@stormontvail.org.

COVID-19 Updates
Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 metrics:

  • We have 8 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 22 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 6.0%.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Brian Avila, supervisor of Wellpower, Stormont Vail Health’s employee wellness program, believes we each have the power to live healthier lives – and that power comes from “progression,” not “perfection.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a varied impact on people. The pandemic has been stressful for many, including health care workers balancing work and personal responsibilities. It is possible to move past the pandemic and into a healthier lifestyle.

Brian offers these tips on how you can work toward a healthier life:

First and foremost, don’t be so hard on yourself.

  • “Many of the conversations I have with people has to do with the guilt they feel when they eat or drink something ‘unhealthy,’ or when the scale does not read what they want it to read. If we do not allow ourselves the opportunity to consume the foods we enjoy, a healthy lifestyle will not be sustainable,” he says. Long-term guilt may be worse for your health than the slice of pizza. “The scale only tells a small portion of the story. A healthy behavior is a healthy behavior no matter what the scale says,” he says.

Know your why.

  • If you know your “why,” you can deal with any “how.” To achieve long-term sustained motivation, we must search for our internal motivators. “If we can remind ourselves of our whys, or what we truly value in life, then we can get through the tough times on our health journey,” he says.

Be consistent.

  • “I have seen many individuals have a good month and then fall off because they are not seeing the improvements they expect from the work they are putting into being healthy,” Brian says. Health is a lifetime commitment. Not every day is going to be a great day.
  • “Say ‘no’ to that unhealthy food a little more often, or remind yourself of how grateful you are when you go on a walk or after a good workout. It is the little things that add up over a lifetime,” Brian says.

Strive for progression, not perfection.

  • “If perfection is our goal, then we have already lost. What we should work towards is consistent progression, even if it is just a little bit each week,” Brian says. Set one to three weekly S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Action focused (I will vs. I will not), Realistic and Time-bound) goals and see where you are after a month. It is important to focus on the process rather than the outcome since it takes consistently working a solid process over a period of time to get to any meaningful outcome.

Make time for rest and recovery.

  • If you had all the time in the world, what would you do? “It is important for us to take time to do things we enjoy. Whether it is fishing, going on a walk or hike, or spending time with our family, find time to enjoy life.” Brian says. Some specific skills and techniques, such as diaphragmatic breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness, can be practiced to help reduce the physiological effects of stress. The most important part of rest and recovery is 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep.

When people focus on health, they have more energy and are generally happier. “Eating healthy, moving more and sitting less, and prioritizing rest and recovery can help us to be more resilient and better equipped to deal with adversity,” Brian notes.

Stormont Vail Health team members interested in learning more about healthy habits or becoming more resilient, should consider a Wellpower class. A new course, Skills for Recovery and Resilience, developed by the teams at Wellpower and Stormont Vail Behavioral Health, is educating team members about skills and tools to more effectively deal with stressful situations. To learn more, contact wellpower@stormontvail.org

Here are today’s updates:

COVID-19 Scorecard (Scorecard attached in English and Spanish)

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 4 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 16 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 6.4%.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

  • We have administered 85,665 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine. Individuals age 12 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The Vaccine Clinic will be open this Friday, July 9, then will close. There is walk-in availability from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Friday, or individuals can schedule an appointment at https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ or call (785) 270-4786.
  • COVID-19 vaccinations are now available at the Stormont Vail Retail Pharmacy, 2252 S.W. 10th Ave., just east of 10th and MacVicar.

Health Care Workers Vaccination Update

COVID VACCINATION UPDATE:
Health Care Workers who have completed series: 3,451*
Tested positive after dose #1: 47
Tested positive after series completion: 11

*Information available through 7/3/21. It does not include those who have received vaccine outside of Stormont Vail Health.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

A silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the appreciation of telehealth as a means to provide reliable and timely care to patients. For Stormont Vail Health providers, it has been used to care for patients isolating to stay safe from the COVID-19 virus or in quarantine because of it. Telehealth has also been a new resource to connect with patients living a longer distance from health services.

This week, we are reaching a milestone in telehealth visits: 100,000 visits.

This represents an amazing ramp up of telehealth platforms when the pandemic first reached our region in March 2020 and we began providing audio and video visits. Telehealth reached high levels during months when our area experienced shutdowns in the community and high infection rates. That has now leveled off, but telehealth is still a tool that is very valuable and will remain in our toolbox.

We have 35 different service lines utilizing telehealth with behavioral health, endocrinology and weight management clinics leading the way.

The telehealth project has encompassed a team across many departments and has involved the development of new workflows, billing processes, technology installation, education and more. It has included team members from Information Technology, Ambulatory Physician Liaison Team, Revenue Cycle, clinic team members and providers, and care management.

As we move forward with telehealth, our efforts are concentrated on Epic’s MyChart video visits, which can be used in every clinic.

“Having telehealth available helps us reach our patients in a timely and convenient way,” says Dr. George Wright, Vice President of Primary Care Services. “It’s an appropriate way to connect for some types of visits, and was especially useful over the past year when we were faced with the unknowns of the pandemic.”

Telehealth has also enabled our team to remain connected to primary care patients suffering from COVID-19 through the Enhanced Primary Care Program. Many of those patients felt isolated and alone during their quarantine, and telehealth helped bring their trusted care team to them in a new way.

Here are today’s updates:

  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (English | Spanish)
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • SVH Sponsoring Sunflower State Games

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 9 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 13 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 4.0%.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

  • We have administered 85,471 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine.
  • All Kansans age 12 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The Vaccine Clinic will be open the next two Fridays, July 2 and 9, then will close. There is walk-in availability from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Fridays, or individuals can schedule an appointment at https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ or call (785) 270-4786.
  • COVID-19 vaccinations are now available at the Stormont Vail Retail Pharmacy, 2252 S.W. 10th Ave., just east of 10th and MacVicar.

Health Care Workers Vaccination Update

COVID VACCINATION UPDATE:
Health Care Workers who have completed series: 3,449*
Tested positive after dose #1: 47
Tested positive after series completion: 11

*Information available through 6/26/21. It does not include those who have received vaccine outside of Stormont Vail Health.

SVH Sponsoring Sunflower State Games

Stormont Vail Health is sponsoring the 2021 Sunflower State Games July 9-18. The Sunflower State Games is the largest amateur multi-sport festival in Kansas and is recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee. Volunteers are also needed, particularly for the track and field competition.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

We are closing the Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center in July. For the next three Fridays – June 25, July 2 and July 9, these services will be available:

  • Individuals needing their first dose of the two-part COVID-19 vaccine will be scheduled at that location. They will receive their second dose at the Stormont Vail Retail Pharmacy, 2252 S.W. 10th Ave., just east of 10th and MacVicar.
  • Individuals who have already received their first dose at the events center clinic and have a scheduled boost (second) dose on June 25, July 2 or July 9 should continue to go to the events center for that follow up care.

After the Stormont Vail Events Center Vaccine Clinic closes on July 9, vaccination will continue to be available to the community through the Stormont Vail Retail Pharmacy. This will be for patients and any community member still unvaccinated and seeking protection from the COVID-19 virus.

The Vaccine Clinic at the events center was opened Dec. 16, 2020 and has provided more than 85,000 first and second doses to many community members. An interdisciplinary team came together to quickly stand up the clinic to provide the mass vaccination location for the region soon after the first vaccine was available for use.

In addition to providing COVID-19 vaccines through the Stormont Vail Retail Pharmacy, our organization also offers them to hospital inpatients, and patients seen in the Emergency Department. Plans are underway for distribution at additional locations in the system.

The Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center is open Fridays through July 9. There is walk-in availability from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Fridays, or individuals can schedule an appointment.

  • All Kansans age 12 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, there are three options:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info.”

Please encourage those who are still unvaccinated to get the COVID-19 vaccine. This is for their protection and those around them.

Here are today’s updates:

  • “To Your Health” on WIBW-TV Tonight
  • COVID-19 Updates

“To Your Health” on WIBW-TV Tonight

The story of how Dr. Jennifer Waterman, a board certified orthopedic surgeon at Stormont Vail Health, provided care to a Kansas Air National Guard member who suffered bilateral talus fractures will be featured on tonight’s “To Your Health” segment on WIBW-TV, Channel 13. Dr. Waterman is a subspecialist in foot and ankle surgery. The segment typically repeats at 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. Fridays on 13 News This Morning and be posted on wibw.com.

COVID-19 Updates

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 metrics:

  • We have 9 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 11 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 2.2%.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Every day we have “small moments” occurring in our clinics and hospital. These encounters between patients, families, visitors and our team members may be a fleeting moment, a warm squeeze of support or access to medical care that is impactful.

The “small” in these moments may also be very big for the person on the receiving end. They can leave a lasting impression at a time when someone’s life is at a crossroads because of a new medical diagnosis, a new life beginning or the journey of final days.

Caregivers – and all those who support the caring process – are entrusted with one of life’s most sacred gifts – health.

Our pulmonary team has started providing a minimally-invasive treatment that gives hope for an improved quality of life to patients with emphysema, a severe form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

For appropriate patients, a spiration valve is placed inside the airway of the diseased lung to redirect air from diseased areas to healthier regions. The procedure, called a bronchoscopic lung volume reduction, improves lung function and shortness of breath. Stormont Vail Health is one of only two locations in Kansas where this treatment is offered.

Brittany Rumold, Respiratory Therapist, shared how a patient relayed to her that the treatment provided by Dr. Vlad Dimitriu was life-changing. Brittany was taking the patient for a walk in the hospital hallways and monitoring the patient’s oxygen needs prior to discharge.

“She told me she never should have been able to walk as far as we did (prior to the treatment),” Brittany said. “She continued by saying how excited she was to be able to begin to ‘live’ again and that while this procedure may not add to the quantity of her life, it will greatly improve the quality.

“Dr. Dimitriu had encouraged her to walk, increasing her distance and stamina and the first thing she wanted to do was to go home and walk around her yard and water her flowers... something she hadn't been able to do in a couple years.”

Thank you for sharing, Brittany, and thank you to Dr. Dimitriu and the entire pulmonary team for providing high quality and life-changing care to our patients.

Here are today’s updates:

  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (English and Spanish)
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 9 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 10 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 2.2%.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

  • We have administered 85,178 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine.
  • All Kansans age 12 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The Vaccine Clinic is open Fridays.
  • There is walk-in availability from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Fridays, or individuals can schedule an appointment.
  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info.”

Health Care Workers Vaccination Update

COVID VACCINATION UPDATE:
Health Care Workers who have completed series: 3,449*
Tested positive after dose #1: 46
Tested positive after series completion: 10

*Information available through 6/19/21. It does not include those who have received vaccine outside of Stormont Vail Health.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

As the supervisor of Wellpower, Stormont Vail Health’s employee wellness program, Brian Avila has had a front row seat seeing how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted individuals, especially health care workers.

“The impact has varied from person to person,” he said. “For many there has been a tremendous amount of loss, from jobs to the people close to them. There are many who have fared fairly well. That is part of what makes this difficult for everyone. Even if you fared well, there is a guilt that lives inside of us because we know there are so many who have been devastated by the pandemic.”

Some health care workers had a heightened emotional experience because they were at the bedside caring for patients while also balancing the pandemic’s impact on their personal lives.

“One of the most common descriptions from health care workers when it comes to working through the pandemic is exhausting. Because these heroes on the frontline are so busy caring for others, they often do not have the time or energy to care for themselves,” Brian says.

Despite that stress, Brian says inspiring bonds developed among team workers.

“I have worked with a group that has expressed the love and respect they have for each other. In the short time I have worked with them I have seen tears, hugs, anger, sadness, gratefulness, and a whole lot of love for their team members and the people they care for. I believe that this is why the pandemic has been so exhausting for health care workers,” Brian says.

“For so long we have been feeling so many things at such a great intensity, and health care workers usually feel things at a greater intensity anyway. Caring is not easy!”

To better handle that stress, Wellpower has collaborated with Stormont Vail Behavioral Health to create a new course: Skills for Recovery and Resilience. Developed by Brian and Brad Chapin, Director of Behavioral Health, the five-class program educates individuals on fight or flight (threat response), how to recognize physical signs of threat, maintain a calm environment to be able to think more clearly and rationally when experiencing stress, and choose to think healthier and more effectively.

Brian says the course benefits both team members and the Stormont Vail culture. The curriculum has been shared with several groups already, and the five-class format (an hour and a half per class) will launch Monday, June 21. The course can accommodate as many as 15 to 20 attendees, and attendees are highly encouraged to take what they learn back to their home teams so others can benefit as well. “We want them to learn it, talk it and apply it,” Brian says. Team members interested in taking the course should contact wellpower@stormontvail.org  Future courses will be scheduled based on demand and as resources allow.

Wellpower also offers the Go Healthy! Weight Management course to team members who are on the medical plan. Additionally, it offers two challenges a year that all team members can participate in. The most recent was the “Lighten Up” physical activity challenge. Each challenge lasts four weeks and those who meet their goal each week are entered into a drawing to earn one of five $100 gift cards. Stay tuned for new 30-day physical challenges for team members coming later this year from a collaboration of Physical Therapy and the Wellpower teams.

Here are today’s updates:

  • “To Your Health” on WIBW-TV Tonight
  • Stormont Vail Health Recognized
  • Manhattan Medical Campus Groundbreaking
  • COVID-19 Updates

“To Your Health” on WIBW-TV Tonight
Stormont Vail Health will be providing emergency physicians at Country Stampede June 24-26 in Topeka. Dr. Curtis McGeeney, Emergency Department, will discuss what those services entail and how people can enjoy the festival safely on tonight’s “To Your Health” segment on WIBW-TV, Channel 13. The segment will typically repeat at 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. Fridays on 13 News This Morning and be posted on wibw.com.

Stormont Vail Health Recognized
Stormont Vail Health was among health organizations recognized at a community memorial this past weekend held for those who lost loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic. Names of individuals who died from COVID-19 were shown on the big screen at Every Plaza in downtown Topeka. Shelly Vollintine, Charge Nurse in Surgical Intensive Care Unit, represented Stormont Vail front line caregivers at the event.

Manhattan Medical Campus Groundbreaking
Stormont Vail Health joined with Manhattan community, education and business leaders Wednesday for a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Manhattan medical facility. Highlights from the event are captured in this video.

COVID-19 Updates

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 metrics:

  • We have 7 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 8 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 2.3%.
  • We have administered 84,859 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine.
  • All Kansans age 12 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The Vaccine Clinic is open Fridays. There is walk-in availability from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Fridays, or individuals can schedule an appointment.
  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info.”

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Reasons are varied for those reluctant to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Currently 24 percent of U.S. adults have no plans to get vaccinated. Sixty percent of U.S. adults are fully vaccinated, and the remaining are either partially vaccinated or planning to get the vaccine, according to a recent Gallup survey.

Of those who are not vaccinated, 78 percent said they are unlikely to reconsider their plans.

Science is telling us that the way to end the COVID-19 pandemic is through vaccination. There are differing opinions about how much of the population needs to be immunized – partly because some individuals gained natural immunity from actual COVID-19 infections. Complicating the picture is how long immunity lasts – through vaccination, infection or both. Add in the development of variants of the virus and the complexities increase.

What we do know is that we can control ourselves and our actions. We have strongly encouraged our Stormont Vail Health team members to get immunized for protection of themselves and others. While the immunization remains optional for team members, those who are vaccinated have benefits: meetings without masks if others in the room are also immunized, and in-person attendance for special events. These practices mirror what’s happening in other business and community venues.

Kelsey Tully, Creative Design Specialist in Stormont Vail’s Marketing and Communications, was reluctant to get the vaccine because of concerns it might impact fertility and her future plans to have children. Kelsey sought guidance from family and friends, but then talked to her medical provider about research that had been done with the vaccination and fertility issues in women her age.

“Another huge factor was just coming to terms that by getting the vaccine, I would be able to be one step closer to getting back to how things used to be pre-COVID,” she says.

Kelsey experienced side effects from her immunization, but now is relieved she can go places  and be around “family and friends and not have to worry that I would potentially spread (the virus) to a loved one or someone else’s loved one. Things are starting to feel more normal and I am very grateful for that.”

Kelsey has these suggestions for talking to others who may be reluctant to get the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Be mindful of the reason behind the decision. We can be quick to judge those who do not see things the way we do. We do not always know the back story.
  • Use grace, empathy and patience. That can go a long way in these types of situations.
  • When talking to someone, Kelsey says, “I would encourage them to seek the advice of their medical provider and weigh the possible outcomes. We should really think about our loved ones and getting back to a pre-COVID life.”

Here are today’s updates:

  • Presenting: Stormont Vail
  • Reminder: Manhattan Medical Campus Groundbreaking
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (English | Spanish)
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Presenting: Stormont Vail

Stormont Vail team members are scheduled to tell our story through upcoming presentations. These include:

  • Salena Gillam, Administrative Nursing Director, and Anita Fry, Senior Project Manager and Special Assistant to the CEO, will present on the Role of Patient and Family Advisors to Improve Safety Outcomes at a Vizient web conference June 23.
  • Two Stormont Vail presentations have been accepted for UGM 2021 at Epic’s Verona, Wis., campus Aug. 23-25. They are:
    • Dana Blindt, Director, Care Transformation, Ashley Florez, Manager, Care Transformation, and Liane Wise, Clinical Informatics Manager, will present on the “Enhanced Primary Care” program during the Population Health Forum.
    • A peer-to-peer session on “Noncompliant Patients: Does anyone CARE?” will be presented by Dr. George Wright, Vice President, Primary Care Services, Toni Wendling, Administrative Director, Primary Care, and Ron Campbell, Director, MSD Business Office.

Reminder: Manhattan Medical Campus Groundbreaking
Groundbreaking for the Manhattan Medical Campus will be 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, June 16, at the K-State Research Park on the north edge of the KSU campus. Team and community members are invited. The event will also be live streamed on the Stormont Vail Facebook page. Stormont Vail is proud of the affiliations and partnerships in Manhattan, including our June 1 acquisition of Manhattan Gastroenterology. We look forward to this new medical campus and the enhanced access and care our team can provide to the Manhattan area. Completion of the 79,010-square-foot facility will be in 2023.

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health
Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 9 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 9 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 3.3%.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

  • We have administered 84,859 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine.
  • All Kansans age 12 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The Vaccine Clinic is open Fridays.
  • There is walk-in availability from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Fridays, or individuals can schedule an appointment.
  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info.”

Health Care Workers Vaccination Update

COVID VACCINATION UPDATE:
Health Care Workers who have completed series: 3,449*
Tested positive after dose #1: 46
Tested positive after series completion: 9

 

*Information available through 6/12/21. It does not include those who have received vaccine outside of Stormont Vail Health.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Stormont Vail Health has always had a goal of providing care close to home. Through Stormont Vail’s development of a new Manhattan Medical Campus we are enhancing access to primary care and medical specialties for patients and families in Manhattan - as well as partnering in the education of future healthcare professionals.

Manhattan is a vibrant, growing metropolitan area with a strong academic base as the home of Kansas State University. We are thrilled to soon have a greater footprint in the region.

Groundbreaking for the Manhattan Medical Campus will be 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, June 16, at the K-State Research Park on the north edge of the KSU campus. Team and community members are invited. The event will also be live streamed on the Stormont Vail Facebook page.

Our 79,010-square-foot, three-story facility will be home to a number of services including cardiac diagnostics, infusion center, primary care and medical specialty providers, behavioral health, lab services and imaging. Specialty services include neurology, cardiology, endocrinology, digestive health and neurosurgery. Construction of the facility begins in July, with opening in the summer 2023.

Stormont Vail Health is proud of our affiliations and partnerships in Manhattan:

  • Medical Associates of Manhattan joining the Stormont Vail family (2012).
  • Partnership with Manhattan Surgical Hospital (2019). This provides for expanded surgical services in Manhattan – including new surgical procedures such as spine surgery.
  • Academic partnership with Kansas State University and the College of Health and Human Services to develop a Physician Assistant program (2020). The partnership includes the development of the state-of-the-art Stormont Vail Health Simulation Lab, located in the Mary and Carl Ice Hall, in close proximity to the new medical facility.
  • GI Associates of Manhattan providers and team joining with Cotton O’Neil Digestive Health Manhattan in March. (2021).

We serve 18,500 unique patients annually in Manhattan and in listening to our providers determined the additional services needed in the new facility. We currently have 26 providers in Manhattan. In the new facility, we will employ 115 full-time team members with approximately $18 million in annual payroll.  With these professional caregivers serving our community we are confident health care access and quality will be enhanced in the region.

Our focus and initiatives in Manhattan are pivotal to our organization’s strategy to improve healthcare access through regional growth. The icing on the cake is becoming part of a new educational endeavor to support the development of future health care providers. We should all feel good that we are a part of ensuring care closer to home.

Here are today’s updates:

  • “To Your Health” on WIBW-TV Tonight
  • COVID-19 Updates

“To Your Health” on WIBW-TV Tonight

A survivor’s story and Cancer Survivor Month will be the topic of tonight’s “To Your Health” segment on WIBW-TV, Channel 13. Dr. Youmna Othman, Pediatric Oncologist, and a patient will be featured. The segment will typically repeat at 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. Fridays on 13 News This Morning and be posted on wibw.com.

COVID-19 Updates

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 metrics:

  • We have 7 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 9 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 3.3%.
  • We have administered 83,869 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine.
  • All Kansans age 12 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The Vaccine Clinic is open Fridays. There is walk-in availability from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Fridays, or individuals can schedule an appointment.
  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info.”

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Value and respect of each individual essential to building a firm foundation from which we care for our patients and communities. Health care is an industry that is rooted in connection, trust and team.

During the month of June, PRIDE Month, we celebrate and recognize the influence and contributions of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) population. At Stormont Vail, “we together” serve our patients and families, and all those who make up our communities. That includes our team members as well.

We have made efforts to be inclusive and to embrace diversity. We know our work isn’t done, but here are details about some of those efforts:

  • Policies on nondiscrimination for patients and visitors and equal employment opportunity for employees and potential employees updated.
  • Small Moments culture. Tenet: Together we honor our heritage, embrace diversity and work every day to improve the health of our community.
  • Patient services to ensure high quality care to LGBTQ patients.
  • Orientation training for new team members on diversity and inclusion. Access for team members to learning modules in the staff education portal, Talent Connect, about inclusion and impact of bias.
  • Employee benefits that are inclusive. Example: Health benefits are available to spouses regardless of gender.
  • Development of the internal IDEA Committee. “IDEA” is an acronym for Inclusion, Diversity, Equitability and Access. The purpose of the 22-member advisory committee is to collaborate and generate ideas to advance organizational culture and climate. This includes valuing every voice, team members and patients having a sense of belonging and connection with one another and to the organization, helping team members feel empowered to do their best work and making patient experience a top priority.
  • Team members with ideas for the IDEA Committee, can submit them through the AIM page on Sharepoint or connect with an IDEA Committee member.

By appreciating and involving diverse voices and individuals in our organization, we can better serve our communities. Inclusion means not only inviting everyone to the dance, but making sure everyone feels comfortable enough to dance. We want an organizational culture that encourages collaboration, fairness and equity so that all team members participate and reach their full potential. That will have a ripple effect of providing better care and service to our patients and communities.

Here are today’s updates:

  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 8 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 8 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 3.7%.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

  • We have administered 83,869 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine.
  • All Kansans age 12 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The Vaccine Clinic is open Fridays.
  • There is walk-in availability from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Fridays, or individuals can schedule an appointment.
  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info.”

Health Care Workers Vaccination Update

COVID VACCINATION UPDATE:
Health Care Workers who have completed series: 3,434*
Tested positive after dose #1: 46
Tested positive after series completion: 9

 

*Information available through 6/5/21. It does not include those who have received vaccine outside of Stormont Vail Health.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Providing real world experience to future health care professionals at Stormont Vail Health is proving to be rewarding for both the students and our health care organization.

Consider this observation from Allison Montague, a junior at Topeka High School who is participating in the Student Health Care Internship and is enrolled in the Sports Medicine Pathway offered at Topeka Public School’s Topeka Center for Advanced Learning & Careers (TCALC):

“The internship at Stormont Vail has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my high school career. So far, I have been in two rotations, one as a Patient Safety Monitor and the other in the Sterile Processing Department….I’m looking forward to my summer rotation at the Physical Therapy Clinic as that is what I plan to study following high school.”

Allison is one of 10 TCALC health care track interns serving at Stormont Vail in Surgery, Patient Safety and Sterile Processing. There are also three students in TCALC’s Law and Public Safety Pathway interning in Security, says Amie Oesterreich, Director of Talent Acquisition.

Allison says the Stormont Vail internship has “taught me how to be successful. I've become confident in the workplace and I look forward to carrying my developed skills over into my next job. Finding a job as a high schooler can be difficult, but this paid internship has been an incredible opportunity and a stepping stone on my career pathway.”

Dr. Tim Murrell, Principal of TCALC, says the work-based learning rotations provide a “great opportunity for our students to learn about health care and what happens on a daily basis in the hospital setting.” Students learn which careers may – or may not – be something they want to pursue.

The internship experience augments the education they receive through the various pathways offered through TCALC.  Dr. Murrell says that Stormont Vail has been TCALC’s largest partner so far for internships, which started in January. Other organizations offering internships are Hill’s Pet Nutrition and Topeka Police Department, and more are sought.

In addition to the internship program, Stormont Vail also partnered in a project to develop a health care simulation lab. Funded through Shawnee County CARES Act SPARKS Funds, the partnership included TCALC and Washburn Institute of Technology to assist with growing health care workforce demands due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds expanded Washburn Institute of Technology's Certified Nurse Aid (CNA) program through the simulation lab at TCALC.

Here are today’s updates:

  • “To Your Health” on WIBW-TV Tonight
  • COVID-19 Updates

“To Your Health” on WIBW-TV Tonight
Telehealth at Stormont Vail will be featured on tonight’s “To Your Health” segment on WIBW-TV, Channel 13. Stephanie Sisk, APRN, Program Manager and Bariatric Surgery Coordinator, will share how virtual care has been successfully used in the weight management program over the past year. The segment will typically repeat at 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. Fridays on 13 News This Morning and will be posted on wibw.com.

COVID-19 Updates
Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 metrics:

  • We have 9 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 13 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 4.4%.
  • We have administered 83,201 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine.
  • All Kansans age 12 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The Vaccine Clinic is open Fridays. There is walk-in availability from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Fridays, or individuals can schedule an appointment.
  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info.”

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

It’s always great to showcase the good work of our team through recognitions we receive from other organizations. I’d like to share some of the recent acknowledgements:

  • Stormont Vail Health was recognized by Midwest Transplant Network with a 2021 Excellence in Donation award for organ and tissue excellence. The criteria for this award was an 80% or greater organ conversion rate with a least four eligible donors, and 40% or greater tissue donation conversion rate with at least 15 eligible tissue donors. In addition, we also received two additional “Excellence in Organ Donation” awards for personal contributions to our successes – one to the Stormont Vail Pulmonary Critical Care Physician group and another to Carlee Meier, RN, Surgical Intensive Care Unit.
  • The Stormont Vail Birthplace received the Blue Distinction Center+ designation for maternity care from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. The designation is part of the national Blue Distinction Specialty Care program recognizing hospitals for providing quality and affordable care. Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated hospitals that show expertise in delivering improved patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures developed with input from the medical community.
  • Stormont Vail Health received the 2021 Chest Pain – MI Registry Platinum Performance Achievement Award from the American College of Cardiology. The award shows commitment in delivering high quality cardiovascular care.

Congratulations to the individuals and teams who achieved these recognitions that reflect our dedication to high quality and safe care.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Change in COVID-19 Scorecard Distribution
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (Scorecards in English and Spanish)
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • Health Care Workers Vaccination Update

Change in COVID-19 Scorecard Distribution
Beginning this week, the COVID-19 Scorecard will be distributed weekly – on Tuesdays. It will be included with this Tuesday communication. The Thursday communication from Dr. Kenagy will continue to provide information about the number of positive COVID-19 inpatients and the number of outpatients in the Enhanced Primary Care program.

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 7 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 17 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 4.0%.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

  • We have administered 83,200 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine.
  • All Kansans age 12 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The Vaccine Clinic is open Fridays.
  • There is walk-in availability from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Fridays, or individuals can schedule an appointment.
  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info.”

Health Care Workers Vaccination Update

COVID VACCINATION UPDATE:
Health Care Workers who have completed series: 3,422*
Tested positive after dose #1: 46
Tested positive after series completion: 9

*Information available through 5/28/21. It does not include those who have received vaccine outside of Stormont Vail Health.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Through the past year our community has come together in amazing ways and we want to acknowledge and celebrate that at a Memorial Day event, “Let Resilience Ring.”

Stormont Vail Health, with the support of Go Topeka Partnership, is hosting this a special event for the public as a time of reflection and healing – and to mark a year of resilience in our community.

The event will be noon Monday at Evergy Plaza. Following brief remarks by myself, Curtis Sneden, president of the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, and Topeka Mayor Michelle De La Isla, we will have a moment of silence at 12:20 p.m., when area churches and schools will chime their bells for two minutes.

The community is also invited to participate at this time, to ring their own bell (or use the “chime” feature on your cell phone). Stormont Vail will also provide small bells at the Evergy Plaza in-person event.

For those unable to attend the Evergy Plaza event, you’re invited to join virtually through the Stormont Vail Facebook page.

We’ll use the giant screen at the downtown Topeka plaza to share Stormont Vail’s memorial event video and to thank our team and the community for their many efforts over the past year. Evergy Plaza will also re-run our Facebook Live “Community Conversations: Resilience and Recovery” during all of the Monday Markets held on the plaza through June 14. Community panelists offer mental health and wellness tips and provide a post-pandemic recovery outlook.

Here are today’s updates:

  • “To Your Health” on WIBW-TV Tonight
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (English | Spanish)

“To Your Health” on WIBW-TV Tonight
Mental health in a pandemic and how to do a wellness check of yourself and support others will be the featured topic on tonight’s “To Your Health” segment on WIBW-TV, Channel 13. The segment will typically repeat at 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. Fridays on 13 News This Morning and be posted on wibw.com.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

  • We have administered 82,753 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine.
  • All Kansans age 12 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The Vaccine Clinic is open Fridays.
  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info.”

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (Scorecard attached in English and Spanish)
Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 4 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 15 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 2.8%.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

It has been a year since we were shocked and saddened by the killing of George Floyd.  We along with others around the world, mourned yet another human life lost to the violent expression of racism.

The news of George Floyd’s murder came at a time when we were already raw from the impacts caused by COVID-19, which included disproportionate hospitalizations and death rates within communities of color.

We were shocked, mournful and resolute.

We resolved to do more, be an active part of improving.

We will continue to reach out across our communities to develop partnerships devoted to greater and equitable access for all to appropriate healthcare.  We will continue to focus on social determinants of health – such as food security, education, economic vitality – leading and partnering with those of like mind to see progress in all our communities and neighborhoods.

Last year, in the midst of our mourning, we wrote:

Our journey has just begun.

We together,

We dedicate ourselves to principles of equity,

non-discrimination and anti-racism.

We will stand in solidarity; meaningfully and peacefully.

We will seek to console those traumatized

and especially our black family, friends, team members and communities.

 

Today we write, we will continue…

Here are today’s updates:

  • Facebook Live: Caring for Your Heart
  • Testing Changes for Vaccinated Scheduled Pre-Op Patients
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (Scorecard attached in English and Spanish)

Facebook Live: Caring for Your Heart

A Facebook Live event on “Caring for Your Heart” will be 6 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 26, on the Stormont Vail Facebook page. Cotton O’Neil cardiologists Dr. Bashar Amr, Dr. Rashmi Thapa and Dr. Chen Hoe Chow will be panelists, and Rochelle Thompson, APRN, will moderate. They will discuss heart disease and what actions you can take to prevent it.

Testing Changes for Vaccinated Scheduled Pre-Op Patients
Beginning this week we are no longer requiring COVID-19 testing for fully vaccinated patients pre-operatively. We started this for scheduled patients having procedures at the Main OR, Stormont Vail Single Day Surgery and Stormont Vail Excellent Surgery Center. We are rolling this out in phases starting in these areas and will eventually move to other procedural areas.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

  • We have administered 82,753 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine.
  • All Kansans age 12 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The Vaccine Clinic is open Fridays.
  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info.”

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (English | Spanish)

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 9 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 15 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 2.1%.

Health Care Workers Vaccination Update

COVID VACCINATION UPDATE:
Health Care Workers who have completed series: 3,414*
Tested positive after dose #1: 46
Tested positive after series completion: 9

*Information available through 5/22/21. It does not include those who have received vaccine outside of Stormont Vail Health.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, there were no approved treatments or vaccines. Fast forward a year, there are now three COVID-19 vaccines and four treatments with emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In addition, one antiviral therapy has received full FDA approval. There are more than 1,600 global active COVID-19 clinical trials underway, including 92 unique vaccine candidates.

The pandemic has placed a spotlight on the awareness and understanding of clinical trials, says Mary Martell, Director of Research Services.

As we recognize Clinical Trials Day today, our Cotton O’Neil Clinical Research Center team is finding more patients interested in learning about clinical trials because they have a greater understanding of medical research and the importance of volunteering.

Our Clinical Research Center, like other clinical trial sites, is now experiencing record volumes. They have enrolled more research participants in the first seven months of this fiscal year than the previous full fiscal year. Additionally, there are a record number of new clinical trials scheduled to open in the upcoming months.

“We have 25 new studies that opened recently or are in the process of opening,” notes Mary.

Part of the volume is pent up demand following a time period that the pandemic forced 80% of clinical trials for therapeutic areas to be either modified, delayed or suspended. It’s also driven by the development of numerous trials related to COVID-19.

Our Clinical Research Center has been involved in these COVID-19 clinical trials:

  • The Mayo Clinic COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Expanded Access Program, which treated 60 patients, including the 34th patient in the nation to receive the treatment.
  • The National Institutes of Health Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) study of immunoglobulin, which enrolled 18 patients between January and March 2021.
  • Currently enrolling patients in an NIAID protocol evaluating various investigational therapeutics for hospitalized patients with COVID-19.

Facilitating COVID-19 treatment trials through the efforts of providers, nurses and our Clinical Research Center team has been a game changer for patients and the community. It moved this type of research beyond academic medical centers and into the community hospital level where a strong foundation of research already existed.

The 27 team members of our Clinical Research Center manage 82 clinical trials and 620 clinical research participants. The team was recently approved for three new positions to assist with clinical trials primarily in cardiology. Additionally, there are clinical trials in endocrinology, gastroenterology, hematology and oncology, pediatrics and inpatient medicine. Among the currently enrolling trials are studies for Alzheimer’s disease, cancer treatment and prevention, celiac disease, diabetes (type 1 and type 2), COVID-19, eosinophilic esophagitis,  heart failure, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis), obesity and pediatric vaccines.

Even with the pandemic’s arrival, all clinical trials continued. Mary says clinical trial participants were asked to re-consent to ensure they were informed of risks and efforts to mitigate risks. All participants stayed on, except one. “That’s a testament to their dedication as research volunteers and their experience within the research center and with the team,” she says.

Here are today’s updates:

  • “To Your Health” Returns to WIBW-TV
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (English | Spanish)

“To Your Health” Returns to WIBW-TV
“To Your Health” segments on WIBW-TV featuring Stormont Vail Health experts on a variety of health topics are back! In partnership with WIBW, Stormont Vail Marketing team will coordinate these pre-taped televised segments that will run during the 10 p.m. Channel 13 news each Thursday. The segment will typically repeat at 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. Fridays on 13 News This Morning and be posted on wibw.com. Tonight’s segment will focus on facemask wearing – when masks are now needed – with Dr. Clif Jones, Vice President, Sub-Specialty Services, and infectious disease specialist.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

  • We have administered 82,018 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine.
  • All Kansans age 12 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The Vaccine Clinic is open Fridays.
  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info.”

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 6 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 19 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 3.4%.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Growing up, my parents demonstrated the priority of staying connected and supporting our extended family.  During periods of intense change (i.e. growing up, pandemics) being surrounded by supporting people can make the difference.

The same can be true of our Stormont Vail Health community. By the nature of its work, healthcare attracts people who seek to care and support others. This is done 24/7, every day of the year, and during the past year through a pandemic.

The pandemic brought our team changed responsibilities, guidelines and treatments; uncertainties, stress and fears about an unknown virus.

We are a hardy group, some of us are even tough. But the reality is we all are still recovering from a chaotic and historic year. We need our ongoing support and encouragement.

This is a time to be inclusive, to take care of each other. Here are ways we can ensure our organizational family is on a healthy path:

  • Check in on each other. Sincerely ask how your teammate is doing. If things aren’t OK, assist the person in finding needed resources. Utilize the listing of Stormont Vail and community resources on SVnet. There’s everything from mental health resources to virtual yoga.
  • Take care of yourself – eat healthy, get ample sleep, go outside and exercise or enjoy the sunshine.
  • Do something kind for someone else – at work or home. Volunteer, mow a neighbor’s yard, or offer to help a co-worker with a tedious task.
  • Express gratitude. Develop a method to practice gratitude. Let others know much you appreciate them for who they are.
  • Get a COVID-19 vaccination.  This protects you, your home and work families, and our community.

These same actions can be used within our communities. This is not an exhaustive list. I would like to hear your ideas on how we can help each other through the coming months of pandemic recovery. Please email me at Robert.Kenagy@stormontvail.org.

As we move forward individually and as an organization, we’ll have new projects and goals to challenge us. That will help put the pandemic behind us. But for now, we still have precautions and readiness in case COVID-19 returns in a larger way. That’s a balancing act.

Take time to do a wellness check of yourself and your team members. Consider ways we can help each other and treat our “family” with respect and kindness.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Community Conversations: Resilience and Recovery
  • Retail Pharmacy Re-Opens Lobby Service
  • LINK Partnership to be Featured
  • Suicide Intervention Skills Training Available
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (English | Spanish)

Community Conversations: Resilience and Recovery

Stormont Vail’s special Facebook Live event, “Community Conversations: Resilience and Recovery” providing reflections on the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact and lessons learned will be shared again on Stormont Vail’s Facebook page May 20 and 24. It can also be viewed on YouTube. Community panelists offer mental health and wellness tips and provide a post-pandemic recovery outlook. Panelists include members representing mental health and wellness, education, business/hospitality and public health, with Mary Martell, Director of Clinical Research, as moderator.

Retail Pharmacy Re-Opens Lobby Service

Stormont Vail Retail Pharmacy is pleased to welcome the public back safely in its lobby. The lobby re-opened yesterday. Only one of the pharmacy’s registers is open to allow for social distancing in the checkout line. Facemasks are required. Joseph Rogers, Pharmacy Manager, said if someone’s prescription is not ready, they will be asked to wait in their car while the prescription is prepared, then it will be delivered to them in the parking lot. Curbside service will also continue to be provided for those who prefer. Lobby hours are 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

LINK Partnership to be Featured

Stormont Vail Health participates in a community based LINK partnership to help low-income uninsured patients access services that assist with the social determinants of their health. The LINK partnership will be featured in a Vizient webinar May 25. The presentation by Karla Hedquist, Director of Community Health Engagement, and Megan Skaggs, Executive Director of Health Access highlighted in the Vizient Social Determinants of Health Benchmarking Study. The LINK partnership is funded through Topeka Community Foundation and includes Shawnee County Medical Society HealthAccess, Stormont Vail, Valeo Behavioral Health CareWashburn University School of Nursing and Harvesters.

Suicide Intervention Skills Training Available
ASIS – Applied Suicide Intervention Skills training is available 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 28 and 29 at the Kansas National Guard – Nickell Armory, 2722 S.W. Topeka Blvd. This is an excellent course to empower professionals or lay people to provide skilled, lifesaving interventions. Registration is free for those who live or work in Shawnee County. The training is sponsored by the Shawnee County Prevention Coalition. There are only 30 participants per workshop. Registration deadline is June 15. Register at:  https://www.paraclete.life/events.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

  • We have administered 82,018 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine.
  • All Kansans age 12 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The Vaccine Clinic is open Fridays.
  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info.”

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (Scorecard attached in English and Spanish)

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 8 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 17 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 4.2%.
  • We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 7 7 690
Providers 0 0 58
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3, 2020

 

Health Care Workers Vaccination Update

COVID VACCINATION UPDATE:
Health Care Workers who have completed series: 3,414
Tested positive after dose #1: 46
Tested positive after series completion: 9

*Information available through 5/15/21. It does not include those who have received vaccine outside of Stormont Vail Health.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

With the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer receiving approval from federal regulators for administration to children ages 12- to 15-years-old, parents, school and health officials are eager for Kansas kids to get the two doses needed for protection.

The recommendation Wednesday by an advisory panel of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention followed the Food and Drug Administration’s action Monday to clear the vaccine for emergency use in the younger age group.

A study of 12- to 15-year-olds found the Pfizer vaccine to have 100 percent efficacy and robust antibody responses in this age group.

The Stormont Vail Vaccine Center has available appointments for ages 12 and up beginning Friday at its facility at the Stormont Vail Event Center, 17th and Topeka Blvd. (Ways to make an appointment are listed below.)

If you are uncertain about whether your child should receive a COVID-19 vaccine, please talk to your child’s health care provider.

We consulted Dr. Randall Schumacher, pediatrician at Cotton O’Neil Pediatrics, to learn more about this age group and the vaccine.

Why is it important for more youth to get vaccinated?

Dr. Schumacher:  As more adults have been vaccinated and as COVID-19 has continued to mutate we are finding that there is a bigger percentage of children testing positive for COVID-19. Vaccinating our children will help protect them and also those that they are around who may not be eligible for the vaccine.

Are there safety concerns that children and their parents need to be aware of about the vaccine or side effects they may experience?

Dr. Schumacher:  The side effects that were seen in the studies were pretty similar to the side effects in adults. The most common being pain at the injection site, but they also saw fatigue, headaches, muscle aches and chills. This is a sign that the body is reacting to the vaccine and that the immune system is working to protect them.

If parents are reluctant to have their children get vaccinated – or to get the vaccine themselves – what would you tell them as a pediatrician?

Dr. Schumacher:  I think that it is important for parents and kids to know that although the vaccines were developed quickly, it is not because they skipped on any steps in determining their safety. There were thousands of patients that were followed in the development of the vaccine and we now have millions of adults that have received the vaccine safely. I also remind them that vaccination is key to continue to safely get back to the activities that kids and family love.

How should parents talk to their children about getting the COVID-19 vaccine?

Dr. Schumacher: I think we are in a very unique position where the kids that are old enough to get the vaccine know more about COVID-19 than most any other disease that we vaccinate against. They have lived the pandemic the last 14 months and are acutely aware of everything it has taken away from them. I think that it is important to acknowledge that and acknowledge that the vaccination is key to getting some of that back. I also think it is important for them to know what to expect with respect to side effects, etc.

Thank you, Dr. Schumacher, for that guidance. Please encourage everyone, ages 12 and older, to get the COVID-19 vaccine. This will provide greater protection for our children and families, and ultimately our communities in this ongoing pandemic.

To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:

Here are today’s updates:

  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (Scorecard attached in English and Spanish)

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (Scorecard attached in English and Spanish)
From today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • To date, we have administered 81,218 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses.
  • We have 13 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive.
  • We have 20 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 5.1%.
  • For Team Member Health, the Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers:
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 11 11 685
Providers 0 0 58
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3, 2020

 

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Just like we received report cards to provide us feedback on our school work, there are mechanisms to help us understand the overall health of our community.

  • One is the County Health Rankings prepared by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. It measures how various elements impact the overall health of a community and how we compare to others. Rankings were released earlier this year.
  • Shawnee County incorporates the County Health Rankings into the development of our Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), another barometer of our community’s health. That needs assessment is underway and will be completed in October. It pulls together data gathered from nearly 2,600 surveys completed earlier this year, 15 community roundtables and a virtual town hall held yesterday.

Stormont Vail is partnering with the Shawnee County Health Department and Heartland Healthy Neighborhoods to complete the CHNA.

You may be wondering why this matters.

  • The assessment is conducted for better understanding of the needs of the community. What is important for individuals, families and the community to lead healthier lives?
  • Priorities will emerge from that assessment.
  • Work groups through Heartland Healthy Neighborhoods will address the priorities by creating action plans to drive change.

Organizations like Stormont Vail Health will be partnering with others in the community to address priority issues, such as access to mental health, healthy eating, obesity, substance abuse and equitable access. Actions to address these issues may dive into availability of healthy foods, eliminating food deserts, finding alternatives for stress management, addressing systemic racism, or developing better access to health insurance.

There’s no doubt the COVID-19 pandemic impacted our community and region. From the discussion yesterday some felt the pandemic just layered on top of known areas of weakness or vulnerability.

Dr. Erin Locke, Shawnee County’s health officer, noted that the health impacts of the pandemic were great, particularly to certain population and age groups. This played out in higher death rates from COVID-19 in those over 65, males and Native Americans; and through delayed care, like lower screenings for cancer or sexually transmitted diseases, and postponed surgeries.

Dr. Locke listed other ways the pandemic impacted the community’s health: increases in unemployment, loss or lack of health insurance, housing insecurity, changes in education and child care, increases in mental health needs, and changes in health behaviors, such as lower activity levels and increased sales of cigarette and alcohol.

We are being challenged to think of health more broadly – an area we have been working on through our population health efforts. A visit to the doctor is not all there is to health. Together we have opportunities to improve upon the health of ourselves and our community.

Here are today’s updates:

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (English | Spanish)

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

  • To date, we have administered 81,218 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses.
  • All Kansans age 16 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. We have opened additional vaccine appointments.
  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (Scorecard attached in English and Spanish)

For today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 14 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive.
  • We have 21 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 5.4%.
  • For Team Member Health, the Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers:
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 11 11 685
Providers 0 0 58
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3, 2020

Health Care Workers Vaccination Update

COVID VACCINATION UPDATE:
Health Care Workers who have completed series: 3,405*
Tested positive after dose #1: 46
Tested positive after series completion: 8

*Information available through 5/8/21. It does not include those who have received vaccine outside of Stormont Vail Health.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

We together.

It’s a term I started using as closing in this communication more than a year ago, when our team was facing a novel virus that caused COVID-19. We were working to do everything possible to care for each other, our patients and our communities, in the midst of challenges and economic disruption.

At that time, last March, I wrote:

“We are one team. It is all hands on deck as we prepare and adapt to the fluid and ever-changing environment that coronavirus and COVID-19 has created. We must come together as the staff and individuals who make up our health care system and communities to prepare for this pandemic. Our team must be ready and willing to fill in where needed. We are partners in this endeavor.”

Today I am so proud to say our team did an awesome job in facing a historic and tough time. Certainly, we can look in the rearview mirror and point out things we could have done differently. But we were faced with many moving parts, unknowns and a virus with few boundaries. Fortunately, COVID-19 vaccines are now available, and so important for everyone to get to move us past this pandemic.

It’s time to take a pause and celebrate our team. All Stormont Vail Health team members are invited and encouraged to show their spirit during this year’s “Health Care Spirit Week” May 10-14.

Led by Shelly Shaw, HR Generalist, this is a week of celebrating the Stormont Vail team. Shelly notes planning has been very intentional in making sure that all team members, including those in clinics or working night shifts – are a part of the week. David Villanueva, Director of Employee Relations and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, believes the week of events, posted on SVnet, is the “most solid plan we have ever had. I am super excited.” So watch out.

Each day next week is designated with a different theme. Start planning your outfits now.

  • Monday “Sports Day” - Wear a sports team shirt or jersey.
  • Tuesday “Superhero Day” - Wear the shirt of your favorite hero.
  • “Wild Wednesday” - Wear your favorite animal shirt or animal print.
  • Thursday “Tropical Hawaiian Day” - Wear a tropical/floral shirt.
  • Friday “Stormont Vail Proud” - Wear Stormont Vail Health apparel (Jean Day).
  • Food trucks will visit various clinic locations throughout the week.
  • The finale will be a pep rally at 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 14, on the ground level helipad by the South Tower. Look for cheerleaders, mascots, drumline and popcorn.

Please join in the celebration and show your spirit. You can also view Stormont Vail Health’s Facebook page for photos and posts that promote our team spirit. We together.

Here are today’s updates:

  • “Luxury Linens Sale” May 11 and 12
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (Scorecard attached in English and Spanish)

“Luxury Linens Sale” May 11 and 12
A “Luxury Linen Sale” sponsored by the Stormont Vail Auxiliary will be held May 11 and 12 in Centennial C, Pozez Education Center. Check out the 24 colors of 1,800 thread count, non-wrinkle sheets with deep pockets. Additionally, there will be pillows, blankets and quilts. The event is 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 11, and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 12. Sheet set pricing: Twin and Twin XL-$30; Full-$35; Queen-$40; King and California King-$45 and Split King-$50.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

  • To date, we have administered 80,271 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center.
  • All Kansans age 16 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info” on their account page.
  • Our vaccine allocation and eligibility guidance comes from Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 14 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 17 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 6.0%.
  • Team Member Health information is included in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 7 7 684
Providers 0 0 58
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3, 2020

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

We celebrate all members of our team and what each person uniquely brings to our organization. The largest group in our system is our nurses, who make up more than a third of our team. We especially want to recognize them during National Nurses’ Week, May 6-12.

Nurses help our organization achieve excellence from the bedside to board room, from surgical suites to clinics, from supply chain to information systems.

Their educational background shapes their professional practice as a nurse. As an ANCC Magnet organization, Stormont Vail Health and its nurses developed a Professional Practice Model several years ago that defines a nursing practice within our organization.

At the center of the practice model is patient-focused care, surrounded by teamwork, mindfulness, respect, knowledge and leadership. The model provides focus areas for Stormont Vail nurses in their professional practice: patient experience, Watson’s theory of caring, shared governance, care delivery model, promoting wellness, care transformation, mission, vision, value and healthy work environment.

New areas added to the practice model this year that our nurses’ champion are: community, resiliency, diversity, equity and inclusion. These additions also align with the strategic direction of the organization.

“Stormont Vail nurses have shown incredible resiliency – on top of their hard work – in how they have provided amazing care to our patients and community during the COVID-19 pandemic. We must acknowledge those efforts, along with the efforts of all of our team members, as we begin the recovery process individually and as an organization,” says Carol Perry, MSM, BSN, RN, FACHE, Chief Nursing Officer and Senior Vice President, Acute Care Services.

The year 2020 illuminated racial and ethnic inequities in our country through the disproportionate numbers of COVID-19 death rates for people of color and greater awareness of systemic racism. “Nurses are at the frontline every day with our community. They can have a profound impact on the disparities that exist and in creating a more inclusive environment and community,” says Carol.

During Nurses’ Week, we will begin distributing Excellence in Nursing Awards to 18 recipients across the system – and that will continue through May until all the awards are presented. In keeping with our COVID-19 prevention requirements awards will be presented in the awardee’s department instead of during a large awards banquet. Nurses’ Week will overlap with Health Care Week, May 10 to 14, so plan for a week of recognition and activities for our exceptional staff.

Here are today’s updates:

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (Scorecard attached in English and Spanish)
  • Health Care Workers Vaccination Update
  • Stormont Vail Hiring Event for PCTs and MAs May 7

COVID-19 Vaccine Update
To date, we have administered 79,367 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine. All Kansans age 16 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. We have opened additional vaccine appointments.

  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info” on their account page.
  • Our vaccine allocation and eligibility guidance comes from Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (English | Spanish)
Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 12 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 17 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 6.4%.
  • We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
  Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 7 7 681
Providers 0 0 58
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3, 2020

Health Care Workers Vaccination Update

COVID VACCINATION UPDATE:  
Health Care Workers who have completed series: 3,396*
Tested positive after dose #1: 46
Tested positive after series completion: 8

 

*Information available through 5/1/21. It does not include those who have received vaccine outside of Stormont Vail Health.

Stormont Vail Hiring Event for PCTs and MAs May 7
Stormont Vail Health will be hosting a hiring event for Patient Care Techs (PCTs) and Medical Assistants (MAs) from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 7, in the Stormont Vail Human Resources building at 1615 S.W. 8th. These positions are across the system. Please encourage people you know to join the Stormont Vail team.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Kristin Miller, Director of Quality Improvement and Infection Prevention & Control, found herself at the center of learning about and planning for a highly infectious novel virus in early 2020.

Before COVID-19 was an everyday word, Kristin was part of a small Stormont Vail Health team that began tracking the status of the virus and preparing for its potential arrival to our region. She provided updates at administrative huddles and helped develop our communication with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to determine if patients met the “persons under investigation” criteria for limited testing available through KDHE. Stormont Vail now conducts COVID-19 testing in-house.

Kristin’s team also was initially tasked with handling inquiries about COVID-19 before our “Call Before You Go” triage line was established, conducted contact tracing, and weighed in on infection prevention efforts that were COVID-19 related.

“When I look at it from the perspective of my team and what they had to go through, the long nights and weekends, they were hugely impacted,” she says. “Things were moving so rapidly. Daily we were making changes to protocols.”

Determining the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for a virus that science was still learning about became a major focus for Kristin, along with other members of the PPE Sub-Committee. Along with evolving science, the country was also experiencing a shortage in some of the PPE recommended, which led the Stormont Vail team to opt to use higher levels of protective equipment when possible.

The sub-committee is led by Dr. Clif Jones, Vice President and Medical Director of Subspecialties. Kristin helped develop and continues to update the PPE Schematic that guides the Stormont Vail team on what type of PPE should be utilized for different care settings and procedures.

“It’s been my privilege to work with Kristin over the past few years in her direction and management of Stormont Vail’s Infection Prevention programs, which even through this past year's COVID-19 initiatives, have continued to require lots of effort and expertise,” says Dr. Jones. “The PPE work has been a handful, with shortages and evolving scientific understanding requiring constant tweaks and balances, now going on 13 months. Matching what we are capable of doing with what we must do, and how to get there, has been the purpose of the PPE Sub-Committee, and Kristin has been the guiding hand through this process. The work isn't done by individuals, and we've had outstanding contributors, but it's hard to imagine our journey without her leadership.”

Even now, as COVID-19 infections are decreasing, new knowledge about the disease and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and FDA impact the PPE guidelines. That means the committee’s work continues. Defining criteria of aerosolizing procedures and appropriate PPE has been the latest topic of discussion.

“It has been a fantastic group,” Kristin says of the PPE Sub-Committee. Members include physicians, nurses, and representatives of safety, performance excellence, supply chain and respiratory therapy.

“It has been a great professional experience for me to work with people across the organization,” she says. “Infection Prevention already does that, but this escalated those relationships. I really value that.”

Kristen reflected on the past year: “I have loved seeing how everyone came together. This wasn’t just Kristin, everyone had to come together to make this successful.”

Here are today’s updates:

  • COVID-19 Update – New Name, New Days
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (English | Spanish)

COVID-19 Update – New Name, New Days
Beginning the week of May 3, this COVID-19 Update will become bi-weekly and will be distributed on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It will have a new name, too: We Together – A Communication of Stormont Vail Health. Our goal is to continue providing you timely and candid communication.  Communicating has been especially important over the past year – and this regular update will continue that effort. As we return to more normal operations, we will include information about our team, programs and future plans in this communication. Please watch for your We Together communication on Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting next week.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update
To date, we have administered 78,835 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine. All Kansans age 16 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. We have opened additional vaccine appointments.

  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info” on their account page.
  • Our vaccine allocation and eligibility guidance comes from Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 13 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 18 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 5.0%.
  • Team Member Health information is included in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 9 9 679
Providers 0 0 58
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3, 2020

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

The metrics on our COVID-19 scorecard have been improving – such as the decrease in the percentage of positive COVID-19 test results - but we see an interesting pattern when we look closer at the data.

In recent weeks we have seen more positive COVID-19 test results from people under 45.  Nationally, recent headlines indicate that younger people are now becoming infected and ill with COVID-19. Our region is not immune from that trend. Some believe that the cause may be because these younger groups have not stepped up to get COVID-19 vaccine. We have seen this trend at our vaccine clinic as well even though only 30% of Kansans are fully vaccinated.  All Kansans age 16 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Please encourage all individuals to get a COVID-19 vaccine – to protect themselves and those around them.

We have available vaccine appointments at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center.

  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info” on their account page.

Here are today’s updates:

  • COVID-19 Scorecard (English | Spanish)

COVID-19 Scorecard

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • To date, we have administered 77,632 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 3.6%.
  • We have 10 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 13 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Our Stormont Vail Health team is known to go above and beyond – and that’s the case with our recent accreditation for our bariatric surgical services. While centers seeking accreditation usually achieve the comprehensive bariatric surgery center award, Stormont Vail has been awarded a higher level certification known as a “Comprehensive Center with Obesity Medicine Qualifications.”

This additional designation, separate from the bariatric surgical and procedural accreditation, recognizes that our program also provides non-surgical weight loss management, or medical weight loss treatment, for overweight and obese patients. This utilizes specialists in other medical weight loss strategies such as nutritional interventions, physical activity, behavioral modifications and medications to treat patients.

The certification comes from the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP), in partnership with the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

Stormont Vail is currently the only healthcare organization with this designation in Kansas and surrounding states.

“We are very proud of our comprehensive center and treating obesity with multiple modalities,” says Stephanie Sisk, APRN, WHNP-BC, CSOWM, Program Manager and Bariatric Surgery Coordinator. “We treat obesity as a chronic condition and our patients can tell we are passionate about helping them reach their goals and improve their health.”

Dr. Samantha Muppalla is our Obesity Medicine Director. Dr. Partha Bhurtel, MBBS, FACS, is our Bariatric Surgery Director and has been recognized as a MBSAQIP Verified Surgeon for Stormont Vail Health.

The surveyor noted that Stormont Vail “is a unique center in that it has had a very robust medical weight loss program for many years and has added in a surgical program. They went about setting up the program in a deliberate and thoughtful manner. The leadership at Stormont Vail Health has provided all the resources necessary and has also been very supportive.”

Stormont Vail has now completed 154 bariatric surgeries and has 17 upcoming bariatric surgeries scheduled within the next month. There are more than 3,000 patients in our obesity medicine program. We will be adding pediatrics to this service line this summer.

Our organization is committed to providing and supporting quality improvement and patient safety efforts for metabolic and bariatric surgery patients. We are grateful to our multi-disciplinary team that has been working hard to develop this program and have helped us go above and beyond the stringent standards of this accreditation – but most important, in the excellent care of our patients.

Here are today’s updates:

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (English | Spanish)
  • Celebration of Life Video on the Web
  • Sports Physicals Day is May 1

COVID-19 Vaccine Update
To date, we have administered 77,632 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine. All Kansans age 16 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The Vaccine Clinic is closed today, but there are open vaccine appointments for later in the week.

  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info” on their account page.
  • Our vaccine allocation and eligibility guidance comes from Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (Scorecard attached in English and Spanish)
Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 10 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 13 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 3.3%.
  • We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 8 7 678
Providers 0 0 58
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3, 2020

Celebration of Life Video on the Web
Our Stormont Vail Health 2021 Celebration of Life video is now on our website. This is a virtual commemoration for families of organ, eye and tissue donors at Stormont Vail and to educate our community about the gift of organ and tissue donation. Carol Perry, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, provides awareness and education about how people can consent to being a donor on their driver’s licenses. She also shares the Gift of Life Memorial Wall located on the first floor of the Pavilion, where stories of donors and information is available through an interactive kiosk. The Celebration of Life video also features the mother of Mya, telling her daughter’s story of being an organ donor, and a report from the Midwest Transplant Network about the impact of Stormont Vail donors.

Sports Physicals Day is May 1
Stormont Vail Health and Cotton O’Neil Orthopedics and Sports Medicine are hosting a sports physical day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, May 1, at Cotton O’Neil Kanza Park. The event is open to all middle school and high school student athletes. Each physical will cost $20. The student athletes do not have to be an active patient of Stormont Vail or Cotton O’Neil.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Here are today’s updates:

  • COVID-19 Scorecard
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • Health Care Workers Vaccination Update

COVID-19 Scorecard (English | Spanish)

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 9 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 9 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 3.7%.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update
To date, we have administered 76,938 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine. All Kansans age 16 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Our Vaccine Clinic will be closed this Tuesday, April 27. We have available vaccine appointments later this week.

  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info” on their account page.
  • Our vaccine allocation and eligibility guidance comes from Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Health Care Workers Vaccination Update

COVID VACCINATION UPDATE:
Health Care Workers who have completed series: 3,389*
Tested positive after dose #1: 45
Tested positive after series completion: 7

 

*Information available through 4/24/21. It does not include those who have received vaccine outside of Stormont Vail Health.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

You’ve heard the adage that a happy customer tells a friend, but an unhappy customer tells the world. Or, that it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one negative experience.

Listening to what our patients have to say about their experience – both good and bad – is essential to help us improve as a healthcare organization. At Stormont Vail Health, we utilize a series of surveys to gauge patient experiences in specific care settings and with providers that we can compare to our peers across the country.

Our goal is to use timely feedback as a barometer of how we are doing, and determine service areas we can improve upon.

Our Patient Experience Department has recently provided a new tool on our internal SharePoint site where team members can view results of our 14 Press Ganey surveys that cover our system. This is an effort to provide meaningful and transparent information.

“We can learn from another. If we have a sister unit doing well, we want to seek to understand those efforts,” says Renea Wilson, RN, Director of Patient Experience.

Renea says that the survey results are to be used as a means to help departments and providers “peel back the onion” and figure out constructive and supportive ways to make improvements. She acknowledges that survey reports can provide an overwhelming amount of data, but gaining a better understanding of the numbers and what is significant is important. Likewise, she says that reviewing survey comments can be beneficial for all team members.

As healthcare organizations strive to be as safe and efficient as possible, responsiveness to patients and families is part of the equation. Surveys tell us whether patients are likely to recommend our services to others, and how they feel about “key drivers,” which are areas identified to be important for a specific care setting. For instance, in inpatient settings, key drivers are the friendliness and courtesy of nurses, skills of nurses, a team that works together to provide care, and the communication experience with doctors. In a clinic setting, key drivers are that the provider showed respect for what the patient says, cleanliness of the practice, and a team that works together to provide care.

All team members impact patient experience. The Beryl Institute defines patient experience as “the sum of all interactions, shaped by an organization’s culture, that influence patient perceptions across the continuum of care.” Improving patient experience must come from the bottom up and the top down in an organization, Renea says. She hopes bringing together the data and discussions will result in meaningful patient experience efforts. Patient Experience Week, April 26 to 30, will be a time to celebrate accomplishments and to refocus on the experiences of our patients and families.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Get Your Wag On
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

Get Your Wag On

Celebrate National Pet Therapy Day by taking a pause in your day for some paws who bring comfort to our patients and team at Stormont Vail. We’ll be having a “Picnic with Pups” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, April 30, in the courtyard between the North and South Towers. All team members are invited to stop by and visit with several of our pet therapy teams.

 

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

To date, we have administered 75,819 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine. All Kansans age 16 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. We have opened additional vaccine appointments.

  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info” on their account page.
  • To add your name to the daily waiting list, call the same day call-in waiting line at (785) 270-4786. We are usually able to fit in at least 10 people on the list before the clinic closes at 5 p.m. The daily call-in waiting line opens weekdays at 8 a.m. and resets each morning.
  • Our vaccine allocation and eligibility guidance comes from Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (English | Spanish)

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 12 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 10 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 4.8%.
  • Team Member Health information is included in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 6 5 677
Providers 0 0 58
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3, 2020

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Here are today’s updates:

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

To date, we have administered 74,750 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine. All Kansans age 16 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. We have available appointments today and Friday.

  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info” on their account page.
  • Our vaccine allocation and eligibility guidance comes from Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

COVID-19 Scorecard (Attached in English and Spanish)

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 11 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 11 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 5.6%.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Here are today’s updates:

COVID-19 Vaccine Update
To date, we have administered 73,673 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine. All Kansans age 16 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. We have available vaccine appointments today through Friday.

  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info” on their account page.
  • Our vaccine allocation and eligibility guidance comes from Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

COVID-19 Scorecard (Attached in English and Spanish)

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 8 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 12 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 5.4%.

Get a COVID-19 vaccine. Wear a facemask. Social distance by six feet. Wash your hands. Avoid crowds.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

A new team developed at Stormont Vail Hospital will respond to critical behavioral health events and help prevent team member and patient injury when it goes live April 28. Called BEST – Behavioral Emergency Support Team – the interdisciplinary group will manage incidents of aggression, agitation and imminent situations in inpatient departments across the hospital.

“Behavioral health events sometimes occur during a patient’s hospital stay,” says Angie Mendez, RN, Director of Behavioral Health and 5 North. “We decided we needed to find a way to better support our patients and staff during these often difficult situations. This led to the development of this team that mirrors our other response teams already in place.” Angie and Justin Barnes, RN, Nurse Manager of 5 North, spearheaded the development of the team.

Angie says that by aligning the new team as a STAT team, it will utilize the same process to activate a STAT response for a behavioral health event. Stormont Vail already has a Rapid Response Team to support inpatient departments for rapid response events such as stroke, STEMI (ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction) and sepsis.

BEST includes the 5 North Charge Nurse, Rapid Response Nurse, Psychiatry Team, Unit Charge Nurse, Security and Pharmacy. The team can provide 24/7 assistance with escalating situations, restraint assessment, and staff perception of danger.  They are also a resource when patient behavior is uncontrolled or a risk to self or others, when there is imminent risk with patient elopement, or when drugs, alcohol or confusion are interfering with treatment. The team will respond immediately, provide support, facilitate a huddle and coordinate a plan of care, monitor and debrief in inpatient areas, but not ambulatory or Emergency Department.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Volunteer Appreciation Week
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (English | Spanish)

Volunteer Appreciation Week

Please take a moment this week to recognize and thank Stormont Vail volunteers for all that they do for our organization. This is National Volunteer Week. We are grateful for all that our volunteers do to assist patients, families and team members. We together.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

To date, we have administered 73,122 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine. All Kansans age 16 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. We have open vaccine appointments this week.

  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info” on their account page.
  • Our vaccine allocation and eligibility guidance comes from Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 7 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 14 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 5.8%.
  • We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 5 4 677
Providers 0 0 58
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3, 2020

 

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Here are today’s updates:

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • COVID-19 Scorecard
  • Health Care Workers Vaccination Update

COVID-19 Vaccine Update
We have COVID-19 vaccination appointments available this week and strongly encourage community members to take this opportunity to get vaccinated at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. All Kansans age 16 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

To date, we have administered 71,950 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine.

  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info” on their account page.
  • Our vaccine allocation and eligibility guidance comes from Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

COVID-19 Scorecard (English | Spanish)
Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 6 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 12 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 5.9%.

Health Care Workers Vaccination Update

COVID VACCINATION UPDATE:
Health Care Workers who have completed series: 3,378
Tested positive after dose #1: 45
Tested positive after series completion: 6

*Information available through 4/17/21. It does not include those who have received vaccine outside of SVH.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Like most healthcare providers, Stormont Vail Health is regularly evaluated to ensure we provide safe, high-quality patient care. The Joint Commission conducts surveys to assess our compliance with standards of patient care. As an independent, not-for-profit organization, it is dedicated to improving the quality of care in healthcare settings. It develops organizational standards and performance measurements, awards accreditation and certification, and provides education and consultation.

In addition to our overall hospital and clinic accreditation, we also participate in the Joint Commission’s advanced certification programs for:

  • Advanced Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement
  • Perinatal Care
  • Primary Stroke Center

We are also in the Core Certification Program for:

  • Chest Pain

We are currently working to ensure our readiness for our overall survey as well as the four specific certification areas. We know that surveyors could arrive during certain windows of time for these surveys, but we don’t know specific survey dates. When there is to be a survey, we will receive notice at 7:30 a.m. the first day of a survey. We then get the word to everyone that surveyors will be in our facilities or will conduct the survey virtually.

That’s why we need to prepare and feel comfortable with surveyor visits. Already, many of our departments have been involved in readiness activities, such as tracers and development of action plans, to ensure we meet the various standards. Within the next month, additional opportunities for our team will be available: Joint Commission Boot Camp hosted by the Risk Management Department beginning the week of April 26, and both an in-person and virtual mock survey through Vizient.

Individually we can prepare by reading communications such as this, and participating in readiness activities in our departments. Weekly tips will soon be distributed to managers about small actions we can take to prepare. We can review the National Patient Safety Goals posted in departments.

Surveyors often want to talk to frontline or mid-level staff members to ensure there is an understanding of policies and protocols to promote safe and high quality care. Surveyors, through observation of care and interactions with our staff and patients, are trying to help us meet the needs of our patients in the safest way possible. If asked a question about a policy, a team member doesn’t need to recite the policy, but should show they know where to find it (Policy Manager) and that it is followed. It is alright to explain that you would seek help from a peer or supervisor if a question or situation comes up to which you don’t know the answer.

Surveyors want to know that our team members are committed to patient safety and know the scope of their roles. This is our opportunity to tell our story about the high quality and safe care we provide, and to do so proudly and with confidence. We have a great story to tell.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Virtual Nursing Expands
  • Celebrating Our Lab Team
  • Facemask Requirement Remains in Place
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (English | Spanish)

Virtual Nursing Expands

An additional 12 rooms on 6 South are now live with virtual nursing and patient monitoring as of Wednesday. This brings us to 60 rooms - all of 6 and 7 South - utilizing this technology from Banyan Medical Systems. Our team uses virtual nursing and patient monitoring in multiple ways – for nursing, patient monitoring for fall prevention, case management, physician consulting, spiritual care and palliative care visits.

During the past year, we heavily leveraged the virtual system as many of these rooms were used for COVID-19 patients in isolation precautions. By communicating and providing care for patients through the virtual system, we were able to keep team members safer by reducing the number of times they had to enter rooms in full PPE. Patients also benefitted by being able to virtually communicate with our team since no visitors were allowed. Great job to our team on 6 South, Information Systems, Facilities, Design & Construction, Environmental Services and more who helped us complete this project. We also installed the nurse call system in this area and completed other facility projects during the same week the additional virtual equipment was installed.

Celebrating Our Laboratory Team

Next week we’ll have the opportunity to recognize the extraordinary contributions the Stormont Vail Laboratory provides each and every day to the success of our organization. April 18-24 is Medical Laboratory Professionals Week. While our team in the lab often is at work behind the scenes, it is integral to providing safe and high quality patient care. Our lab team members are compassionate and committed. Please share with Lab team members how much you appreciate them during this special week.

Facemask Requirement Remains in Place

Stormont Vail Health continues to require facemasks in all facilities. Several counties in our region have lifted their mask requirements, but this does not impact our facemask requirement for patients, visitors or team members in our buildings. We believe that facemasks are important protection measure to continue, as the COVID-19 virus and variants remain circulating in the community.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

We have exceeded the 70,000-mark on the number of COVID-19 vaccinations administered at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. To date, we have administered 70,660 vaccinations. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine. All Kansans age 16 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. We have opened additional vaccine appointments.

  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info” on their account page.
  • Our vaccine allocation and eligibility guidance comes from Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (Scorecard attached in English and Spanish)

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 6 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 14 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 5.2%.
  • Team Member Health information is included in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 5 4 676
Providers 0 0 58
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3, 2020

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Here are today’s updates:

  • COVID-19 Scorecard
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update

COVID-19 Scorecard (English | Spanish)

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 7 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 16 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 5.2%.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

To date, we have administered 69,454 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine. All Kansans age 16 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. We have available appointments.

  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info” on their account page.
  • Our vaccine allocation and eligibility guidance comes from Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Sign up for a COVID-19 vaccination. Wear a facemask. Social distance by six feet. Wash your hands. Avoid crowds.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

We have open appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations on Thursday, Friday and next Monday and Tuesday. If you are needing a vaccination, please sign up, and spread the word to others. All Kansans age 16 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. We are only administering the Pfizer vaccine.

For those who are hesitant to get the vaccine: This is a personal decision, but please educate yourself about the vaccine from credible sources, and why it is important for a majority of people to get vaccinated – to protect yourself and others from the COVID-19-related illnesses, hospitalizations, deaths and to restore our community to normality.

  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info” on their account page.
  • Our vaccine allocation and eligibility guidance comes from Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

To date, we have administered 67,994 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses.

COVID-19 Scorecard

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 7 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 10 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 5.6%.

COVID-19 Temporary Pandemic Policy Additional Updates

Two updated revisions to the COVID-19 Temporary Pandemic Policy are:

  • Stormont Vail business travel must be approved and travelers must be fully vaccinated prior to travel.
  • Team members without immunity who are exposed to a COVID-19 variant must quarantine for 14 days.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Long-term impacts of COVID-19 continue to unfold as the pandemic progresses. Some patients infected with the virus face lingering symptoms months after becoming ill. They are referred to as “long haulers” or suffering from “long (or long-haul) COVID.” Both the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are conducting studies to understand long-haul COVID that can impact both adults and children.

At Stormont Vail Health, our providers have identified a small group of patients who fit in this category. They are receiving care from primary care providers, our outpatient case management team members and in some cases, specialists. Some were initially cared for in our Enhanced Primary Care program that supports individuals with COVID-19 after being discharged from the hospital or following an Emergency Department visit to help them recuperate at home.

Symptoms experienced by long COVID patients are wide ranging. They include headaches, continued loss of sense of smell, brain fog, pneumonia, shortness of breath, cough and fatigue. Others experience gastrointestinal problems. The symptoms may be present three months or longer after becoming infected with the virus.

The past year much of the focus has been on reducing exposure and infections from the virus, followed by the massive vaccine roll out. The long-term impact of the disease on some people – and why – is now gaining attention. Some theorize the virus triggered a type of immune dysfunction while others speculate that remnants of virus remain in the body so symptoms persist. Adding to the mystery is that some patients with the protracted symptoms initially had serious illnesses, while others had mild cases or no symptoms, according to the CDC. Estimates are that 10 to 30% of people who get COVID-19 will develop long COVID.

“We are still learning how this disease may impact the long term health of our patients, and unfortunately, this is not a virus that has a playbook,” said George Wright, M.D., Vice President of Primary Care. “We are focused on supporting these patients as they work to regain their health.”

The best way to protect yourself from long term consequences of COVID-19 is the same as protecting yourself from serious illness or death from the virus – get a COVID-19 vaccination.

Here are today’s updates:

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (English | Spanish)
  • Johnson and Johnson Vaccine Paused
  • Sports Physical Day is Saturday, May 1

COVID-19 Vaccine Update
To date, we have administered 66,612 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine. All Kansans age 16 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. We have opened additional vaccine appointments.

  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info” on their account page.
  • To add your name to the daily waiting list, call the same day call-in waiting lineat (785) 270-4786. We are usually able to fit in at least 10 people on the list before the clinic closes at 5 p.m. The daily call-in waiting line opens weekdays at 8 a.m. and resets each morning.
  • Our vaccine allocation and eligibility guidance comes from Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (Scorecard attached in English and Spanish)
Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 11 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 8 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 5.6%.
  • We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 5 4 675
Providers 0 0 58
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3, 2020

Johnson and Johnson Vaccine Paused
Stormont Vail Health has suspended use of Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine in accordance with announcements by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.

Sports Physical Day is Saturday, May 1
Stormont Vail Health is sponsoring a Sports Physical Day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 1, at Cotton O’Neil Kanza Park, 2660 S.W. 3rd. Use the west entrance (second floor). This is a great opportunity to get 2021/2022 sports physicals done by our specially trained Cotton O’Neil Sports Medicine providers.

  • No appointment necessary.
  • Event is open to all middle and high school student athletes.
  • Cost of sports physical is $20.
  • Everyone entering will be screened at the door.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Protect yourself from serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. Get the vaccine. Even if you’ve had COVID-19 in the past, you need to be vaccinated against the virus.

The more people who receive the vaccination, the sooner we can get back to our lives.  While we are currently experiencing a decrease of serious illnesses and hospitalizations in our region, other parts of the country are seeing surges in COVID-19 cases.

The pandemic is not over. Get the vaccine, encourage family and friends to get the vaccine, continue preventive practices: wear face masks, social distance, wash hands. Do the right thing. Stormont Vail Health has COVID-19 vaccine appointments available this week.

Here are today’s updates:

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • COVID-19 Scorecard
  • Health Care Workers Vaccination Update

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

To date, we have administered 65,157 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine. All Kansans age 16 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. We have opened additional vaccine appointments.

  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info” on their account page.
  • To add your name to the daily waiting list, call the same day call-in waiting lineat (785) 270-4786. We are usually able to fit in at least 10 people on the list before the clinic closes at 5 p.m. The daily call-in waiting line opens weekdays at 8 a.m. and resets each morning.
  • Our vaccine allocation and eligibility guidance comes from Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

COVID-19 Scorecard (English | Spanish)

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 11 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 10 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 5.4%.

Health Care Workers Vaccination Update

COVID VACCINATION UPDATE:
Health Care Workers who have completed series: 3,363*
Tested positive after dose #1: 45
Tested positive after series completion: 5

*Information available through 4/10/21. It does not include those who have received vaccine outside of SVH.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

The Stormont Vail Laboratory has quietly been at the forefront of learning about the virus that causes COVID-19.  Since the virus reached our region, the team worked hard to find partners to help us get appropriate and timely testing for the virus, and they set up technology for new and better testing, reaching across the region. Now, they conduct nearly all tests for COVID-19 in-house. That, all in a year’s time.

As more knowledge about the virus – and now its variants – is learned, the lab has to be nimble to stay on the cutting edge to help our providers and team better care for our patients.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Wednesday that the U.K. variant is now the dominant strain in the United States. The CDC notes the U.K. variant spreads more quickly and appears to be more transmissible among young people. Our local data supports what the CDC is finding.

Shelley D’Attilio, Director of the Laboratory, explains how new capabilities of the Stormont Vail Laboratory can signal that a patient might be infected with the U.K. variant. She says that the pattern of results from the test alert the lab to the possibility of the U.K. variant.

“Recently, the laboratory started testing with the Thermo Fisher TaqPath PCR test for SARS-CoV-2.  With the addition of this assay to our test menu, almost all of the COVID-19 tests ordered in our organization are performed in-house in less than 24 hours. TaqPath is a multi-target assay designed to detect three separate genes that code for proteins on different parts of the virus: S (Spike), N (Nucleocapsid) and OFR1ab (replication).  A multi-target assay is designed to not lose sensitivity to detect the virus even when the virus mutates.

“Mutations are normal for viruses and high mutation rates can be especially common in RNA viruses. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) has been mutating at a rate of about one to two mutations per month.  Currently, there are multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants circulating globally.  Several new variants have emerged that have raised concerns about increased transmission and/or increased severity of disease.

“There has been a lot of information in the news about the ‘UK Variant,’ a mutation also referred to as ‘B.1.1.7,’ that emerged in the U.K. in late 2020 and has since spread to multiple other countries, including the United States. The TaqPath assay gives us a clue that a patient may be infected with the U.K. variant. Notably, because of a mutation in the S-gene in this variant, the TaqPath assay loses the ability to detect the S-gene (“S-gene dropout”), although the other two genes are still identified.

“When the Laboratory identifies the S-gene dropout, we submit the specimen to the Kansas Health and Environment Laboratory for genomic sequencing. While some of the other notable variants may not signal their presence to us, to date there is no known impact on overall sensitivity of the test.”

We have much gratitude for the work of our Lab team led by Shelley and Dr. Mark Synovec for providing our community exceptional care through the pandemic.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Kudos to the Team
  • ‘A Day in the Life’ - Stormont Vail Nursing Excellence
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (English | Spanish)

Kudos to the Team
We have recently accomplished some significant projects that will make a difference for our patients and community.

  • We began providing continuous electroencephalogram (CEEG) on April 1. Continuous EEG is neurological monitoring of critically ill patients. This took a team effort to develop protocols, processes and training to provide this monitoring. In the past, if a patient needed continuous EEG, he would be transferred to another hospital, but now can receive that care at Stormont Vail.
  • A Discharge Lounge is now open on 2 Pavilion. This department provides support to patients as they complete discharge needs on the final day of their hospital stay. The area has eight patient rooms. During the past year when we were experiencing high patient volumes, we developed a pilot Discharge Lounge in the 2 South Critical Care waiting room. The pilot was successful in helping enhance our throughput and provide care for the community. The Discharge Lounge is managed by the Hospitalist program.

‘A Day in the Life’ - Stormont Vail Nursing Excellence
The sixth and final video in the “Day in the Life” series focusing on Stormont Vail nurses shares a day with Elizabeth Deng, Instructor at the Baker School of Nursing. The video series shows our team members in action, with a focus on nursing. Elizabeth shares with us the power of the team in helping others learn and be the best they can be. Thank you, Elizabeth, for being an inspiration and helping new nurses reach their potential.

Here are links to earlier “A Day in the Life” segments:

Laurel Sutton, RN, Surgical Intensive Care

Zach Christy, RN, Charge Nurse, Emergency Department

Allie Jones, RN, Charge Nurse, Pavilion

Josh Brewer, RN, Clinic Manager, 901 Garfield

Lexi Morse, RN, Medical Intensive Care

COVID-19 Vaccine Update
To date, we have administered 63,584 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine. All Kansans age 16 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. We have opened additional vaccine appointments.

  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info” on their account page.
  • Our vaccine allocation and eligibility guidance comes from Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health
Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 9 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 14 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 6.6%.
  • Team Member Health information is included in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 5 4 675
Providers 0 0 58
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3, 2020

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Here are today’s updates:

COVID-19 Scorecard

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 9 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 15 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 6.9%.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

To date, we have administered 62,152 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses. All Kansans age 16 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. We have available vaccine appointments.

  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info” on their account page.
  • Our vaccine allocation and eligibility guidance comes from Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Please wear a facemask. Social distance by six feet. Wash your hands. Avoid crowds. Most important, get a COVID-19 vaccine.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Here are today’s updates:

COVID-19 Vaccine Update
We have ample appointment opportunities for individuals seeking a COVID-19 vaccination at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. All Kansans age 16 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

To date, we have administered 61,412 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic. This includes first and second doses.

To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:

  1. Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
  2. Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
  3. Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info” on their account page.
  4. Our vaccine allocation and eligibility guidance comes from Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

COVID-19 Scorecard
Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 11 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 22 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 7.3 percent.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Access to experts for our physicians was showcased Monday as Stormont Vail celebrated its 7th anniversary of being a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. The topic, of course, was COVID-19.

Joining us for educational events that were part of the Stormont Vail-Mayo celebration was Richard Kennedy, Ph.D., a professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic and co-director of Mayo’s Vaccine Research Group. Dr. Kennedy provided insights about SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 illness. He discussed:

  • The latest information on COVID-19 vaccine development - There are a dozen licensed vaccines currently in the world and 100 more moving through clinical trials.
  • The efficacy and real world effectiveness being learned about the vaccines available in the U.S. -Dr. Kennedy says the real world effectiveness which studies how vaccines actually protect people is where the “rubber meets the road.”
  • Updates about common and rare side effects experienced by people receiving the vaccine, noting rare side effects are treatable and that the risk of death or an event is far lower than the mortality rate from COVID-19.
  • Immune response from various vaccines is being studied – and response varies between people because of age, health status, past COVID-19 infection and other factors.
  • Research is focusing on how vaccines respond to the variants or mutations of the virus. This may also vary because of a person’s past infections, health status or age.

About 30 percent of Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The U.S. has increased to about 3 million vaccinations per day over the past several days. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of the population must be fully vaccinated to get to herd immunity and see a decrease in cases.

The key for people to protect themselves and others, Dr. Kennedy says, is to get vaccinated. Without natural or vaccine-induced immunity, people have zero percent protection. Continue to properly wear a facemask, physical distance from others and wash your hands to prevent or reduce the risk of being infected and spreading the virus to others. By reducing the number of infections, the opportunity for new viral variants to develop is lowered.

Dr. Kennedy spoke at Grand Rounds and on the KSNT “We Together” television segment about COVID-19 with Carol Perry, Senior Vice President, Acute Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer, and Dr. Clif Jones, Vice President, Subspecialty Services. The segment can be viewed at ksnt.com. This was the final segment of the “We Together” television report. Other events Monday included a Facebook Live broadcast in which community representatives discussed resilience and recovery from the pandemic.

The Mayo Clinic Care Network is a select group of independent health systems vetted and selected for their commitment to high-quality patient experience and share Mayo Clinic’s goal of providing patients the care they need, close to home, at no additional cost to the patient. There are currently 46 network members in the United States as well India, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Singapore, Egypt, China. Stormont Vail is the only network member in Kansas.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Carol Perry, RN, a KSNT Remarkable Woman
  • Fall Prevention Workshop Now Virtual
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (English | Spanish)

Carol Perry, RN, a KSNT Remarkable Woman
Carol Perry, MSM, BSN, RN, FACHE, Senior Vice President, Acute Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer, was featured by KSNT as a “Remarkable Woman of Northeast Kansas.” In the segment, Carol highlights Stormont Vail’s ANCC Magnet designation for excellence in nursing, our Level III NICU and the Gift of Life Memorial honoring organ donors that Carol and her husband, Dr. Ray Lumb, were instrumental in developing.  Carol is credited with changing the face of nursing in our region through best practices and professionalism, and her zest for recruiting people to the nursing field is unmatched. Congratulations on this honor, Carol!

Fall Prevention Workshop Now Virtual
Registration is now open for a virtual “Stepping On” older adult fall prevention program provided by Stormont Vail Trauma Services. Like most trauma centers, Stormont Vail treats far more patients injured from falls than any other cause of injury. Over 85 percent of patients treated at Stormont Vail from a fall injury are 55 years old or greater.  To sign up for a class go to this link. Each virtual class meets two hours a week for seven weeks. For information about this free class, contact Stormont Vail Health’s Injury Prevention Coordinator at (785) 354-5428 or email: trauma@stormontvail.org

COVID-19 Vaccine Update
Please encourage family and friends seeking a COVID-19 vaccine to get an appointment at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. We have available vaccine appointments. All Kansans age 16 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

To date, we have administered 61,412 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine.

To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:

  • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
  • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
  • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info” on their account page.
  • To add your name to the daily waiting list, call the same day call-in waiting lineat (785) 270-4786. We are usually able to fit in at least 10 people on the list before the clinic closes at 5 p.m. The daily call-in waiting line opens weekdays at 8 a.m. and resets each morning.
  • Our vaccine allocation and eligibility guidance comes from Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health
Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 8 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 23 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 6.8 percent.
  • We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 4 3 674
Providers 0 0 58
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3, 2020

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Here are today’s updates:

  • COVID-19 Scorecard
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • Facebook Live Event Tonight
  • Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KSNT
  • Health Care Workers Vaccination Update
  • Reminder about Food at Meetings

COVID-19 Scorecard (English | Spanish)

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 12 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 21 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 6.8%.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

To date, we have administered 60,285 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine. All Kansans age 16 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. We have opened additional vaccine appointments.

  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info” on their account page.
  • To add your name to the daily waiting list, call the same day call-in waiting lineat (785) 270-4786. We are usually able to fit in at least 10 people on the list before the clinic closes at 5 p.m. The daily call-in waiting line opens weekdays at 8 a.m. and resets each morning.
  • Our vaccine allocation and eligibility guidance comes from Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Facebook Live Event Tonight

A Facebook Live event, “Community Conversations: Resiliency and Recovery” will be tonight from 5 to 6 p.m. Panelists will reflect on the COVID-19 virus’s impact, lessons learned and opportunities; mental health impacts and wellness tips; and the post-pandemic recovery outlook. Panelists include members representing mental health and wellness, education, business/hospitality and public health. Mary Martell, Director of Clinical Research, will be the moderator.

Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KSNT

Tonight’s segment of “We Together: Coronavirus Discussion” will focus on COVID-19 and will include an interview with Richard Kennedy, Ph.D., a virologist and vaccine researcher at Mayo Clinic. Panelists include Carol Perry, Senior Vice President, Acute Care Services, and Chief Nursing Officer, Dr. Clif Jones, Vice President, Subspecialty Services. It will air at 6:30 p.m. tonight on KSNT-Channel 27.

Health Care Workers Vaccination Update

COVID VACCINATION UPDATE:
Health Care Workers who have completed series: 3,353*
Tested positive after dose #1: 45
Tested positive after series completion: 5

 

*Information available through 4/3/21. It does not include those who have received vaccine outside of SVH.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Stormont Vail Health will mark the 7th anniversary of its membership in the Mayo Clinic Care Network on Monday, April 5, with a virtual celebration. This is an extraordinary partnership for our patients, communities and organization, and a time to reflect on what this collaboration means. It provides for:

  • Access to Mayo Clinic experts while remaining close to home for care. This is done through eConsults for rare or hard to treat patient conditions; Ask Mayo Expert’s Mayo Clinic-vetted care guidelines, treatment recommendations and best practices; and inpatient consults for urgent second opinions.
  • Stormont Vail and Mayo Clinic experts collaborating regarding patient care, at no additional cost to the patient. As collaborators with Mayo Clinic, Stormont Vail physicians can bring additional expertise to Kansas - through electronic consultations with Mayo specialists and access to the Clinic’s extensive database of treatment recommendations and care guidelines. This enables patients with complex conditions to receive care close to home.
  • While many network tools are centered on individual patient care, Mayo Clinic Health Care Consulting is about organizational improvement. Stormont Vail can target clinical, operational and business goals with the guidance and support of Mayo Clinic professionals.
  • Education and training for our team members in clinical, health delivery and leadership areas.

A patient who benefitted from Stormont Vail’s partnership in the Mayo Clinic Care Network told his story in this video along with Dr. Mehmood Hashmi, oncologist at the Cotton O’Neil Cancer Center.

Three activities are planned April 5 to mark this occasion. Here are the details:

  • Stormont Vail’s Grand Rounds return April 5 with a COVID-19 discussion. Speakers are Richard Kennedy, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic, Dr. Sri Donepudi, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Quality Officer, and Clif Jones, Vice President, Subspecialty Services, and infectious disease specialist. The continuing education will be noon to 1 p.m. available only through Zoom. For additional information go to: https://stormontvail.eeds.com/ or email continuinged@stormontvail.org.
  • A Facebook Live event, “Community Conversations: Resiliency and Recovery” will be 5 to 6 p.m. April 5. Panelists will reflect on the COVID-19 virus’s impact, lessons learned and opportunities; mental health impacts and wellness tips; and the post-pandemic recovery outlook. Panelists include members representing mental health and wellness, education, business/hospitality and public health. Mary Martell, Director of Clinical Research, will be the moderator.
  • The April 5 segment of “We Together: Coronavirus Discussion” will focus on COVID-19 and will include an interview with Richard Kennedy, Ph.D., a virologist and vaccine researcher at Mayo Clinic. Panelists include Carol Perry, Senior Vice President, Acute Care Services, and Chief Nursing Officer, Dr. Clif Jones, Vice President, Subspecialty Services. It will air at 6:30 p.m. April 5 on KSNT-Channel 27.

Here are today’s updates:

  • ‘A Day in the Life’ - Stormont Vail Nursing Excellence
  • Praise for the Stormont Vail Vaccine Clinic
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (English | Spanish)

 ‘A Day in the Life’ - Stormont Vail Nursing Excellence
The fifth video in the “A Day in the Life” series showcases Lexi Morse, RN, Medical Intensive Care Unit, and her work with other disciplines who collaborate in the care of patients, such as Respiratory Therapy, Pharmacy and Environmental Services. The video series shows our team members in action, with a current focus on nursing. Lexi shows us that the interprofessional collaboration of our team is an important element in providing excellent care to our community.

Here are links to earlier “A Day in the Life” segments:

Laurel Sutton, RN, Surgical Intensive Care

Zach Christy, RN, Charge Nurse, Emergency Department

Allie Jones, RN, Charge Nurse, Pavilion

Josh Brewer, RN, Clinic Manager, 901 Garfield

Praise for the Stormont Vail Vaccine Clinic
We received great feedback from an individual who visited our Vaccine Center at the Stormont Vail Events Center: “As a professional guest experience designer used to working with the management and flow of high volumes of people, I have to say that whomever set up the operation…deserves a major award. My kudos to whomever or whatever team pulled that off. That was truly one of the best organized, best signed, best managed, best operated guest flow experiences I’ve ever come across.” Thank you to the team who developed the clinic and those who are providing vaccines to the community.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update
To date, we have administered 59,048 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine. All Kansans age 16 and older are eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Today we will be opening appointments for next week.

  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info” on their account page.
  • To add your name to the daily waiting list, call the same day call-in waiting lineat (785) 270-4786. We are usually able to fit in at least 10 people on the list before the clinic closes at 5 p.m. The daily call-in waiting line opens weekdays at 8 a.m. and resets each morning.
  • Our vaccine allocation and eligibility guidance, comes from the Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (Scorecard attached in English and Spanish)
Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 15 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 21 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 7.5%.
  • Team Member Health information is included in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 7 6 671
Providers 0 0 58
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

To date, we have administered 57,291 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine. All Kansans age 16 and older are eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

  • All appointments for today are filled. When we receive more vaccine we will open more appointments.
  • To add your name to the daily waiting list, call the same day call-in waiting line at (785) 270-4786. We are usually able to fit in at least 10 people on the list before the clinic closes at 5 p.m. The daily call-in waiting line opens weekdays at 8 a.m. and resets each morning. Call to get your first vaccine before the day ends.
  • Our vaccine allocation and eligibility guidance, comes from Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

COVID-19 Scorecard (English | Spanish)

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 16 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 22 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 7.2%.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

As Kansas broadened the scope of who is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine to age 16 and up, there are some additional considerations for individuals who are 16- or 17-years-old – and their parents or guardians.

In Kansas, minors under the age of 18 are not able to consent to vaccinations on their own.

  • They must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
  • If the parent is unable to attend, a grandparent, adult sibling, aunt/uncle, stepparent or other adult who has care and control of the child can provide consent if they bring a signed document from the parent delegating the ability to consent.
  • The adult who is consenting on behalf of the parent must be able to provide sufficient medical history of the patient and family to be able to talk with the provider about the risks and benefits of the vaccination.

Only one of the three COVID-19 vaccines – Pfizer – is currently approved for individuals age 16 and 17 by the Food and Drug Administration through an emergency use authorization because Pfizer expanded its adult trial to include 16- and 17-year-olds.

Stormont Vail provides Pfizer and Moderna vaccines at its Vaccine Center at the Stormont Vail Events Center. They each require two doses to be fully vaccinated. Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is one dose, are authorized for individuals 18 and older.

Clinical trials are being conducted by the vaccine makers for use of the vaccines in younger pediatric populations:

  • Pfizer has performed testing for children aged 12 to 15, and Moderna for ages 12 to 17.
  • Both began studies this month for children as young as six months.
  • Johnson & Johnson has announced plans to conduct studies of its vaccine in adolescents and then younger children.

Dr. Clif Jones, Vice President of Subspecialty Care and an infectious disease physician, says the vaccine administration and protection for 16- and 17-year-olds is the same as for adults. If an individual has hypersensitivity to vaccines or other allergies, the patient or parent should consult with a medical provider.

“COVID-19 illness appears to be milder in younger children than in adults,” Dr. Jones said. “However, symptomatic infection is more common in older adolescents, and within any age group, symptomatic infection can be associated with significant complications.“

The expanded availability of the COVID-19 vaccine provides a good opportunity for parents and their teens to discuss benefits of the vaccine and its role in curbing the pandemic.

Barb Columbus, RN, Stormont Vail’s Manager of Telehealth Services, said when her 17-year-old daughter became eligible to get the vaccine through her employer, Barb supported the decision and gave consent.

“She was excited to get the vaccine because she wanted to be able to see people outside of her bubble,” Barb says.

Here are today’s updates:

  • KTWU’s COVID-19: The Virus and the Vaccines
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • COVID-19 Scorecard (English | Spanish)

KTWU’s COVID-19: The Virus and the Vaccines
Thank you to all of the physicians who participated in a PBS segment “COVID-19: The Virus and the Vaccines” on KTWU last night. The program focused on the issues facing people of color and the impact of the pandemic. It was tremendous public service. KTWU will be airing the program again:

  • Channel 11.1 - 9:30 p.m. April 2; and 1 p.m. April 11
  • Channel 11.3 - 3 p.m. April 4; 10 p.m. April 5; and 9 p.m. April 26

Those participating included: Dr. Soni Mathew, Dr. Jacqueline Kenoly, Dr. Nason Lui, Dr. Sridevi Donepudi and Dr. Mark Thomas. The host was Dr. Rita Rogers-Stanley.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update
To date, we have administered 55,358 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine. All Kansans age 16 and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment:
    • Go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will help through the online process.
    • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • Sign up through your MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info” on their account page.
  • Our vaccine allocation and eligibility guidance, comes from Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

COVID-19 Scorecard
Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • Today we have 19 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive.
  • We have 19 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 7.1%.

Please do your part – wear a facemask, social distance, wash your hands, avoid crowds and get signed up for a COVID-19 vaccination if you are 16 or older.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Three cases of the B.1.1.7. variant that causes COVID-19 have been identified in Shawnee County. The Shawnee County Health Department (SCHD) said they received confirmation this morning of the cases, which were confirmed via whole genome sequencing conducted through the laboratories at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. These are the first cases of the variant identified in Shawnee County and among more than 30 cases of this variant identified in Kansas.

SCHD notes that variant strains are mutations of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that cause COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classifies variants in three categories: Variant of Interest, Variant of Concern and Variant of High Consequences. The B.1.1.7 variant, also known as the U.K. Variant, is classified by the CDC as a Variant of Concern because of the increased likelihood of severe disease and increased level of transmission.

Initial studies have shown that current COVID-19 vaccines can recognize the virus and protect people from it. We urge everyone to schedule their COVID-19 vaccine appointments as soon as possible while continuing to follow the preventative measures of wearing a mask, washing your hands and social distancing.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Doctors’ Day is Today, March 30
  • Mission Wood Respiratory Clinic Closing
  • We Together: Coronavirus Discussion on KSNT
  • Stormont Vail Physicians on KTWU Program Tonight
  • COVID-19 PPE Schematic for SVH Hospital, Clinics Updated
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (English | Spanish)

Doctors’ Day is Today, March 30

Thank you to our physicians for all they do for our patients, families and communities. Please wish the doctors you see today a “Happy Doctors’ Day.”

Mission Wood Respiratory Clinic Closing

The Mission Woods Respiratory Clinic will close on Wednesday, March 31, and all Topeka clinic respiratory appointments will be handled at the respiratory clinic at Cotton O’Neil North Fielding Clinic. To thank those team members at the Mission Woods Respiratory Clinic for the services they have provided, the 6th graders in Girl Scout Cadette Troop #1261 from Jay Shideler Elementary, Pauline South Elementary and French Middle School, had a surprise waiting for our team on the door of the clinic: Brightly colored, hand drawn posters saying, “Definition of True Super Heroes” and “You Wear Masks, Not Capes.”

We Together: Coronavirus Discussion on KSNT

Dr. Sri Donepudi, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Quality Officer, and Dr. Laura Hughes, a perinatologist with Cotton O’Neil Maternal Fetal Medicine, were on last night’s KSNT segment of “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion.” It can be viewed at ksnt.com.

Stormont Vail Physicians on KTWU Program Tonight

Five Stormont Vail Health physicians will participate in “COVID-19 – The Virus and the Vaccines,” a virtual town hall related to people of color hosted by KTWU, Channel 11, and the Topeka Chapter of Links, Inc. from 7 to 8 p.m. tonight. Dr. Sridevi Donepudi, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Quality Officer; Dr. Jacqueline Kenoly, Express Care; Dr. Nason Lui, General Surgery; Dr. Soni Mathew, Occupational Health, Cotton O’Neil Work Care; and Dr. Mark Thomas, Internal Medicine, Cotton O’Neil Croco. Dr. Rita Rodgers-Stanley is host. The program is available through these links:

COVID-19 PPE Schematic for SVH Hospital, Clinics Updated
The COVID-19 PPE Schematic for SVH hospital and clinics has been updated to align with current and evolving Centers for Disease Prevention and Control guidance. The pandemic is still a very fluid situation and the PPE Sub-Committee is constantly reviewing the latest guidelines to ensure SVH team members continue to be protected. These changes go into effect April 1.

Key Changes to PPE Schematic effective April 1:

  • The updated PPE Schematic is on SVnet.
  • When caring for COVID-19 suspected or positive patients, team members now need to wear N95 with face shield or PAPR, gown and gloves.
  • The Aerosol Generating Procedure (AGP) and Airway Procedure columns have now been consolidated into the red column as the same PPE is needed for all of these procedures, N95 with face shield or PAPR, gown and gloves.
  • Nasopharyngeal swab collection has now been added to the AGP list, requiring team members to wear N95 with face shield or PAPR, gown and gloves during this procedure.
  • Guidance for extended use procedural mask wearers now states that a well-fitted procedural mask can be discarded after each shift or when it becomes wet/soiled.
  • When wearing a procedure mask, staff should ensure that it is well-fitted, conforms to the face without gaps. See updated instructions for extended use of procedural face mask and a video on SVnet for ways to ensure mask is well-fitted.
  • Isolation precaution signs to post on COVID-19 rule-out and positive patient rooms will now be the Airborne Precautions sign. Droplet with eye protection will no longer be used.

Questions should be directed to the PPE Sub-Committee that meets weekly.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update
COVID-19 vaccine appointments are available for all Kansas residents age 16 and over on Wednesday, March 31, and Thursday, April 1.

To date, we have administered 53,477 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine.

  • Eligible Kansans can schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments by:
    • Going to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will walk them through the online process.
    • Calling the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • For eligible individuals with a MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info” on their account page.
  • Our vaccine allocation, guidance and eligible individuals/groups, comes from Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (Scorecard attached in English and Spanish)
Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 19 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 18 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 9.0%.
  • We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 9 8 668
Providers 0 0 58
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3, 2020

 

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Here are today’s updates:

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • COVID-19 Scorecard
  • Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KSNT
  • Health Care Workers Vaccination Update

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

We are opening appointments at 10 a.m. today for Wednesday and Thursday appointments for all Kansas residents age 16 and over to get the COVID-19 vaccine. This is in keeping with Gov. Laura Kelly’s announcement Friday that the state is moving to Phase 5 of the vaccine distribution plan.

To date, we have administered 51,525 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes first and second doses of the vaccine. Our appointments for today and Tuesday are filled. If we receive additional vaccine this week, we will open appointments on Friday – in addition to the new appointments on Wednesday and Thursday.

  • Eligible Kansans can schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments by:
    • Going to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will walk them through the online process.
    • Calling the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • For eligible individuals with a MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info” on their account page.
  • Our vaccine allocation, guidance and eligible individuals/groups, comes from Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

COVID-19 Scorecard

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 19 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 20 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 8.4%.

Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KSNT

  • Dr. Sri Donepudi, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Quality Officer, and Dr. Laura Hughes, a perinatologist with Cotton O’Neil Maternal Fetal Medicine, will represent Stormont Vail Health on tonight’s segment of “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion.” This segment will air at 6:30 p.m. on KSNT, Channel 27. Dr. Donepudi will provide COVID-19 updates and Dr. Hughes will discuss the safety of the vaccine for pregnant women.

Health Care Workers Vaccination Update

COVID VACCINATION UPDATE:
Health Care Workers who have completed series: 3,336*
Tested positive after dose #1: 45
Tested positive after series completion: 5

*Information available through 03/27/21. It does not include those who have received vaccine outside of SVH. We provide statistics on team members completing the COVID-19 vaccination series and testing positive after the first and second doses. Three of the four who tested positive after series completion were within 14 days of vaccination. Last week, another team member who completed the vaccine series in January, tested positive for COVID-19. Health Care Workers are team members, volunteers and credentialed medical staff.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Team members of Stormont Vail Health are providing keen insights to young people considering career options in healthcare through a unique partnership. In 2018, Stormont Vail Health began working with New Boston Creative Group, a marketing firm in Manhattan, with a goal of participating in a website to inform parents and guardians about career options their child can pursue after high school. The site, hirepaths.com, was initially going to launch in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted that timetable and it went live in 2021.

The campaign can now be seen on multiple social media platforms as well as the website. It features videos and writings of Stormont Vail team members telling their career stories in the healthcare industry.

“We are trying to have diverse stories; some still new in their careers, some who have gone down different paths than their original plans, some who have utilized tuition reimbursement (to highlight that benefit), and some who have progressed to management,” says Jana Wingert, Professional Recruiter in Talent Acquisition.

New Boston says the goal “is to eliminate any stigma parents may have about their child pursuing on-the-job training, apprenticeships, or technical and community college after high school. Parents are the biggest influence on a child’s career path, so they need to understand all the possibilities.” The site tells parents that a four-year college degree is not required for every job, and that students can seek on-the-job training and employers who offer educational reimbursement, such as Stormont Vail.

Sections of the website provide information about how health care is expected to change in the future as well as how young people can prepare for a healthcare job. There is also a section detailing the benefits of working at Stormont Vail, including information about the wellpower wage and other employee programs.

Team members who are featured in the Stormont Vail video include Justin Barnes, BSN, RN, Nurse Manager, 5 North Medical; Brooke McDonnell, BSN, RN, Nurse Manager, Family Medicine; Michael Ramirez, MS, ATC, LAT, Director, Physical, Occupational & Speech Therapy; Darlene Stone, Senior Vice President & Chief Experience Officer; and Connie Wagers, MBA, RT(R), RDMS, Director, Medical Imaging Services.

Team members showcased in individual profiles include Ajala Anavberokhai, MRI Technologist; Heather Brewer, MBA, PTA, ATC, Manager of Outpatient Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy Services; Josh Brewer, RN, Clinical Manager, Internal Medicine; Jade Ramsdell, Learning Management System Administrator. More team members will be interviewed for profiles and added to the website in the near future. In addition, a few team members will be contributing blogs.

The videos and photos on the site are the work of Ryan Bishop, Video Production Specialist, Stormont Vail. “He has been amazing,” Jana says. In addition to having the profiles showcased by New Boston, the content is also being shared on Stormont Vail social media platforms and will be used by the recruitment team at career fairs and class visits.

Any team member who would like to be involved by sharing their story in a profile or by writing a blog about working in healthcare, please contact the Talent Acquisition department.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Fall Prevention Workshop Now Virtual
  • ‘A Day in the Life’ - Stormont Vail Nursing Excellence
  • Auxiliary’s Scrub Hub Sale Coming April 1 and 2
  • RN and LPN Hiring Event April 1
  • Welcome Manhattan Gastroenterology
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (English | Spanish)

Fall Prevention Workshop Now Virtual
Registration is now open for a virtual “Stepping On” older adult fall prevention program provided by Stormont Vail Trauma Services. Like most trauma centers, Stormont Vail treats far more patients injured from falls than any other cause of injury. Over 85% of patients treated at Stormont Vail from a fall injury are 55 years old or greater.  To sign up for a class go to this link. Each virtual class meets two hours a week for seven weeks. For information about this free class, contact Stormont Vail Health’s Injury Prevention Coordinator at (785) 354-5428 or email: trauma@stormontvail.org The workshop is offered in partnership with Kansas Rehabilitation Hospital. 

‘A Day in the Life’ - Stormont Vail Nursing Excellence
The fourth video in the “A Day in the Life” series captures the healthcare world through the eyes of Josh Brewer, RN, Clinic Manager, 901 Garfield. These videos offer an opportunity to see our team members in action, with a current focus on nursing. Nurses are care managers and connect all the disciplines who provide care to the patient. The videos also showcase Stormont Vail’s Magnet designation for excellence in care, which we plan to seek renewal of in 2022. Josh provides great insights about leadership and being an active listener with other team members. Thank you for sharing your day, Josh!

Here are links to earlier “A Day in the Life” segments:

Laurel Sutton, RN, Surgical Intensive Care

Zach Christy, RN, Charge Nurse, Emergency Department

Allie Jones, RN, Charge Nurse, Pavilion

Auxiliary’s Scrub Hub Sale Coming April 1 and 2
Stormont Vail Auxiliary will be sponsoring its Scrub Hub Sale on Thursday, April 1, and Friday, April 2. To provide for social distancing, the sale will be held in a mobile unit in the parking lot of the Human Resources building, 1615 S.W. 8th. Hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 1, and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 2. Payroll deduct (split between two paychecks) will be an option as well as cash and credit card.

RN and LPN Hiring Event April 1
We are planning a new graduate and experienced RN and LPN hiring event from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, April 1. We have invited 40 RN and LPN programs to visit Stormont Vail and meet with hiring managers. Three food trucks, in addition to the Scrub Hub sale, will be onsite that day in the HR parking lot at 1615 S.W., 8th Street. Team members are invited to support the event and these vendors. Please practice social distancing and wear a facemask. Due to space limitations, the lunch tables in the parking lot will be for guests only.

Welcome Manhattan Gastroenterology
Stormont Vail Health has announced Manhattan Gastroenterology will be joining the Cotton O’Neil family as Cotton O’Neil Digestive Health Manhattan Westport Landing. The office is located at 1419 Westport St., Suite 103, Manhattan. This office will join the Stormont Vail Health Manhattan Medical Campus located on the Kansas State University campus opening in 2023. Manhattan Gastroenterology physician Paul Zachary, M.D., will become a Stormont Vail provider on June 1, 2021. An additional three employees will become Stormont Vail team members.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

  • We have administered 49,575 COVID-19 vaccinations to date at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center.
  • We are currently providing vaccinations for Kansas residents in Phases 1 and 2, and for residents in Phases 3 and 4, persons aged 16-64 with health risks that increase the severity of COVID-19. Phase 3 and 4 qualifying medical conditions can be found on the Shawnee County Health Department press release dated 3/15/21.
  • We have appointments set through Tuesday, March 30, for eligible individuals. Most appointment times are full, however, some may open if there is a cancellation. Please follow one of the methods listed below to schedule. Additional appointments will open once we receive more vaccine.
  • Eligible Kansans can schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments by:
    • Going to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will walk them through the online process.
    • Calling the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • For eligible individuals with a MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info” on their account page.
  • Our vaccine allocation, guidance and eligible individuals/groups, comes from Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health
Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 14 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 23 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 8.1%.
  • Team Member Health information is included in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
  Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 8 7 667
Providers 0 0 58
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Yesterday we hit an all-time high of providing 2,000 COVID-19 immunizations in one day at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center.  To date, we have administered 47,631 vaccinations. This includes first and second doses.

  • We are currently providing vaccinations for Kansas residents in Phases 1 and 2, and for residents in Phases 3 and 4, persons aged 16-64 with health risks that increase the severity of COVID-19. Phase 3 and 4 qualifying medical conditions can be found on the Shawnee County Health Department press release dated 3/15/21.
  • We have openings for appointments on Tuesday, March 30, for eligible individuals.
  • Eligible Kansans can schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments by:
    • Going to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will walk them through the online process.
    • Calling the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • For eligible individuals with a MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info” on their account page.
  • Our vaccine allocation, guidance and eligible individuals/groups, comes from Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

COVID-19 Scorecard

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 18 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 20 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 7.6%.

While the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine gives us optimism for an eventual end to the pandemic, we aren’t there yet. In addition to getting the vaccine, we need to continue to wear facemasks, socially distance, avoid crowds and wash our hands. The virus is still in the community.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Each sound of the bell symbolic of a life lost to COVID-19, joined by a chorus of bells from Topeka churches and our own team members and community members ringing small bells. Our community surrounds and supports us in remembering the year of the COVID-19 pandemic - a year of challenges through which we together cared for our patients and families and communities.

Thank you to all who joined us today at the We Together Remember event on the south lawn of the hospital. March 24 marks the first-year anniversary of when our first patient received a positive COVID-19 test result. Since then, we have lost 203 patients in our hospital to the virus, cared for an additional 1,500 inpatients positive with COVID-19, and provided services to countless others in our clinics impacted by the pandemic.

We have placed 203 yard stakes in our south lawn as a remembrance of the lives lost. They will remain through Sunday, the day a year ago that our first patient died from COVID-19.

Please reflect through this powerful video providing a visual reminder of the past year.

We together remember.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Asymptomatic Testing Available
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • COVID-19 Scorecard (English | Spanish)

Asymptomatic Testing Available

Stormont Vail Health is now offering COVID-19 asymptomatic testing to anyone needing a COVID-19 test. Schedule your appointment through your MyChart account or call the COVID-19 hotline at (785) 354-6000. The nasal swab test will be given at the Cotton O’Neil Drive Up Testing site. Please allow three days for results, and plan accordingly to receive test results before traveling or attending an event.

Remember: If you are exposed to COVID-19, please quarantine according to county guidelines. You must wait six days after the day you were exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual to receive the test. If you start to develop symptoms, then you may get tested at any time.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

  • We have administered 45,631 COVID-19 vaccinations to date at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center.
  • We are preparing to serve a higher daily number of individuals seeking COVID-19 vaccinations – up to 2,000 a day – in our next round of appointments due to an increase of vaccine that we have received.
  • We are currently providing vaccinations for Kansas residents in Phases 1 and 2, and for residents in Phases 3 and 4, persons aged 16-64 with health risks that increase the severity of COVID-19. Phase 3 and 4 qualifying medical conditions can be found on the Shawnee County Health Department press release dated 3/15/21.
  • We have openings for appointments on Monday, March 29, and Tuesday, March 30, for eligible individuals.
  • Eligible Kansans can schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments by:
    • Going to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will walk them through the online process.
    • Calling the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • For eligible individuals with a MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info” on their account page.
  • Our vaccine allocation, guidance and eligible individuals/groups, comes from Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

COVID-19 Scorecard

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 16 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 19 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 6.5%.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

All team and community members are invited to join together Wednesday, March 24, to remember the lives lost from COVID-19 and to recognize and express gratitude to our team and community through a difficult year.

March 24 is the one-year anniversary of the first positive COVID-19 test result of a patient at Stormont Vail.

This event will be held just south of the South Tower door (S.W. 10th Street side of the hospital). In the event of rain, we will meet inside on the first floor of the South Tower. The event will also be streamed via Facebook Live and later be posted to SVnet. Media has been invited to attend.

There will be brief remarks at 11:45 a.m., then at noon there will be ringing of a large bell 203 times – once for each of the 203 lives lost from COVID-19 at our hospital. There will also be lawn stakes placed in the yard to represent each life ended by the virus.

Small bells will be provided (supplies permitting) to those attending or people may bring their own bell. Several area churches also plan to ring their bells in unison as we remember the past year and our pandemic experiences.

As the bells ring, we will create a drive-through memorial. Vehicles will be able to enter through the Southeast parking lot (outpatient entrance) along Washburn Avenue and exit through the South Tower circle drive on S.W. 10th Avenue.

In addition to planning this one-year remembrance, a Stormont Vail group is also working to develop a more permanent way for our team and community to remember and reflect on the COVID-19 experience.

On March 24, at the one-year anniversary, together we will:

Remember a year like no other,

Reflect on the Community that has come together,

Continue to care and Encourage one another, and

Show Gratitude for our team and the support we have received from many.

We together remember.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Stormont Vail Providers to Participate in KTWU Program
  • We Together: Coronavirus Discussion on KSNT
  • Stormont Vail Health a Top Brand
  • Dr. Hashmi Participates in Mayo Clinic eTumor Board
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (English | Spanish)
  • Team Member Vaccination Update

Stormont Vail Physicians to Participate in KTWU Program

Five Stormont Vail Health physicians will participate in “COVID-19 – The Virus and the Vaccines,” a virtual town hall related to people of color hosted by KTWU, Channel 11, and the Topeka Chapter of Links, Inc. from 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 30.Dr. Sridevi Donepudi, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Quality Officer; Dr. Jacqueline Kenoly, Express Care; Dr. Nason Lui, General Surgery; Dr. Soni Mathew, Occupational Health, Cotton O’Neil Work Care; and Dr. Mark Thomas, Internal Medicine, Cotton O’Neil Croco. Dr. Rita Rodgers-Stanley is host. There are three ways to access the program:

The program is sponsored by Capitol Federal, HDB Construction and My Company Inc.

We Together: Coronavirus Discussion on KSNT
Dr. Clif Jones, Vice President, Subspecialty Services, and infectious disease specialist at Stormont Vail, and Jennie Watson, Director of School and Community Services at Family Service and Guidance Center, were on last night’s KSNT segment of “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion.” It can be viewed at ksnt.com at https://www.ksnt.com/health/coronavirus/we-together-local-health-leaders-discuss-coronavirus-in-kansas/

Stormont Vail Health a Top Brand
Stormont Vail Health has been recognized in the March 2021 Ingram’s Magazine as being one of the Top 25 brands in Kansas. The list was determined through a methodology that considered revenues, geographic reach, employment levels and civic engagement. “Stormont Vail is a powerful brand that covers not just northeast Kansas, where it serves a multi-county patient base, but the whole state, and beyond,” notes the magazine.

Dr. Hashmi Participates in Mayo Clinic eTumor Board
Dr. Mehmood Hashmi, oncologist at the Cotton O’Neil Cancer Center, participated in a Mayo Clinic Genitourinary eTumor board this morning. Dr. Hashmi presented a patient case that recently received an eConsult. The eTumor boards provide Mayo Clinic Care Network members an opportunity to participate in live, multidisciplinary, multi-site discussions that offer informal advice regarding diagnostic tests and treatment options for complex cases. Dr. Hashmi’s participation is an example of the contributions and benefits Stormont Vail receives as a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

  • We have administered 45,001 COVID-19 vaccinations to date at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center.
  • We are preparing to serve a higher daily number of individuals seeking COVID-19 vaccinations – up to 2,000 a day – in our next round of appointments due to an increase of vaccine that we have received.
  • We are currently providing vaccinations for Kansas residents in Phases 1 and 2, and for residents in Phases 3 and 4, persons aged 16-64 with health risks that increase the severity of COVID-19. Phase 3 and 4 qualifying medical conditions can be found on the Shawnee County Health Department press release dated 3/15/21.
  • We have openings for appointments on Wednesday, March 24; Thursday, March 25; Friday, March 26; and Monday, March 29, for eligible individuals.
  • Eligible Kansans can schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments by:
    • Going to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will walk them through the online process.
    • Calling the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • For eligible individuals with a MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info” on their account page.
  • Our vaccine allocation, guidance and eligible individuals/groups, comes from Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 14 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 17 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 6.1%.
  • We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 8 7 666
Providers 0 0 58
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

Team Member Vaccination Update

COVID VACCINATION UPDATE:
Team Members who have completed series: 3,311*
Tested positive after dose #1: 45
Tested positive after series completion: 4

 

*Information available through 03/20/21. It does not include those who have received vaccine outside of SVH. We provide statistics on team members completing the COVID-19 vaccination series and testing positive after the first and second doses. Three of the four who tested positive after series completion were within 14 days of vaccination.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Here are today’s updates:

  • Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KSNT
  • Join Us as We Remember
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • COVID-19 Scorecard

Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KSNT

Dr. Clif Jones, Vice President, Specialty Services, and infectious disease specialist at Stormont Vail, will represent Stormont Vail Health on tonight’s segment of “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion.” Also appearing will be Jennie Watson, Director of School and Community Services at Family Service and Guidance Center. This segment will air at 6:30 p.m. on KSNT, Channel 27.

Join Us as We Remember

We will have a ceremony to recognize and remember the lives lost to COVID-19 at Stormont Vail, the caring and resiliency of our team, and the support from our communities. The remembrance ceremony will be at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, March 24, by the drive by the South Tower of the hospital. All team members are invited.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

  • We have administered 43,242 COVID-19 vaccinations to date at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center.
  • We are currently providing vaccinations for Kansas residents in Phases 1 and 2, and for residents in Phases 3 and 4, persons aged 16-64 with health risks that increase the severity of COVID-19. Phase 3 and 4 qualifying medical conditions can be found on the Shawnee County Health Department press release dated 3/15/21.
  • All of our appointments for today are filled.
  • Today we will be opening up appointments for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
  • Eligible Kansans can schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments by:
    • Going to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ where the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will walk them through the online process.
    • Calling the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.
    • For eligible individuals with a MyChart account, accessing the scheduling link through “COVID info” on their account page.
  • Our vaccine allocation, guidance and eligible individuals/groups, comes from Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

COVID-19 Scorecard

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 14 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 16 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 6.7%.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

The COVID-19 virus has been linked with some heart conditions, including a heart condition called myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle that if undiagnosed and untreated can cause heart damage. This heart condition has been found in some athletes who contracted COVID-19. Myocarditis is usually caused by a viral infection, but seems to appear more frequently with COVID-19. COVID-19 is also known to cause inflammation in other key organs.

Some colleges have screened athletes for heart conditions. Two small studies of college athletes with COVID-19 infections indicated heart inflammation might be an outcome. Another study of professional athletes published in JAMA Cardiology said heart inflammation was uncommon in pro athletes - most who had experienced mild COVID-19 infections - but that more research is needed.

The Cotton O’Neil Heart Center has cared for both COVID-19 positive inpatients and outpatients to consult on potential heart concerns. In a review of cardiology services for patients with a COVID-19 diagnosis from March 2020 through February 2021, our Cardiology team has had nearly 150 COVID-19 patient visits and provided screening services such as echocardiograms, strain imaging echocardiography, EKGs and cardiac MRIs.

Cardiologists are called into consult for patients exhibiting heart complications.  These consults are referred by both the hospitalists caring for hospital patients and by primary care physicians who treat patients in the outpatient setting. We have also developed an Enhanced Primary Care service to follow patients through their COVID-19 illness once they have been discharged from the hospital or were seen in the Emergency Department.

Here are today’s updates:

  • ‘A Day in the Life’ – Stormont Vail Nursing Excellence
  • Join Us as We Remember
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (English and Spanish)

‘A Day in the Life’ - Stormont Vail Nursing Excellence
Laurel Sutton, RN, Surgical Intensive Care, reminds of us the power of our team during a difficult year in the third video in the “A Day in Life” series we are doing to share the excellence of the care we provide. She says she loves the autonomy she experiences in her work with some of our most critically ill patients.

These videos offer our team encouragement and gratitude as we have worked through the COVID-19 pandemic, and they show our community the awesome teamwork in our organization. Each Friday, we release a new video that is posted on SVnet and on Stormont Vail social media sites. Here are links to the earlier “A Day in the Life” videos:

Zach Christy, RN, Charge Nurse, Emergency Department

Allie Jones, RN, Charge Nurse, Pavilion

Join Us as We Remember

We will have a ceremony to recognize and remember the lives lost to COVID-19 at Stormont Vail, the caring and resiliency of our team, and the support from our communities. This will be noon Wednesday, March 24, at the driveway by the South Tower of the hospital. All team members are invited. Please bring a bell.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

We have administered 41,564 COVID-19 vaccinations to date at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center.

  • Today we are administering vaccinations for people in Phase 1 and Phase 2 A and B. All of our appointments today are full.
  • We have also filled the limited number of appointments we will have Monday, March 22. These are for individuals in Phases 3 and 4, persons aged 16-64 with medical risks that increase the severity of COVID-19, that have been added to the eligibility list. We will be able to offer more appointments later next week, once we receive additional vaccine. Phase 3 and 4 qualifying medical conditions can be found on the Shawnee County Health Department press release dated 3/15/21.
  • Our vaccine allocation, guidance and eligible individuals/groups, comes from Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. As we receive additional vaccine, we will open more appointments times and communicate that information to the community.

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 16 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 16 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 6.4%.
  • Team Member Health information is included in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 4 4 666
Providers 0 0 58
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Today we will pass the 40,000 mark on COVID-19 vaccines we have administered at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. We had provided 39,875 COVID-19 vaccinations – both first and second doses – at the close of Wednesday. Today and Friday, we are providing vaccinations for people in Phase 1 and Phase 2 A and B. All appointments are full.

  • Starting Friday, March 19, invitations to schedule the vaccine will be sent to individuals in Phases 3 and 4 who have medical conditions that increase the risk of more severe COVID-19 disease. These include conditions such as cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic lung disease, Down syndrome, heart conditions, obesity, pregnancy and Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. These individuals will be provided a link in their MyChart account to schedule their first dose of the vaccine on March 22 or 23.
  • On April 12, vaccinations will expand to critical workers listed in Phase 3 and Phase 4.
  • Our vaccine allocation and guidance about individuals and groups who can receive vaccinations comes from the Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
  • For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ or call the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Line at (785) 270-4786.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Angelina Cooper, RN, a KSNT Remarkable Woman
  • COVID-19 Scorecard (English and Spanish)

Angelina Cooper, RN, a KSNT Remarkable Woman

Pavilion Charge Nurse Angelina Cooper was featured on a KSNT segment this week for her work on the frontline caring for COVID-19 patients through the pandemic. Angelina is one of several nurses in her family and says nursing “is a work of the heart.”

COVID-19 Scorecard

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 16 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 17 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 8.0%.

Wear a facemask. Social distance by six feet. Wash your hands. Avoid crowds. Get your COVID-19 vaccine at your first opportunity.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

When Gov. Laura Kelly announced earlier this week that the state will be pushing forward and combining Phases 3 and 4 of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout beginning Monday, March 22, our team at Stormont Vail was prepared.

We know people are anxious to get their vaccines and there have been frustrations in waiting through the phases. We receive our vaccine allocations and guidance on who we can vaccinate through the Shawnee County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Here’s a look at our plans:

  • We have open appointments for Thursday and Friday, March 18 and 19, for people in Phase 1 and Phase 2 A and B. This includes health care workers, residents in long-term care or senior housing, workers critical to pandemic response, individuals age 65 and older, LEO/first responders, K-12 faculty, those in congregate settings and high-contact critical workers.
    • Eligible Kansas residents can schedule their appointment by visiting the Stormont Vail website https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ and the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will walk them through the online process.
    • Stormont Vail is also contacting eligible individuals 65 and over through the online patient portal system, MyChart, to notify them of open appointments to schedule a vaccine. If individuals do not have a MyChart account, we encourage them to sign up sign up at https://www.stormontvail.org/mychart/
    •  Eligible Kansas residents who need assistance scheduling a vaccine appointment can call the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Line at (785) 270-4786.
  • Starting Friday, March 19, appointment times for March 22 and 23 will open for individuals in Phases 3 and 4 who have medical conditions that increase the risk of more severe COVID-19 disease. These include conditions such as cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic lung disease, Down syndrome, heart conditions, obesity, pregnancy and Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Appointment scheduling will be available on Stormont Vail website, by calling the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Line and MyChart.
  • On April 12, vaccinations will expand to critical workers listed in phase 3 and phase 4. You can find the breakdown of eligible medical conditions covered in Phases 3 and 4 here: https://www.snco.us/hd/document/KS_Vaccination_Prioritization_Phases.pdf
  • Group priorities are based on guidance from the Shawnee County Health Department.
  • We currently are providing Pfizer and Moderna vaccines at our Vaccine Center. Depending on what we receive from the health department will determine if we begin to offer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine there. Johnson & Johnson is one dose compared to the others, which require two doses.

We were pleased that Gov. Kelly and Dr. Lee Norman, Secretary of KDHE, chose to make their announcement about the accelerated vaccine plan at our Vaccine Center. By combining Phases 3 and 4, Gov. Kelly said she anticipates being able to move to the final phase, Phase 5, by May 1.

This is a complex roll out and involves many moving parts. We are committed to helping our community get vaccinated and encourage everyone to take the first opportunity they have to get a vaccine.

For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ or call the Vaccine Info Line: (785) 270-0675.

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have administered 39,333 COVID-19 vaccinations to date at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center.
  • We have 16 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 18 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 8.7%.
  • COVID-19 Scorecard (Attached in English and Spanish)

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

One year.

It was March, a year ago when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived.

We felt the fear of the unknown as our world shut down.

We endured isolation, loss of control and sorrow.

No longer could we share our important moments, births and deaths, graduations.

Family hugs were prohibited by a virus.

March 17, 2020 – Incident Command begins overseeing daily COVID-19 operations, approving policies and procedures to address potential risks that COVID-19 brings to the region. “While none of us wants to be facing the circumstances we currently have before us, we are working to protect our staff, patients, visitors and communities.”

One year.

Our nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists, EVS team, food servers, and registrars,

Door screeners, imaging and lab teams, and therapists of every kind,

provided care on the front lines through stressful days and nights.

We were protected from COVID-19 by facemasks, PPE, closed doors, and remote work locations.

We became families for our patients who could not have family beside them.

March 20, 2020 – “We are in the midst of a very challenging time. The clinical response to COVID-19 is complex and fraught with fear and uncertainty. We are in the midst of severe economic disruption. Our responses to date have been guided by our overriding aim to treat and protect our patients and communities, and protect and support our team. Together we have made tremendous progress as well as many tough decisions.”

One year.

We experienced flyover and drive-by support, and virtual visits.

Our communities gave encouragement and supplies for which we remain grateful.

We honed our resiliency, teamwork and innovation.

We advanced new models and tools for caring; telehealth, respiratory clinics, treatment studies, and COVID-19 testing protocols.

March 24, 2020 – “Today, at approximately 2:30 p.m., we informed the team of our first patient with a positive test for COVID-19. We prepared for this patient and for this news. We know that in the coming days and weeks we will see more positive test results – and we are prepared to handle the care for those patients as well.”

One year.

We felt the emotion and hope of new treatments and vaccines.

Our team collaborated to create a vaccine clinic for protection of our community.

We have been through a year unlike any before, a year that will become a page of history.

We are processing the experience, the losses, the collaborations, the changes to our world.

There is still healing to be done, for our team and our community.

March 28, 2020 – Shawnee County has first death from COVID-19.

March 30, 2020 – “I am in awe of all the teamwork I have seen in recent weeks to position our organization to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are working as a team to amass needed supplies and equipment, we are setting up new ways to deliver care, we are caring for each other, and now caring for those suffering from COVID-19. I am deeply grateful for all of your individual contributions and for the work we do together.”

One year.

Our team has performed 83,325 COVID-19 tests.

Our team has administered 37,947 COVID-19 vaccines.

Our team has cared for 1,745 COVID-19 positive inpatients.

Our team has supported 792 outpatients recovering through our Enhanced Primary Care Clinic.

Our team has touched 201 people in their final moments of life.

We have a multitude of data, metrics and scorecards from the past year. However, the real story is how our team came together to care for our patients and community in the face of a world pandemic. I am so proud. We together.

Join Us as We Remember
We will have a ceremony to recognize and remember the lives lost to COVID-19 at Stormont Vail, the caring and resiliency of our team, and the support from our communities. This will be noon Wednesday, March 24, at the driveway by the South Tower of the hospital. All team members are invited. Please bring a bell.

Here are today’s updates:

  • We Together: Coronavirus Discussion on KSNT
  • Visitor Policy at Ambulatory Surgery Centers
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (Scorecard attached in English and Spanish)

We Together: Coronavirus Discussion on KSNT
Dr. Sri Donepudi, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Quality Officer, and Derik Flerlage, Infectious Disease Division Manager, Shawnee County Health Department, were on last night’s KSNT segment of “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion.” It can be viewed at ksnt.com at https://www.ksnt.com/health/coronavirus/we-together-infectious-disease-expert-local-doctor-answer-your-coronavirus-questions/

Visitor Policy at Ambulatory Surgery Centers
We are updating our visitor policy to allow only one designated visitor for patients at Stormont Vail Single Day Surgery and ExcellENT Surgery Center to provide for social distancing. Because of the size of the waiting rooms and patient volumes on certain days, we may have occasions to ask for the designated visitor to wait in the car. Managers can make exceptions when appropriate.

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

  • We have administered 37,947 COVID-19 vaccinations to date at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center, which is open today to provide vaccines to anyone in Phase 1, 2A or 2B (age 65 and older or critical workers groups). We will share information when we receive more vaccine to open more appointment slots.
  • For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ or call the Vaccine Info Line: (785) 270-0675.
  • We have 13 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 18 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 9.6%. On Monday afternoon, we corrected this metric on our scorecard when we learned that a change made March 5 to include a new in-house PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test was not being captured in our data after all. This resulted in lower percentage of positivity reported than actual on the scorecard. We have put processes in place to mitigate similar issues in the future. Since March 5, the lowest percentage positive was 5.1% reported March 9, with the percentage on an increase since.
  • Team Member Health is provided in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
  Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 10 7 661
Providers 2 2 56
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have administered 36,326 COVID-19 vaccinations to date at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center, which is open today and Tuesday to provide vaccines to anyone in Phase 1, 2A or 2B (age 65 and older or critical workers groups. Appointments on those days are filled. We will share information when we receive more vaccine to open more appointment slots.
  • For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ or call the Vaccine Info Line: (785) 270-0675.
  • We have 13 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 17 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 5.8%.

Here are additional updates:

  • Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KSNT
  • Update on Team Member Vaccinations

Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KSNT
Dr. Sri Donepudi, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Quality Officer, and Derik Flerlage, Infectious Disease Division Manager, Shawnee County Health Department, will represent Stormont Vail Health on tonight’s segment of “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion.” This segment will air at 6:30 p.m. on KSNT, Channel 27.

Update on Team Member Vaccinations

COVID VACCINATION UPDATE:
Team Members who have completed series: 3,288*
Tested positive after dose #1: 45
Tested positive after series completion: 4

*Information available through 03/13/21. It does not include those who have received vaccine outside of SVH. We provide statistics on team members completing the COVID-19 vaccination series and testing positive after the first and second doses. Three of the four who tested positive after series completion were within 14 days of vaccination.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

The impact of COVID-19 reaches into many areas – some of which we are still learning about. This includes learning more about the treatments for the disease and the vaccines that provide protection. One issue now getting headlines is a temporary side effect experienced by some patients who have had a recent COVID-19 vaccine – swelling in the lymph nodes of the armpit. This may be detected when a person is having a mammogram. Swollen lymph nodes is one sign breast imaging experts look for during cancer screenings.

The Society of Breast Imaging has provided recommendations for the management of axillary adenopathy (swelling of lymph nodes in the armpit) in some patients with recent COVID-19 vaccination. Higher rates of this swelling have been reported with the administration of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Due to this finding, the following recommendation is made by the Society of Breast Imaging and is supported by the Stormont Vail Health Medical Imaging Breast Center:

  • If possible, and when it does not significantly delay care, consider scheduling screening exams prior to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination or 4-6 weeks following the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccination.
  • This recommendation is being shared with our patients at the time of scheduling their screening mammogram at Stormont Vail.  We will also be adding a question to our MyChart portal for patients who self-schedule their mammograms.

Dr. Brett Meggison, Lead Radiologist for Breast Imaging at Stormont Vail Health, noted there has been only one case seen here with prominent lymph nodes in which the patient had a recent COVID-19 vaccine. The radiologists are aware of the concerns and are scheduling and providing care to patients appropriately.

The possible side effect of the vaccine should not deter women from getting a breast screening, especially since some may have already delayed scheduling mammograms in the early months of the pandemic.

Here are today’s updates:

  • ‘A Day in the Life’ - Stormont Vail Nursing Excellence
  • Stormont Vail Earns ‘High 5 for Mom & Baby’ Recognition
  • Team Member Health and COVID-19 Scorecard (English and Spanish)

‘A Day in the Life’ - Stormont Vail Nursing Excellence

The second in a series of “A Day in the Life” videos captures the healthcare world through the eyes of Allie Jones, RN, Charge Nurse on the Pavilion. These videos offer our team encouragement and gratitude as we have worked through a difficult year, and they show our community the amazing quality care we provide. Each Friday, a new video is released. They are posted on SVnet and on Stormont Vail social media sites. Listen to Allie tell how our team provides great care.

Stormont Vail Earns ‘High 5 for Mom & Baby’ Recognition

Stormont Vail Health has earned “High 5 for Mom & Baby” recognition, a program offered through the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund. This program provides resources and a framework to help hospitals and birthing centers improve health outcomes for breastfeeding woman and their infants. The Stormont Vail team met evidence-based practices that promote and educate about breastfeeding and provide new mother and infant support to achieve the recognition.

Team Member Health and COVID-19 Scorecard
Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have provided 34,566 COVID-19 vaccinations at our Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center, which is open today, Monday and Tuesday to provide vaccines to anyone in Phase 1, 2A or 2B (age 65 and older or critical workers groups. Appointments on those days are filled.
  • We have 17 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 18 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 5.1%.
  • Team Member Health information is included in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 11 8 660
Providers 2 2 56
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have administered 34,566 COVID-19 vaccinations to date.
  • We have 13 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 17 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 4.7%.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

  • Our Vaccine Center at the Stormont Vail Events Center is closed today. However, we are taking COVID-19 vaccination appointments for Friday, Monday and Tuesday for people age 65 and older as well as for assigned groups of high-contact critical workers as determined by the Shawnee County Health Department.
  • Shawnee County Health Department announced it has moved to Phase 2B today. The critical workers in this phase are defined by the county in their announcement.
  • Stormont Vail Health is following the COVID-19 vaccination phases as outlined by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Shawnee County Health Department.
  • For more information, go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ or call the Vaccine Information Line: (785) 270-0675.

How to Sign Up for a COVID-19 Vaccine
Anyone approved in Phase 1, 2A and 2B (age 65 and older or critical worker groups) under the Kansas Vaccination Plan can schedule a vaccine.

  • Stormont Vail Health now has another option available for eligible individuals to schedule their vaccination. Visit our website at stormontvail.org/COVID19/Vaccine/ and the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Assistant will walk you through an online scheduling process.
  • If you would like to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment by phone, please call (785) 270-0644.
  • Patients (age 65 and older) with a MyChart account will receive an email with an invite to schedule a vaccine appointment. You can then self-schedule your appointment in MyChart.
  • Patients with a previous encounter with Stormont Vail Hospital or Cotton O’Neil Clinic who do not have MyChart can request an activation code to set up a MyChart account at https://mychart.stormontvail.org/MyChart/signup.
  • People with no previous encounter with Stormont Vail Hospital or Cotton O’Neil Clinic seeking to open a MyChart account: Please call (785) 270-0644 for assistance.

COVID-19 Scorecard (English and Spanish)

Please continue to wear facemasks, social distance, wash your hands and avoid crowds, and get a COVID-19 vaccination when you have the opportunity.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

  • The Vaccine Center is closed today and Thursday.
  • We are opening COVID-19 vaccination appointments for Friday, Monday and Tuesday for people age 65 and older as well as for assigned groups of high-contact critical workers as determined by the Shawnee County Health Department.
  • Shawnee County announced it is moving into Phase 2B tomorrow which includes additional groups of high-contact workers who provide critical services and are at higher risk of being infected with the virus due to their job requirements. We are in the process of contacting these groups to provide them information about vaccination scheduling. Already we have helped with vaccinations for other high-contact critical workers such as K-12 teachers and childcare workers.
  • Stormont Vail Health is following the COVID-19 vaccination phases as outlined by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Shawnee County Health Department. They determine our allocation and whom we may vaccinate.
  • For more information, go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ or call the Vaccine Information Line: (785) 270-0675.

How to Sign Up for a COVID-19 Vaccine if You Are Age 65 or Older

We encourage individuals to sign up for a MyChart account to schedule their appointment.

  • Patients (age 65 and older) with a MyChart account will receive an email with an invite to schedule a vaccine appointment. You can then self-schedule your appointment in MyChart.
  • For patients with a previous encounter with Stormont Vail Hospital or Cotton O’Neil Clinic who do not have MyChart:
  • For people with no previous encounter with Stormont Vail Hospital or Cotton O’Neil Clinic seeking to open a MyChart account: Please call (785) 270-0644 for assistance.
  • For people who want to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment by phone, please call (785) 270-0644.

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have administered 34,566 COVID-19 vaccinations to date.
  • We have 12 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 22 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 5.3%.
  • COVID-19 Scorecard (English and Spanish)

Here are today’s updates:

  • Translation Services Available

Translation Services Available

When patients or family members need translation services, we have equipped our team with iPads that can connect with a medical translation service. This is used primarily for Spanish translation, but in the recent months we have also provided translation in numerous other languages including Vietnamese, Khmer, Polish, Pohnpeian, Czech, Hindi, Russian, Korean, Cantonese, Mandarin, Gujarati, Cambodian, Arabic, American Sign. The hospital and all of our clinics have these iPads and we have equipped all of our door screeners in Topeka with iPads to access the service if translation is needed.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

We continue to learn as the science behind the COVID-19 pandemic evolves. A focus now is on how the COVID-19 vaccine impacts the virus and when we can take steps to return to some kind of normalcy once we are fully vaccinated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday stated there is more to be learned about how well COVID-19 vaccines keep people from spreading the disease, how long the vaccines will protect people, and how effective vaccines are against variants of the virus.

The CDC also provided long awaited guidance for those fully immunized for COVID-19. Fully vaccinated is considered two weeks after the two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The vaccines have shown to be effective in preventing COVID-19 disease, especially severe illness and death.

With the new CDC guidance fully vaccinated people can:

  • Gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask or social distancing by 6 feet.
  • Gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household without masks, unless any of those people has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Refrain from quarantine and testing if they do not develop symptoms of COVID-19 after contact with someone who has COVID-19. If they develop symptoms, then they should be tested and stay home.

Fully vaccinated people should:

  • Continue preventive practices in public, when visiting unvaccinated people from multiple households or when around unvaccinated people at high risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19. This includes wearing a facemask, social distancing by six feet, avoiding medium- to large-gatherings, avoiding poorly ventilated spaces, following CDC and health department travel requirements, and getting tested if COVID-19 symptoms are experienced.

The new guidance means inoculated grandparents can now visit unvaccinated healthy grandchildren without masks and social distancing, if the visit only includes one other household. Having the ability to hug a grandchild is symbolic of the end of the isolation many of us have felt the past year as our regular routines became potential routes for virus transmission. For now, we will continue with preventive measures that slow the spread of the virus while our focus will be encouraging others to get the vaccine. As more people become fully vaccinated and we achieve widespread coverage, we will be able to safely resume more activities.

Here are today’s updates:

  • We Together: Coronavirus Discussion on KSNT
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Update
  • COVID-19 Scorecard  and Team Member Health (Scorecard attached in English and Spanish)

We Together: Coronavirus Discussion on KSNT

Dr. Clif Jones,  Vice President, Specialty Services, and infectious disease specialist, and Dr. Marci Nielsen, State Coronavirus Advisor, were on last night’s KSNT segment of “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion.” The segment can be viewed at ksnt.com.

 

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

  • We have administered 34,566 COVID-19 vaccinations to date.
  • The Stormont Vail COVID-19 Vaccine Center at the Stormont Vail Events Center is closed today, Wednesday and Thursday. It will reopen Friday.
  • Stormont Vail Health is following the COVID-19 vaccination phases as outlined by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Shawnee County Health Department. They determine our allocation and whom we may vaccinate.
  • We have been vaccinating people who are age 65 and older as well as risk groups designated by local and state health officials. Shawnee County Health Department has stated it is preparing to expand to high-contact workers included in Phase 2B.
  • For more information, go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ or call the Vaccine Information Line: (785) 270-0675.

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 4.8%.  This is the first time since June 23, 2020 that this percentage is below the 5% mark.
  • We have 11 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 25 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 11 9 659
Providers 1 1 56
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 9 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 23 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 5.9%.
  • We have administered 33,502 COVID-19 vaccinations to date.
  • We are currently vaccinating individuals age 65 and up as well as risk groups designated by local and state health officials. Our vaccination efforts are governed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Shawnee County Health Department who determine our allocation and whom we may vaccinate. As we receive more vaccine we open up additional appointments.
  • For more information, go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ or call the Vaccine Information Line: (785) 270-0675.
  • COVID-19 Scorecard (English and Spanish)

Here are today’s updates:

  • Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KSNT

Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KSNT

Dr. Soni Mathew, occupational medicine specialist at Cotton O’Neil Work Care, will represent Stormont Vail Health on tonight’s segment of “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion.” This segment will air at 6:30 p.m. on KSNT, Channel 27. Dr. Mathew will be joined by Dr. Marci Nielsen, State Coronavirus Advisor.

Please continue to wear facemasks, social distance, wash your hands and avoid crowds, and get a COVID-19 vaccination when you have the opportunity to do so.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

What started out as a day in 1911 as International Women’s Day, turned into Women’s History Week in the 1970s. In 1987, the month of March was declared Women’s History Month by Congress.

It is a month to celebrate the achievements of women, conduct a review of equality and opportunities for women, and educate others about noteworthy women’s history.

Healthcare has traditionally been a sector that employs a high proportion of women. Having women in leadership roles is not unique to us.  Eight of the 17 members of the Stormont Vail Operating Committee are women, and soon to be nine when Peg Burnette joins the team in April as the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Our 17-member Board of Directors includes seven women.

We celebrate the accomplishments of the many women in our organization’s history and currently who have helped us be the leading healthcare provider in Kansas. Our name, Stormont Vail, is testament to two women, Jane C. Stormont and Ellen Bowman Vail. They cared so much about the health of our community in the late 1800s that they enlisted the support of others, including Mrs. Vail’s husband, Bishop Thomas Vail, to establish two community hospitals. The two hospitals later merged to create who we are today.

To better care for our communities, we need the perspectives of our community members – across gender, gender identification, race, ethnicity, age, abilities and disabilities, health diagnoses and more. We want to hear those viewpoints and we do that in multiple ways – patient and team engagement surveys, through our Patient Experience Department, and our Patient and Family Partnership Council. That helps us better plan and prepare for a future that truly serves the healthcare needs of all Kansans. That would make Jane C. Stormont and Ellen Vail proud.

Here are today’s updates:

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments
  • ‘A Day in the Life’ - Stormont Vail Nursing Excellence
  • Video Celebrates Stormont Vail Receiving TAVR Certification
  • Couture for Cancer: Compassion and Fashion
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (English and Spanish)

COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments
We have appointments available on Monday, March 8, for individuals age 65 and up to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

  • We encourage individuals to sign up for a MyChart accounts to schedule their appointment or individuals may call (785) 270-0644 to schedule an appointment.
  • We are currently vaccinating individuals age 65 and up as well as risk groups designated by local and state health officials. Our vaccination efforts are governed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Shawnee County Health Department who determine our allocation and whom we may vaccinate. As we receive more vaccine we open up additional appointments.
  • We have administered 32,398 COVID-19 vaccinations through Thursday.
  • For more information, go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ or call the Vaccine Information Line: (785) 270-0675.

‘A Day in the Life’ - Stormont Vail Nursing Excellence

The first in a series of “A Day in the Life” videos captures the healthcare world through the eyes of Zach Christy, RN, Charge Nurse, Emergency Department. These videos offer our team encouragement and gratitude as we have worked through a difficult year, and they show our community the awesome teamwork that we have through our organization. Each Friday, we will be releasing a new video and they will be posted on SVnet and on Stormont Vail social media sites.

P.S. Watch the video and see why Zach’s mom is proud of him.

Video Celebrates Stormont Vail Receiving TAVR Certification
A video celebrating the recognition of Stormont Vail by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) for its demonstrated expertise and commitment in treating patients receiving transcatheter valve repair and replacement (TAVR) procedures is now available. Hear from a patient and Dr. Seshu Rao, interventional radiologist. Congratulations to our team members for this wonderful recognition.

Couture for Cancer: Compassion and Fashion
The American Cancer Society’s Couture for Cancer is 4 to 5:30 p.m. this Saturday, March 6. It’s virtual and free to attend. Stormont Vail Health is a media sponsor of this year’s charitable event with unique fashion items and more. To attend, go to https://e.givesmart.com/events/jTa/

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 15 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 25 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 6.9%.
  • Team Member Health information is included below and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 11 9 658
Providers 1 1 56
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

Spring Break for many schools in our region is in the upcoming week. Spring Break of last year was when COVID-19 crashed our world. In 2020, some students didn’t return to classrooms because of the spread of the virus. In 2021, the pandemic isn’t over. Please continue to practice precautions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising against Spring Break travel, noting that travel is a high risk activity and increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. There is concern about the spread of multiple variants of COVID-19 now in the United States and the loosening of prevention restrictions.

We are turning the corner in the pandemic with infection rates on the decline, and inpatients with COVID-19 and deaths decreasing. COVID-19 vaccines are getting into the arms of more people and providing protection. Let’s keep that momentum going so we can truly get through this together.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Good signs continue as we work our way out of this pandemic. We have open appointment times for individuals age 65 and up who want a COVID-19 vaccine. We are trending down in the number of inpatients positive for COVID-19 and outpatients in our Enhanced Primary Care program. The percentage of people testing positive has been decreasing.

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 16 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 31 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 7.0%.
  • We have administered 31,198 COVID-19 vaccinations to date.
  • We are currently vaccinating individuals age 65 and up as well as risk groups designated by local and state health officials. Our vaccination efforts are governed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Shawnee County Health Department who determine our allocation and whom we may vaccinate. As we receive more vaccine we open up additional appointments.
  • We currently have appointments available Friday and Monday at the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center for individuals age 65 and up. The clinic will be closed next Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • We encourage individuals to sign up for a MyChart accounts to schedule their appointment or individuals may call (785) 270-0644 to schedule an appointment.
  • For patients with a previous encounter with Stormont Vail Hospital or Cotton O’Neil Clinic who do not have MyChart:
    • You can request an activation code to set up a MyChart account at https://mychart.stormontvail.org/MyChart/signup.
    • You are age 65 or over and want to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination, but do not have a MyChart account, please call (785) 270-0644 for assistance with setting up a MyChart account or to schedule an appointment by phone.
    • For people with no previous encounter with Stormont Vail Hospital or Cotton O’Neil Clinic seeking to open a MyChart account: Please call (785) 270-0644 for assistance.
    • For more information, go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ or call the Vaccine Information Line: (785) 270-0675.
    • COVID-19 Scorecard (English and Spanish)

    We encourage everyone to continue practices to mitigate the spread of the virus: wear a facemask, social distance by six feet, wash your hands and avoid crowds. Please get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you have the opportunity. Together through these efforts we can make a difference.

    We together,
    Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Stormont Vail Health is pleased to announce the establishment of a COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Line as another option for individuals to schedule their COVID-19 vaccine. Those who are age 65 and over can call (785) 270-0644 to schedule their COVID-19 vaccine. This telephone line is in addition to scheduling for a vaccine through MyChart.

We currently have appointments available Thursday, Friday and Monday at the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center.

To date, we have administered 29,587 COVID-19 vaccinations – this includes first and second doses. We will exceed the 30,000 mark with today’s appointments. Our vaccination efforts are governed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Shawnee County Health Department who determine our allocation and whom we may vaccinate.

We still encourage individuals to sign up for a MyChart account to schedule their appointment.

  • Eligible individuals with a MyChart account will receive an email with an invite to schedule a vaccine appointment. As we receive more vaccine we open up additional appointments.
  • For patients with a previous encounter with Stormont Vail Hospital or Cotton O’Neil Clinic who do not have MyChart:
    • You can request an activation code to set up a MyChart account at https://mychart.stormontvail.org/MyChart/signup.
    • You are age 65 or over and want to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination, but do not have a MyChart account, please call (785) 270-0644 for assistance with setting up a MyChart account or to schedule an appointment by phone.
  • For people with no previous encounter with Stormont Vail Hospital or Cotton O’Neil Clinic seeking to open a MyChart account: Please call (785) 270-0644 for assistance.

For more information, go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ or call the Vaccine Information Line: (785) 270-0675.

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 16 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 37 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 7.0%.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Hospitalized patients placed in isolation precautions for infection control may experience increased depression or anxiety, delay of care, decreased time with caregivers and decreased patient satisfaction. Nurses and providers giving care never want to cause unintentional harm, but the importance for isolation trumps those adverse effects.

With COVID-19, more patients than ever have had to be placed in isolation rooms because of the high level of transmissibility of the virus and because many patients have required the use of ventilators or aerosolizing treatments.

Since this pandemic arrived in our region in March 2020, we have equipped our team with personal protective equipment to safely go into those isolation areas. The guidance for appropriate PPE from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment has evolved as more is learned about the virus. At times, this felt like we were constantly changing PPE guidance.

We continue to require that our team wear appropriate PPE and have a detailed algorithm for what is appropriate for specific areas. Our PPE Committee continually reviews best practices and new guidance to make sure our team members are protected. We also review the conditions that warrant patients to be placed in isolation precautions. For instance, we recently updated our contact isolation requirements, and now allow a visitor to see those patients once they have completed education and agree to wear appropriate PPE in the isolation room. Contact isolation precautions are for patients who have MSRA or other multidrug-resistant pathogens.

COVID-19 patients are placed in a higher level of isolation precautions and cannot have visitors, we try to accommodate them by providing “virtual” visits with their family and friends through electronic devices. We do make exceptions for patients who are at end of life when accommodations can be met.

We understand that these are trying times for our patients, their families and our team members. COVID-19 has impacted all of us greatly. Isolation is not limited to hospital rooms with COVID-19 positive patients. It has reached into our communities where residents are practicing social distancing and other preventive measures. The use of PPE also extends outside the hospital and clinic walls as we encourage people to wear facemasks in social and public settings. Communicating about the reasons these are needed helps all of us have a clearer understanding and ability to cope.

PPE: N95s Guidance Changing
Incident Command approved a recommendation of the PPE Committee today to have team members caring for COVID-19 positive or PUI (Persons Under Investigation for COVID-19) to wear an N95 facemask. If the team member is unable to be fit tested for an N95, then they will wear an air-purifying respirator (PAPR). This will be effective in April or as soon as fit testing is available.

During the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a nationwide shortage of N95s and the CDC provided strategies for healthcare organizations to optimize PPE supplies, which included prioritizing the use of N95 respirators and well-fitting facemasks by activity type. The CDC stated in February 2021 that once PPE supplies and availability return to normal, healthcare facilities should promptly resume conventional practices.

The science surrounding COVID-19 has evolved from the initial months when it was recommended PPE be appropriate for droplet isolation. That recommendation has since changed to respiratory / airborne isolation. According to the CDC, N95 respirators are the PPE most often used to control exposures to infections transmitted via the airborne route, though their effectiveness is highly dependent upon proper fit and use.

Stormont Vail first required facemasks be worn by team members on April 7, 2020. Depending on work assignment, this ranged from a cloth mask to higher level PPE. We have evolved in our PPE as science surrounding the virus has evolved and as we have been able to acquire the PPE that is most appropriate. On Oct. 19, we began supplying all team members and those in our facilities with procedural facemasks. All team members in COVID-19 bedded patient departments have had PAPRs, procedural masks and face shields, and later N95s as supplies became available for protection.

Our team members have been fully protected with the PPE protocols we have established thus far in the pandemic, but our aim is to follow CDC guidance now that an ample supply of N95s is available.

As our plan develops and is implemented, new policies and details will be shared with the team. N95 fit testing through Stormont Vail Work Care / Occupational Health team will be done at every Cotton O’Neil clinic location to fit test patient-facing team members. During March, fit testing will also continue to be available in the Bryden Room in Pozez Education Center (north end of the hospital) from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays. In April, fit testing will resume Monday through Friday in the Bryden Room.

Here are today’s updates:

  • We Together: Coronavirus Discussion on KSNT
  • Stormont Vail Receives Silver Addy
  • Today’s Scorecard and Team Member Health (Scorecard: English and Spanish)

We Together: Coronavirus Discussion on KSNT
Amy Cripe, RN, Nurse Manager on 7 South COVID-19 Department, and Dr. Clif Jones,  Vice President, Specialty Services, and infectious disease specialist, were on last night’s KSNT segment of “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion.” It can be viewed at ksnt.com at https://www.ksnt.com/health/coronavirus/we-together-frontline-healthcare-worker-doctor-answer-your-coronavirus-questions/

Stormont Vail Receives Silver Addy
Stormont Health received a Silver Addy (American Advertising Awards) for a 60 second video for “Couture for Cancer.” This was in the Local Television Commercial category. Congratulations to the Marketing and Communications Department. Here is the link for the Cancer Center commercial that won: https://vimeo.com/394475124/d91b18bfbd

Today’s Scorecard and Team Member Health

  • We have administered 27,975 COVID-19 vaccinations at our COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. We are now providing appointments to those age 65 and over and child care workers per the Shawnee County Health Department. Our vaccination efforts are governed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Shawnee County Health Department who determine our allocation and whom we may vaccinate.
  • For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, go to https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/ or call the Vaccine Information Line: (785) 270-0675.
  • We are caring for 18 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 6.6%.
  • We have 34 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • We provide Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 12 10 654
Providers 1 1 56
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Who we are as an organization is defined by each of our team members, through our perspectives and actions, and through our abilities and capabilities to bring knowledge, skills and compassion to our work in healthcare. It is important to be inclusive and open to others, particularly in a year when we have experienced a pandemic and witnessed racial unrest and political divisiveness impact our nation.

During Black History Month in February, we have used this communication to reflect on people and events that have influenced our world and specifically healthcare. Today, we are sharing the perspectives of our own team in this communication and in a special video. By listening and learning about Black history and the experience of others we can become more culturally aware.

Jacqueline Kenoly, M.D., Express Care

After Dr. Kenoly graduated from Meharry Medical College, the nation's largest private, historically Black academic health sciences center, she spent 19 years practicing medicine at the North Topeka Cotton O’Neil Clinic because she wanted to “serve the underserved.”

“My experience in North Topeka was good. I think for the most part, I was well received,” Dr. Kenoly says. “I think people appreciated me being there. Truthfully, there were a few people who didn’t want to see me because I was Black….But there were plenty of people who wanted to come because I was Black. I think at the end of the day, I developed patient-physician relationships and people came and continued to come because we developed trust, good communication, and they received good care.”

Dr. Kenoly, now a physician at Express Care, believes that trust between patient and provider is extremely important because of the personal and private nature of a person’s health. “People need to trust you in order to be honest and open about their health care needs,” she says. “If you develop that trust, they’ll appreciate it and they’ll tell you the truth, and they’ll listen to your recommendations and then they’re more likely to follow your recommendations.”

She believes there are steps healthcare organizations can follow to better serve the Black community.

  • Recognize that bias, unconscious and conscious, exists and “take it on, head on.”
  • Have diversity at all levels. Recruit physicians who “look like the people in the community. I think that is important, very important.”
  • Recognize and understand that what the organization is doing should encompass patients as well as team members. Treat people the same, regardless of race, age or gender.
  • Be a consistent presence in the Black community and be a presence in non-traditional ways, such as going to community events and making sure people are aware of health services that are important for them to know about.

Dr. Kenoly encourages her family and patients to be their own best advocate in their own health. She questions whether chronic health issues associated with Blacks are based solely on genetics or are the result of sustained systemic racism. Being victims of systemic racism and oppression results in chronic stress and may drive people to unhealthy lifestyle choices such as smoking or overeating. These choices can lead to health problems. She says the stress of the past year with the pandemic and racial unrest has been impactful on people. “Stress is real. Racism is real and it’s a constant battle.  And then when you’re not heard or you’re not valued or you’re not treated fairly, then that’s an added stress in and of itself. It is exhausting,” she says.

Deondre Harris, Patient Experience Specialist
Deondre joined Stormont Vail four months ago and even though he is not in a clinical role, he understands the clinical perspective from growing up with a mom who is a nurse. A key to helping people get the healthcare they need, especially the older Black members of the community, is to develop trust, Deondre says.

“Listen to what they are saying,” he says, then provide good feedback and build a relationship. “Any distrust will define that experience.” Trust is a big influencer of African Americans seeking healthcare because of historic incidents in which Blacks were not treated well or treated fairly.

Deondre believes that preventative care is very important to help patients understand illnesses and diseases, such as diabetes, that they may be at risk for. Caregivers need to take time to listen and provide education early on about prevention and lifestyle changes that will benefit the patient, possibly helping him or her avoid developing the condition.

Having cultural awareness is important in working with any patient, Deondre says. He hopes through his role in patient experience he can engage team members in meaningful interactions with patients.

Evelyn Bruce, Retired Nurse and Stormont Vail Patient and Family Partnership Council member
Evelyn Bruce worked 45 years for Stormont Vail as an L.P.N. in Cardiology and Safety Specialist in administration before she retired. She now serves as a volunteer member on the organization’s Patient and Family Partnership Council to provide valuable feedback and she continues caring for her community by informally helping people navigate the healthcare system and its complexities.

Evelyn says that historically there has been a significant lack of trust in healthcare providers and organizations by Black community members. People didn’t feel that they were heard or were going to get the services they needed. “They felt like they were overlooked,” she said.

“Growing up, a lot of the things we were taught in our home were not the same things that whites were taught in their homes,” she says. “Whites had jobs that they were able to have insurance so they went to the doctor on a regular basis, went to the dentist regularly and the eye doctor. Many families didn’t have the kind of jobs that allowed them to have insurance that they could go to the doctor on a regular basis.” Only when a medical situation was dire would a Black person go to the doctor, she said.

“Even now, that’s why a lot of people show up in the E.R. There’s a lot of young people who have jobs, but they don’t have jobs with employers who have enough money to pay for their health insurance. Their health insurance is too expensive for them to afford especially if they have children.” Evelyn says.

To build trust, Black patients want a relationship with a healthcare provider in which they are treated the same as others, regardless of skin color. “So if I come to see you I want to be treated like I’m a human being, I want to be treated as though I make a difference, that I count, that I matter,” she says.

Health issues that African Americans more commonly experience are diabetes, heart issues, hypertension and obesity. The lack of access to healthy foods because of food deserts - areas that don’t have grocery stores or healthy foods outlets - and lack of exercise compound those issues. Having a job to afford nutritious fruits and vegetables and healthcare is also critical.

Evelyn has made it her mission, even in retirement, to be a resource for her family, church family and community about healthcare services that can help people. She posts information on church bulletin boards and Facebook groups about health services and recently has assisted seniors with signing up for COVID-19 vaccines. She believes healthcare organizations need to communicate more effectively with the Black community so everyone will benefit.

Thank you to these team members, our board members Pamela Johnson-Betts and Alonzo Harrison, and others who have shared their thoughts and insights in this communication on the four Fridays of February. During Black History Month and throughout the year, we need to recognize, appreciate and celebrate the resiliency and contributions of African Americans to Stormont Vail Health, to our community and our society.

Being open to view our world through the eyes of others, we learn that together we can be a wonderful mosaic of race and ethnicity, creating a foundation to strengthen individual health and our communities. We together.

Here are today’s updates:

  • GI Associates of Manhattan Joins SVH
  • Surgery Schedule Reopens March 1 at Ambulatory Surgery Centers
  • Visitor Policy, Screening Changes Effective March 1
  • COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts Update
  • COVID-19 Scorecard  and Team Member Health (Scorecard attached in English and Spanish)

GI Associates of Manhattan Joins SVH
Effective Monday, March 1, the GI Associates of Manhattan will join Cotton O’Neil Clinics. They have two Manhattan locations, 1014 Poyntz Ave., Suite B, and 1213 Hylton Heights Road, Suite 101. They move to the new Manhattan Medical Campus that is slated to open in 2023. Providers are W. Travis Dierenfeldt, M.D., Molly Lindquist Disbrow, M.D., Robert Starnes, PA-C, and Ben Lagally, PA-C. Nine additional employees are also joining our team.

Surgery Schedule Reopens March 1 at Ambulatory Surgery Centers
We are re-opening Stormont Vail Single Day Surgery and ExcellENT Surgery Center on Monday, March 1. The Pre-Post area in the Main OR will no longer provide overnight patient stays when the ambulatory facilities re-open. Thank you to all team members in the Surgery Division for being flexible and floating to roles in other areas when the pandemic impacted how we were able to provide safe patient care.

Visitor Policy, Screening Changes Effective March 1

We are modifying our visitor policy, effective Monday, March 1, to allow two visitors per patient, unless space will not accommodate. Space must provide six feet between visitors. If space is an issue, as determined by department leadership, a patient may still have two visitors, but only one at a time. Visitors are designated for the entire patient stay. Known exceptions are only one visitor per patient in the Infusion Center and Emergency Department. Visitors may be any age, with the exception of the Infusion Center where they must be 18 years of age and older. No visitors are allowed for COVID-19 positive patients. Screening guidelines have been updated to match the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kansas Department of Health and Environment guidance stating vaccinated persons with an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet specific criteria.

COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts Update

  • We have administered 25,207 COVID-19 vaccinations at our COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This includes patients in Phase 2, age 68 and over. We are finishing up vaccinating Shawnee County K-12 teachers this week.
  • This week we have moved the eligibility scheduling age from 71 and over to 68 and over.
    • We are using a stairstep approach to help regulate the process and the demand coming in to our phone lines and online. We will work our way toward individuals age 65 (Phase 2 guidelines) as more vaccine becomes available and we open more appointment slots each week.
  • Our vaccination efforts are governed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Shawnee County Health Department who determine our allocation and whom we may vaccinate.
  • We encourage individuals to sign up for a MyChart account to schedule their appointment.
    • Eligible individuals with a MyChart account will receive an email with an invite to schedule a vaccine appointment. We send this email to those eligible individuals. As we receive more vaccine we open up additional appointments.
    • For patients with a previous encounter with Stormont Vail Hospital or Cotton O’Neil Clinic who do not have MyChart:
    • You can request an activation code to set up a MyChart account at https://mychart.stormontvail.org/MyChart/signup.
    • You are age 68 or over and want to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination, but do not have a MyChart account, please call (785) 270-0644 for assistance with getting MyChart set up or scheduling an appointment.
    • For people with no previous encounter with Stormont Vail Hospital or Cotton O’Neil Clinic seeking to open a MyChart account: Please call (785) 270-0644 for assistance.
  • Helpful Phone numbers
  • Vaccine Information Line: (785) 270-0675
  • End of the Day Call-In Waiting Line: (785) 270-0693
  • Setting up patient account or needing help with MyChart scheduling: (785) 270-0644

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

  • We have 15 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today. We are grateful to have reached this decreased level, indicating the serious impact of the virus is lessening. We are saddened that as of Thursday we have had 200 patients die from COVID-19 in the hospital since the pandemic reached our region.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 7.9%.
  • We have 46 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • Team Member Health information is provided below and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 11 9 654
Providers 1 1 56
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

COVID-19 vaccine appointments are available based on the allocation we receive from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Shawnee County Health Department. As additional vaccine is received, more appointment times will become available.

We continue to offer appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations Invitations will be sent out soon to patients through our online patient portal, MyChart, for patients ages 68 and up. Appointment dates are through March 3.

    • You are age 68 or over and want to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination, but do not have a MyChart account, please call (785) 270-0644 for assistance with getting MyChart set up or scheduling an appointment.
  • For people with no previous encounter with Stormont Vail Hospital or Cotton O’Neil Clinic  seeking to open a MyChart account:
    • Please call (785) 270-0644 for assistance.
  • The website provides information about the process for end of day vaccine availability if extra doses become available. The End of the Day Call-In Waiting Line is (785) 270-0693.

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have administered 23,949 COVID-19 vaccinations at our COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 8.5%.
  • We have 24 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 49 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.

Please continue to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus: Wear a facemask. Social distance by six feet. Wash your hands. Avoid crowds.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Tuesday afternoon we began extending additional invitations in MyChart to individuals age 70 and up to schedule their COVID-19 appointments. The appointments are through March 3.

Stormont Vail Health is reaching out to eligible individuals through our online patient portal system, MyChart, to notify them of open appointments to schedule a vaccine. To receive notification when you are eligible to receive the vaccine and when appointment slots open for scheduling, you will need to sign up for a MyChart account. You can sign up for an account at, https://mychart.stormontvail.org/MyChart/signup. If you have never utilized services at Stormont Vail Hospital or Cotton O’Neil Clinics, you can call 785-270-0644 to open a patient account.

COVID-19 vaccine appointments are available based on the allocation we receive from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Shawnee County Health Department. As additional dose allocations are received, more appointment times will become available.

For updates about vaccine availability, call the COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline: (785) 270-0675 or visit the Stormont Vail Vaccine website: https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/  The website provides information about the process for end of day vaccine availability and the End of the Day Call-In Waiting Line is (785) 270-0693.

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have administered 22,937 COVID-19 vaccinations at our COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. We are currently serving people in Phase 2, patients age 70 and up and Shawnee County teachers and staff.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 9.0%.
  • Today we are caring for 25 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive.
  • We have 50 COVID-19 positive patients in our outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.

Here are additional updates:

  • Stormont Vail Receives Excellence with ACC Transcatheter Valve Certification

Stormont Vail Receives Excellence with ACC Transcatheter Valve Certification

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) has recognized Stormont Vail for its demonstrated expertise and commitment in treating patients receiving transcatheter valve repair and replacement (TAVR) procedures. Stormont Vail was awarded the Transcatheter Valve Certification based on evaluation of the staff’s ability to meet standards for multidisciplinary teams, formalized training, shared decision-making and registry performance. Congratulations to our team members on this recognition of excellent work.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

We strive to impact our community’s health in big and small ways. Several years back we initiated our “small moments” culture at Stormont Vail Health in which we celebrate that small acts of kindness can impact people in profound ways. That culture comes to mind as I look at the recent recipients of the Sodexo CARES Stories Recognition program. Sodexo is a partner in providing our organization’s nutritional and environmental services. These particular awards went to our Nutritional Services team members.

A great example is recognition of Josiah Tejada, Room Service Team Lead, as he was taking meal order calls from patients. Josiah received a call from a patient in a COVID-19 unit who was anxious and depressed about her situation. She questioned whether she would live to see her grandchildren grow up.

“Josiah took a moment to not only allow this person to utilize him as an outlet, but to talk through things with her, stating ‘It’s a new year and good things are coming. We are going to get through this together over time,’” wrote Sara Simon, who nominated Josiah. Josiah was commended for being sincere and authentic in his interactions with patients, and helping this patient feel well taken care and less isolated. Special thanks to Josiah for exemplifying that small moments do indeed matter.

Others recognized recently through this program include Aliya Gueary, Mechelle Baughman, Cheryl Coleman, Mary Fletcher, Jaime Provines, all Nutritional Services Techs; David Lopez-Barron and Robert Seals, Cooks; Paige Cooper, Department Assistant; Donna Newman, Room Service Specialist; and inpatient clinical dietitians Kim Nelson, Allison Gunnoe, Katherine O’Dell and Laura Ismert.

Sara Simon, Patient Service Manager for Sodexo at Stormont Vail, is the Sodexo CARES Program Champion for five hospitals in our district in the state of Kansas, which includes Stormont Vail. She is doing a stellar job making sure the Nutritional Services team is acknowledged for their hard work and caring actions. It takes all of us together to support and recognize our team’s commitment to excellence in patient experience.

Here are today’s updates:

  • We Together: Coronavirus Discussion on KSNT
  • Community Health Needs Assessment
  • COVID-19 Scorecard  and Team Member Health (Scorecard: English | Spanish)

We Together: Coronavirus Discussion on KSNT
Dr. Soni Mathew, occupational medicine specialist at Cotton O’Neil Work Care, represented Stormont Vail Health on last night’s KSNT segment of “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion.” This segment also included Derik Flerlage, Shawnee County Health Department. They provided numerous answers to questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. It can be viewed at ksnt.com at https://www.ksnt.com/health/coronavirus/watch-live-local-infectious-disease-expert-doctor-answer-your-coronavirus-questions/

Community Health Needs Assessment
Improving the health of our community is our priority. To better address the needs of the community, Stormont Vail Health, Heartland Healthy Neighborhood, and the Shawnee County Health Department (SCHD) need your input. We are collaborating to perform a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) for residents of Shawnee County, with the goal to understand the scope of wellness in the community and the challenges in reaching optimal health. Your input is vital to this conversation. We developed a short online survey, available in both English and Spanish, to receive feedback about health needs affecting you and your family. It will take less than 10 minutes to complete, and all responses are confidential.  Please provide feedback by Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021.

Spanish: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BS5BKB5

English: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BKJ53RQ

Please share these links. The survey is also on Stormont Vail’s website and social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn), as well as SCHD’s website. Paper surveys are also available from the Stormont Vail Community Health Engagement Department at (785) 270-0139. Feedback will be combined with data to create a comprehensive community voice at our Shawnee County town hall in April. For questions, contact Karla Hedquist (785) 270-0139, Brett Martin (785) 581-0231, or Craig Barnes (785) 251-5612.

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

  • We have administered 22,936 COVID-19 vaccinations at our COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. We continue immunizations by appointment to patients in Phase 2, age 71 and up, and to Shawnee County teachers and staff, also in Phase 2.
  • Our vaccination efforts are governed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Shawnee County Health Department who determine our allocation and whom we may vaccinate.
  • For updates about vaccine availability, call the COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline: (785) 270-0675 or visit the Stormont Vail Vaccine website: https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 9.9%. These are symptomatic people tested at locations across the region. A 5% level shows community spread, and 10% indicates virus transmission is widespread.
  • Today we have 25 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive.
  • We have 53 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • Below is our regular update about Team Member Health. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 10 9 654
Providers 1 1 56
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have administered 21,755 COVID-19 vaccinations at our COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. We continue immunizations by appointment to patients in Phase 2, age 71 and up, and to Shawnee County teachers and staff, also in Phase 2.
  • Our vaccination efforts are governed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Shawnee County Health Department who determine our allocation and whom we may vaccinate.
  • For updates about vaccine availability, call the COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline: (785) 270-0675 or visit the Stormont Vail Vaccine website: https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 10.2%. This percentage has increased the past several days. These are symptomatic people tested at locations across the region. A 5% level shows community spread, and 10% indicates virus transmission is widespread.
  • Today we have 27 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive.
  • We have 66 COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.

Here are today’s updates:

  • My Chart: COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling
  • Baker SON Accreditation Visit Goes Well
  • Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KSNT
  • Update on Team Member Vaccinations

MyChart: COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling
Stormont Vail Health is reaching out to eligible individuals through our online patient portal system, MyChart, to notify them of open appointments to schedule a vaccine. To receive notification when you are eligible to receive the vaccine and when appointment slots open for scheduling, you will need to sign up for a MyChart account. You can do so at, https://mychart.stormontvail.org/MyChart/signup. If you have never utilized services at Stormont Vail Hospital or Cotton O’Neil Clinics, you can call (785) 270-0644 to open a patient account.

Baker SON Accreditation Visit Goes Well
Great job by all who participated in the Baker School of Nursing accreditation visit last week by Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Kansas State Board of Nursing. Stormont Vail Health and Baker University’s commitment to the education of future nurses was very evident in this visit and we are so proud of that effort. We were commended on having great learning activities for students in the classroom as well as in the practice areas of the hospital and community. This is truly a remarkable partnership that serves our patients, team and community in many ways.

Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KSNT
Dr. Soni Mathew, occupational medicine specialist at Cotton O’Neil Work Care, will represent Stormont Vail Health on tonight’s segment of “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion.” This segment will air at 6:30 p.m. on KSNT, Channel 27. The second guest will be Derik Flerlage, RRT, Infectious Disease Division manager for the Shawnee County Health Department.

Update on Team Member Vaccinations

COVID VACCINATION UPDATE:
Team Members who have completed series: 3,228*
Tested positive after dose #1: 45
Tested positive after series completion: 4

*Information available through 2/13/21. It does not include those vaccinated outside of Stormont Vail Health.

We provide weekly statistics on team members completing the COVID-19 vaccination series and testing positive after the first and second doses. Three of the four who tested positive after series completion were within 14 days of vaccination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination for protection again the virus that causes COVID-19. The Pfizer vaccine shows efficacy of 95% and Moderna vaccine is 94.1% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infection after two doses.

Please continue to wear facemasks, social distance, wash your hands and avoid crowds, and get a COVID-19 vaccination when you have the opportunity to do so.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Kansas has a richly woven history encompassing many threads of the Black experience, from struggles that led it to being a free state to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that changed education and civil rights across the United States.

Among the state’s historical highlights:

  • Freed and escaped slaves entered the eastern section of the Kansas Territory through stops on the Underground Railroad.
  • The final battle over slavery was in Topeka with the Free State Constitutional Convention of 1856, leading Kansas to be a free state when it entered the union in 1861.
  • The first post of Buffalo Soldiers was at Fort Leavenworth. These cavalry regiments and infantry units authorized by Congress in 1866 were composed entirely of African Americans.
  • After the Civil War, Kansas was advertised as a good place for African Americans to settle, although some encountered difficult economic times. The mass exodus of former slaves from the South, the Exodusters, settled in Kansas in 1879.
  • Another wave of Black migration occurred in the 1920s and 30s when African Americans primarily from Arkansas and Missouri moved to Kansas in search of jobs.

The African Americans settling in Kansas shaped the state’s history and the experience of others who followed them. Many became the “firsts” in their chosen professions. The first Black physician in Topeka was Dr. Seth Vernella in 1879. The first graduate of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Dr. James Monroe Jamison, was considered the first African-American physician to receive formal medical training in the South. He set up his practice in Topeka in 1884.

Topeka also was home to a hospital and a school of nursing for Blacks that was connected to the Kansas Industrial and Educational Institute, later called the Kansas Vocational School. The institute opened in 1895 near downtown, and later moved to a farm east of Topeka, providing training in agriculture, industrial arts and other programs. In 1914, the Kansas governor, seeking to improve his standing with the Black electorate, reportedly called for Black women to serve as attendants in state hospitals. However, there were no training programs for Black nurses in Kansas. In 1919, the Kansas Hospital Aid Association was formed by a group of Black women and helped raise funds to construct the hospital and nursing school. It opened in 1922. The Institute, later funded by the state, was closed in 1955.  In the 1970s, a state correctional facility was built on the site.

During Black History Month in February, we have been reflecting on people and events that have impacted our communities, and specifically looking at the area of healthcare.

“My personal feeling is that healthcare today and historically (in Topeka) has been good,” says Jack Alexander, a former Stormont Vail board member who now serves on Stormont Vail’s Advisory Board of retired board members. Jack, now 90, was the first Black to serve on the health care system’s board. He served many years as the Topeka water commissioner, and said he was asked to be on the hospital board as a representative of the city.

The hub of Black businesses was located along 4th Street in downtown Topeka, running from Kansas Avenue east to the train station. There were professional offices for Black dentists, physicians and pharmacists, grocery stores, theaters and more. Trina Faulkner Scott, a Stormont Vail retiree, says her family could receive care at the Santa Fe Hospital on S.E. 6th street because her father worked for the Santa Fe Railway. Both the other hospitals in the city, Stormont Vail (and its predecessors Christ Hospital and Jane C. Stormont Hospital) and St. Francis, also cared for Black patients.

“They always took care of Black patients, I never heard of people being turned away,” Jack says. “To the best of my knowledge, healthcare options have been very well addressed and been available to our total community. I have always had good health coverage and that helps. I understand that some people don’t all have that.”

Pamela Johnson-Betts, a Stormont Vail board member, recalls an entrepreneurial and upbeat spirit on 4th Street. Alonzo Harrison, a Stormont Vail Board member, also has good memories of the 4th Street and the nearby residential area known as the Bottoms. “Everything was right there. It was an amazing time and an amazing place. Everything was self-contained in the Bottoms,” Alonzo says. He noted that many of the children and families were poor, “but you didn’t know it. You were living your best life. People relied on each other and helped each other.”

The Bottoms was the oldest Black neighborhood and was near the south bank of the Kansas River, running from 1st Street to the north edge of downtown. Many of those who lived in the area – Blacks, Hispanics and whites - worked at the nearby railroad shops and yards or agricultural processing plants. There was City Park where residents could watch the Ed Marling Hornets, the all Black Fast Pitch Softball team, or cool off in the swimming pool for Blacks. Trina recalls growing up in the Bottoms. “You did not have to leave the neighborhood for anything,” Trina says. “And the kids were in and out of each other’s homes like it was our home. People took care of one another. “

Black, Hispanic and white children played together in the neighborhood, but went to separate elementary schools in Topeka in the early 1950s because of the Topeka Board of Education’s doctrine of “separate but equal.”  A group of parents of Black children filed a lawsuit against the board, recalls Trina, who is a cousin to the late Linda Brown, one of the children denied attendance to an all-white school near her home. The case, Brown vs. Board of Education, went to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the 1954 decision struck down school segregation.

The floods of the 1950s brought damage to the Bottoms and those who lived there. The neighborhood and the 4th Street business district were eventually demolished as a part of a federal government Urban Renewal program in the 1960s. A group of people who grew up in the Bottoms still stay in contact with each other through reunions.

Books/Websites to Learn More

Here are today’s updates:

  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (Scorecard: English | Spanish)

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

  • We have administered 21,153 COVID-19 vaccinations to date. We provide immunizations by appointment to patients in Phase 2, age 71 and up, at the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center as well as Shawnee County teachers and staff in Phase 2.  We received a vaccine allocation this morning which ensures we will have our planned clinic today and Monday.
  • Our vaccination efforts are governed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Shawnee County Health Department who determine our allocation and whom we may vaccinate.
  • For updates about vaccine availability, call the COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline: (785) 270-0675 or visit the Stormont Vail Vaccine website: https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 9.7%.
  • We have 24 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 66 COVID-19 positive patients in our outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • Team Member Health information is below. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 7 7 652
Providers 1 1 56
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

The extreme cold weather that triggered rolling power outages across Kansas also disrupted the shipment of COVID-19 vaccine to the state. At this time Stormont Vail has supply to provide second doses that are scheduled. We have yet to receive a vaccine allocation this week and are hopeful it will arrive soon. We hope to be able to continue second dose appointments as well as resume providing first doses to community members in Phase 2 within the coming week.

  • We have provided 20,857 COVID-19 vaccinations as of Wednesday. We are providing through appointments to patients in Phase 2, age 71 and up, at the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center, and for Shawnee County teachers and staff in Phase 2.
  • Our vaccination efforts are governed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Shawnee County Health Department who determine our allocation and whom we may vaccinate.
  • For updates about vaccine availability, call the COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline: (785) 270-0675 or visit the Stormont Vail Vaccine website: https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/

From today’s COVID-19 Scorecard:

  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 8.9%.
  • We have administered 78,131 COVID-19 tests to date.
  • We have 23 COVID-19 positive inpatients today.
  • We have 66 COVID-19 positive patients in our outpatient Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

Here are additional updates:

  • Baker Students Help at Vaccine Clinic
  • Volunteer Opportunities at Vaccine Clinic

Baker Students Help at Vaccine Clinic

Students at Baker University School of Nursing are gaining valuable clinical experience while helping at the Stormont Vail Health COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. About 50 students in Baker's Community Nursing course are administering COVID-19 vaccines through the end of the semester. Baker's School of Nursing is affiliated with and located on the Stormont Vail campus.

Volunteer Opportunities at Vaccine Clinic
Volunteer opportunities are available at the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic. Please share with family and friends who may be interested in volunteering. Volunteer job descriptions for clinical and non-clinical roles and an online application are at the bottom of the Stormont Vail COVID-19 Vaccine web page: https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities continues trending down. Today it is 8.4%. To date, we have administered 77,928 COVID-19 tests at locations across our system, which includes 176 tests yesterday. The percentage is from the testing of symptomatic patients. A 5% level shows community spread, and 10% indicates widespread virus transmission.
  • We have administered 20,419 COVID-19 vaccinations as of Tuesday. We are providing immunizations by appointment to patients in Phase 2, age 71 and up, at the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. We are also immunizing Shawnee County teachers and staff in Phase 2.
  • Our vaccination efforts are governed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Shawnee County Health Department who determine our allocation and whom we may vaccinate.
  • For updates about vaccine availability, call the COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline: (785) 270-0675 or visit the Stormont Vail Vaccine website: https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/
  • We have 25 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 65 COVID-19 positive patients in our Enhanced Primary Care program, which cares for patients in an outpatient setting.

Please continue following practices to slow the spread of the virus. Wear a facemask. Social distance by six feet. Wash your hands. Avoid crowds.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

During the gray days of winter – and a dreary year of pandemic – there’s a bright spot at Stormont Vail’s Behavioral Health Center.

Thanks to Christy Fisher, MSN, BSN, RN, Manager of the ChIld/Adolescent and Adult units, and the team at Behavioral Health, a new sensory pathway is now providing a colorful play area for some of our younger patients.

On the sensory pathway, children can hop from letter to letter in the Alphabet Hop area, follow the squiggly line of the Marching Ants, or tiptoe around the loops of the Tiptoe Line. There are also some brightly colored handprints on the cushioned walls for doing wall push-ups.

“It’s a welcome addition,” says Christy, who saw a similar sensory pathway at her children’s elementary school. “It gives us something to provide to the kiddos, a guided activity that is safe for kids.”

Christy says that the sensory area is geared for children ages 5 to 9 - one at a time - but can be utilized by all ages. She noted it is great for young patients who need extra distraction due to excess energy. This addition aids in our continued reduction of restraint usage.

“When kids can’t sit still, this gives them something to do,” she said.

Team members at Behavioral Health worked together to install gymnastic mats on the walls to provide protection during active play. They also secured the sensory pathway designs to the floor, after it was changed from carpet to hardwood. Christy said they have another set of designs they can use for variety. They include designs of jumping logs, stepping stones, flower hopscotch and a zig zag Tiptoe Line.

Still planned is some bright artwork on the walls above the mats. Kathryn Lutes, nightshift charge nurse and an artist, will be painting an under the sea-themed mural. There will be bright fish and turtles and more to make the space even brighter.

“It will be like something out of ‘Finding Nemo,’” Christy says.

Here are today’s updates:

  • We Together: Coronavirus Discussion on KSNT
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health(Scorecard: English | Spanish)

We Together: Coronavirus Discussion on KSNT
Dr. Sri Donepudi., Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Quality Officer, was on last night’s KSNT segment of “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion.” It can be viewed at ksnt.com at https://www.ksnt.com/video/we-together-stormont-vail-doctor-shawnee-county-commissioner-answer-your-coronavirus-questions/6292675/

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 9.1%. This is a great improvement from what our region has been experiencing. This percentage is from the testing of symptomatic people at Stormont Vail locations. A 5% level shows community spread, and 10% indicates virus transmission is widespread.
  • We have administered 19,821 COVID-19 vaccinations to date and are providing immunizations by appointment to patients in Phase 2, age 71 and up, at the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. We also are administering immunizations this week for Shawnee County teachers and staff, who are in Phase 2. We had several school nurses help with this effort Monday, which was covered by local media.
  • Our vaccination efforts are governed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Shawnee County Health Department who determine our allocation and whom we may vaccinate.
  • For updates about vaccine availability, call the COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline: (785) 270-0675 or visit the Stormont Vail Vaccine website: https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/
  • We have 33 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 67 COVID-19 positive patients in our Enhanced Primary Care program, which cares for patients in an outpatient setting.
  • We provide regular updates about Team Member Health as outlined below. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 13                    13 645
Providers                     1                    1                      56
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

As two of the 17 members of the Stormont Vail Health board, Pamela Johnson-Betts and Alonzo Harrison are charged with providing guidance and oversight to the non-profit, integrated regional health care system. But they also feel they carry an additional responsibility: to represent a voice at the table that may have been missing in the past - the voice and perspective of the Black community.

“I raise issues that might not come out,” says Pamela. “They may be looking at something in terms of budgets, but I am kind of the factor that looks at how it impacts the African American community. We have to make sure we are looking out for every aspect of our community.”

Pamela says she is on the board because she has a “viewpoint that needs to be represented in the discussion.” While she said she may not need to offer her thoughts on every topic, it’s important to “raise that flag” when it is needed. She has been on the SVH board 20 years and believes it is important to speak up for the organization, the patients, the team, and the community.

Alonzo joined the board three years ago and is forthright in what he sees as his leadership role for Stormont Vail.

“I was asked to be on the board to give a different perspective. I give a perspective that is not well represented of the Black, African American community,” he says. “I know a good bit about the consumer concerns that people have with Stormont Vail.”

During Black History Month in February, we reflect on people and events that have impacted our world and specifically healthcare. On Fridays, this communication shares those perspectives and history.

Both Alonzo and Pamela are longtime Topekans. Alonzo is president and CEO of HDB Construction. Pamela is director of Topeka Public Schools Foundation and has held leadership positions for the state, including executive director of the Kansas African American Affairs Commission and Secretary of Aging.

Addressing Health Disparities

Both believe that the health and healthcare of the Black community suffers in Kansas. Health disparities often are the result of systematic social or economic disadvantages, reflected in factors such as housing, access to jobs or transportation, and availability of healthy foods. Health disparities are also often seen in groups historically linked to inequality.

In Kansas, infant mortality is a significant issue for Black children up to the age of one, with a mortality rate of black infants more than double the rate of white infants. Alonzo questions how that can be when hospitals like Stormont Vail have high-level neonatal intensive care units to care for premature infants.

He believes that there is not always awareness in the Black community to services like the NICU to provide the link to the young mothers and their babies who may need it. Providing access and affordability to good prenatal and postpartum care is critical for Black mothers and is something that both Alonzo and Pamela want to see strengthened as it impacts the whole community. Likewise, programs to manage diabetes and high blood pressure, two health concerns that are seen more frequently in Black communities, need to be promoted so awareness and access are improved.

Pamela says there are many programs available through Stormont Vail that she is proud of, but more work needs to be done on outreach to make sure the people who need the services are getting them. “We need more targeted programs, more education,” she says.

Both also want to see more Blacks serving the community as healthcare providers and in professional healthcare roles. There have been recent efforts to develop more programs to interest and mentor local students with diversity in healthcare careers, with additional plans to encourage recruitment and retention of Black team members. “That lack of those professionals in our communities, the lack of draw to those Black communities by other doctors to come here to live here, that is one of those concerns,” says Alonzo. “It diminishes the overall healthcare.”

The Role of Mentors

Providing meaningful connections and role models for younger generations is the pathway to grow tomorrow’s healthcare professionals and community leaders.

Alonzo is driven by role models in his life like his father who understood that the mark of a man was his word. Others he credits:

  • Edward Johnson, a senior professional at Menninger, who hired him and mentored him in his role as a financial analyst and system designer of the Center for Applied Behavioral Science specialty projects and as a community activist.
  • Robert Bugg, who started the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day activities in Topeka as well as being involved in many community organizations, is another who Alonzo says inspired him. He said they motivated him to get involved in the community and understand the importance of “being engaged at the table where the decisions are being made.”
  • Martin Luther King Jr. also is a person he says was a great influence in his life.

Pamela says her parents were hardworking, though not college educated, and gave her the support and confidence that she could be anything she set her mind to. They were role models for her to be supportive, to lift others up and to “authentically help others.” Other role models:

  • Flossie Holland, a longtime Topeka Public School educator and leader in Topeka civic organizations, also was a role model for public service and community engagement for Pamela. USD 501’s Holland Student Service Center was named for her and her husband, JB Holland, and was a building Pamela felt honored to work in for many years.
  • Jack Alexander, former Topeka water commissioner who later served on the Kansas Corporation Commission, has been a mentor and is who Pamela replaced on the Stormont Vail board. Pamela is the first African American woman to serve on the SVH board.

“Jack is so beloved and respected in our community it was an honor that 20 years ago out of all the choices that he had available, that he singled out a young woman, me, to fill his shoes,” Pamela says. “With his action, he said to me, that it was my turn to take the reins. He placed his confidence in me that I would honorably continue his mission of representing our community interests on the board.”

Resources to Learn More
Books

  • Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man by Emmanuel Acho
  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ileoma Oluo
  • Black Man in a White Coat by Damon Tweedy, M.D.
  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria by Beverly Daniel Tatum
  • How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

Here are today’s updates:

  • Shawnee County Teachers to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine
  • Team Effort with Washburn
  • Media Coverage Showcases Care
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (Scorecard: English | Spanish)

Shawnee County Teachers to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine
Stormont Vail Health is working with the Shawnee County Health Department to provide COVID-19 vaccines to K-12 teachers and staff beginning next week. Teachers are a part of the Phase 2 vaccine rollout. Staff at public and private schools will be provided this opportunity, and will be assigned to receive immunizations through either Stormont Vail or the University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus. School districts will provide communication to their staff about the effort and details on how to receive a vaccine. Prioritizing vaccinations for school staff members will support the overall health of our community and allow our children to be educated in a safe environment.

Team Effort with Washburn
Stormont Vail Health has been pleased to partner with Washburn University Athletics and provide more than 1,000 COVID-19 tests for student athletics who needed testing in order to compete under NCAA guidelines. We have been proud to support the Ichabods as they competed on the court or field, and to be proactive in mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 virus. Go Bods!

Media Coverage Showcases Care
WIBW-TV recently aired a story about a man who suffered a severe leg injury as a result of a motorcycle accident. Through surgeries performed by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Michael Tilley, this man is now walking. This is a wonderful example of amazing work by our team in caring for the community.

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

  • We have administered 17,738 COVID-19 vaccinations to date and are providing immunizations by appointment today and Monday to patients in Phase 2, age 71 and up, at the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center.
  • Our vaccination efforts are governed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Shawnee County Health Department who determine our allocation and whom we may vaccinate.
  • For updates about vaccine availability, call the COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline: (785) 270-0675 or visit the Stormont Vail Vaccine website: https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 10.4%. These are symptomatic people tested at locations across the region. A 5% level shows community spread, and 10% indicates the virus is widespread.
  • We have 30 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 80 COVID-19 positive patients in our Enhanced Primary Care program.
  • Team Member Health indicates the number of team members off on contact leave or who are COVID-19 positive. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 18 18 639
Providers 1 1 56
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

During recent weeks, I’ve seen reminders that we need to “party like we’re in a pandemic.” Virus spread is decreasing and our hospitalizations are also decreasing.  We need to continue to wear facemasks, social distance, avoid crowds and wash our hands, even if you are fully vaccinated.  One day, hopefully this summer, we’ll be able to throw a real party, a celebration, a remembrance, but for now, you know the drill.

The COVID-19 vaccine roll-out has been slower than we all desire, due to the limited vaccine supply. New strains of the virus are emerging and we’re just beginning to learn about the potential impacts, including coverage by the various vaccines, transmissibility, and severity of the illness.

Please do your part to help us mitigate the spread of this virus. Be responsible and consider the health of others.

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have administered 16,386 COVID-19 vaccinations to date and are providing immunizations by appointment today, Friday and Monday to patients in Phase 2, age 71 and up, at the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. Patients in that age group have received an e-mail invitation to access the appointments and schedule their COVID-19 vaccine in the MyChart portal.
  • Our vaccination efforts are governed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Shawnee County Health Department who determine our allocation and whom we may vaccinate. We look forward to the day when vaccine is no longer a scarce resource.
  • Our vaccination clinic is able to serve up to 2,500 people per day. We have a somewhat slower pace currently to allow for our elder neighbors with mobility issues.
  • For updates about vaccine availability, call the COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline: (785) 270-0675 or visit the Stormont Vail Vaccine website: https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 10.5%. These are symptomatic people tested at locations across the region. A 5% level shows community spread, and 10% indicates the virus is widespread.
  • We have 30 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 103 COVID-19 positive patients in our Enhanced Primary Care program.

COVID-19 Scorecard: English and Spanish.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have administered 16,374 COVID-19 vaccinations to date and continue providing immunizations on Thursday, Friday and Monday to patients in Phase 2, age 71 and up, at the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. Patients in that age group have received an e-mail invitation to access the appointments and schedule their COVID-19 vaccine in the MyChart portal.
  • Our vaccination efforts are governed by KDHE and the Shawnee County Health Department who determine our allocation and whom we may vaccinate. We look forward to the day when vaccine is no longer a scarce resource.
  • Our vaccination clinic is able to serve up to 2,500 people per day. We have a somewhat slower pace currently to allow for our elder neighbors with mobility issues.
  • For updates about vaccine availability, call the COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline: (785) 270-0675 or visit the Stormont Vail Vaccine website: https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/
  • We have 32 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today, and have now cared for 1,609 patients hospitalized since the pandemic arrived in our region in March.
  • We have 101 COVID-19 positive patients in our Enhanced Primary Care program and have served 689 people in the program since it started in November.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 12.2%. These are symptomatic people tested at locations across the region. A 5% level shows community spread, and 10% indicates the virus is widespread.

We have received great team and community feedback about the vaccine clinic and the great teamwork occurring there. It is a wonderful example of what we can accomplish together. Let’s continue to work as a team to slow the virus and limit the impact on our communities.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

We have administered 15,847 COVID-19 vaccines as of Monday. We are currently in Phase 2 and vaccinating individuals age 72 and up at the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. We will expand to younger ages within the Phase 2 group of those age 65 and older as additional vaccine becomes available. We continue to administer vaccines to health care workers employed at Stormont Vail as well as administer second dose vaccines to those who had their first vaccine at the Stormont Vail Health COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic.

Today we will add 1,170 appointment openings in MyChart for COVID-19 vaccines on Feb. 11, 12 and 15 at our COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic. Patients in Phase 2 age 72 and up will receive an e-mail invitation to access these appointments and schedule their COVID-19 vaccine in the MyChart portal.

Team members are working through challenges to provide secure and efficient scheduling for all individuals in our community. We will provide updated information as varied scheduling opportunities become available. We appreciate your patience as we work together to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and create safer, healthier communities.

  • PROCESS FOR POSSIBLE END-OF-DAY VACCINES: Starting at 8 a.m. Monday – Friday, our call-in waiting line opens to provide the opportunity for people age 65 and older to add their name to a waiting list for additional vaccines that may become available at the end of the day. The eligible individuals should call (785) 270-0693 starting at 8 a.m. each morning that we are offering COVID-19 vaccinations to the public. The first 40 individuals who call will be placed on a waiting list and will be contacted later in the afternoon should we have unused vaccine available.  No walk-in patients will be accepted at the Stormont Vail Events Center. More guidelines about that process are available at https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/
  • For updates about vaccine availability, call the COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline: (785) 270-0675 or go to the Stormont Vail Vaccine website: https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/

Here are today’s updates:

  • We Together: Coronavirus Discussion on KSNT
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (Scorecard: English | Spanish)

We Together: Coronavirus Discussion on KSNT
Dr. Sri Donepudi, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Quality Officer, and Stephanie Sisk, APRN, Weight Management Center, were on last night’s KSNT segment of “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion.” It can be viewed at ksnt.com at https://www.ksnt.com/health/coronavirus/we-together-local-health-leaders-answer-your-questions-about-kansas-covid-19-response/

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

  • We have 38 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today, and have now cared for 1,609 patients hospitalized with the virus, up 11 from the day prior.
  • We have 113 COVID-19 positive patients in our Enhanced Primary Care program receiving additional outpatient support. We have served 683 people in the program to date.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 12.1%. These are symptomatic people tested at locations across the region. A 5% level shows community spread, and 10% indicates the virus is widespread.
  • Below is an update on Team Member Health, which continues to show a decrease in the impact of the virus on our team members. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 18 17 635
Providers 1 1 56
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

We have administered 15,056 COVID-19 vaccinations as of Friday and have 802 appointments today for patients in Phase 2 age 72 and up, as well as some additional healthcare workers from Phase 1.

Once additional vaccine becomes available, we will expand to younger ages within the Phase 2 group of those age 65 and older. Our ability to open up appointments is based on the allocation of vaccine we receive from the Shawnee County Health Department.

We also have volunteered to provide support for vaccination of teachers grades K through 12, who also are a part of the Phase 2 group. We are working through the logistics of this with the Shawnee County Health Department.

We are capable of doing up to 2,500 vaccinations a day at the vaccine center we have set up at the Exhibition Hall at the Stormont Vail Events Center. Again, the number we provide is predicated on the amount of vaccine we are allocated and at this time, vaccine is in short supply. We ask for patience from the community as we work through this. Our goal is to get as many people vaccinated as possible and to not have any held back or wasted.

For more details about this COVID-19 vaccine process through Stormont Vail and to learn about vaccine availability, call the COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline: (785) 270-0675 or go to the Stormont Vail Vaccine website: https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 33 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive today, and have now cared for nearly 1,600 patients hospitalized with the virus.
  • We have 124 patients in our Enhanced Primary Care program for people who are COVID-19 positive and receive additional outpatient support. We have had 671 people in the program to date.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities dropped to 11.9%. These are symptomatic people at locations across the region. A 5% level shows community spread.

Today’s updates:

  • Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KSNT
  • Community Health Needs Assessment
  • Update on Team Member Vaccinations

Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KSNT

Dr. Sri Donepudi, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Quality Officer, and Stephanie Sisk, APRN, will represent Stormont Vail Health on tonight’s segment of “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion.” This segment will air at 6:30 p.m. on KSNT, Channel 27. Dr. Donepudi will represent Stormont Vail to answer COVID questions. Stephanie Sisk will discuss bariatrics and weight management.

Community Health Needs Assessment
Improving the health of our community is our priority. To better address the needs of the community, Stormont Vail Health, Heartland Healthy Neighborhood, and the Shawnee County Health Department (SCHD) need your input. We are collaborating to perform a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) for the residents of Shawnee County, with the goal to understand the scope of wellness in the community and the challenges in reaching optimal health.

Your input is vital to this conversation. We developed a short online survey, available in both English and Spanish, to receive feedback from you about health needs affecting you and your family. It will take less than 10 minutes to complete, and all responses are confidential.

Spanish: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BS5BKB5

English: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BKJ53RQ

Please share these links so we will receive robust feedback. You can also find the survey on Stormont Vail’s website and social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn), as well as SCHD’s website. Paper surveys are also available from the Stormont Vail Community Health Engagement Department at (785) 270-0139. Please provide feedback by Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021.

Feedback will be combined with data to create a comprehensive voice of the community at our Shawnee County town hall in April. If you have any questions, please contact Karla Hedquist (785) 270-0139, Brett Martin (785) 581-0231, or Craig Barnes (785) 251-5612.

Update on Team Member Vaccinations

COVID VACCINATION UPDATE:
Team Members who have completed series: 2,713*
Tested positive after dose #1: 43
Tested positive after series completion: 4

 

We will begin sharing weekly statistics on team members completing the COVID-19 vaccination series and testing positive after the first and second doses.

The Pfizer vaccine shows efficacy of 95% at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infection after two doses. The Moderna vaccine is 94.1% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 after the second dose.

This illustrates the importance of being proactive with wearing facemasks, social distancing, washing hands and avoiding crowds, even after vaccination.

*Information available through 1/26/21. The total number of team members who received the vaccine is the number of team members who consented during registration to share their vaccine information with Stormont Vail Employee Health, so it may be different than the actual number. It also does not include those vaccinated outside of Stormont Vail Health.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

This month and ongoing, we are committed to better understanding and recognition of the efforts of our communities of color, to make our region and country a better and healthier place to live. We together have much to learn and history to explore for greater understanding and healing.

During Black History Month in February, we reflect on people and events that have impacted our world and specifically healthcare. Our focus on diversity and inclusiveness is more than a one month endeavor. Stormont Vail Health is working to bring equity and inclusion to the forefront, to ensure that all community members regardless of color are provided awareness and access to healthcare services; and to celebrate and support the diversity of our Stormont Vail team members.

Open discussion helps us gain better understanding. In history, African Americans have distrusted medical establishments. A national poll of Black opinion by the Kaiser Family Foundation last year found that 55% of African Americans distrust the nation’s healthcare system.

The legacy of this distrust lies in the atrocities of Black people being used as medical research subjects during slavery or more recent incidents such as the Tuskegee Study, an experiment in which proven treatments for syphilis were not provided to black men from 1932 to 1972, when the study was exposed as an example of medical racism. There is also the experience of Henrietta Lacks, an African American woman treated unsuccessfully for cervical cancer in 1951. Unknowingly, tissue samples from her tumor were kept by doctors and her cells ultimately used for breakthrough medical research. Her family was unaware of this until 1975. Her life was later portrayed in a best-selling book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and a 2017 film by the same name. Medical ethics as a discipline and the process of informed consent were developed in part because of her.

Being treated differently, unfairly, or poorly because of color when seeking healthcare for themselves or a family member has also contributed to mistrust among the Black community. The Kaiser poll notes that this disparity of experience has only compounded medical problems because the patient was more likely to refuse recommended services or delay seeking care after discrimination or an unfair encounter with a healthcare provider or organization.

Alonzo Harrison, a Stormont Vail board member, recalls that his own mother’s distrust of hospitals led her to travel from Topeka to her sister’s home in Arkansas so she could give birth to him there, assisted by her older sister and a midwife. While he saw a doctor when necessary as a child, most ailments were taken care of by his parents or grandma with a home remedy.

Alonzo believes more discussion has taken place about these fears and mistrust recently because of the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has impacted Black and Latino communities especially hard in hospitalization and death rates. “It has put more light on it. There is concern in the community and more conversation,” Alonzo says. The development and roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine has also raised concerns and fears in the Black community, particularly with older members, because of Tuskegee and experiments of the past.

Pamela Johnson-Betts, also a Stormont Vail board member, agrees that COVID-19 has illuminated inadequacies in the community, not just health issues. She believes communication issues have hurt the African American community in the pandemic, such as not having the communication early on about social distancing at religious or large gatherings, causing people to become exposed to the virus. Communicating with others about the importance of getting the vaccine is also challenging when they hold a mistrust of medicine, she says.

“Somehow we’ve got to penetrate the myth, we’ve got to be kind and to respect where they are,” Pamela says. “We’ve got a whole lot of historical hills to climb in terms of science and medicine and old wives tales.”

Pamela believes it is important to be compassionate when hearing the stories of fear of people not wanting to get the COVID-19 vaccine. She says, “We need to counteract their fears and keep hitting home the point that this is one of our best hopes to get back to normal, that none of us wants to wear masks and we’re tired of staying home. I’d rather take chances with the vaccine than get the actual disease.”

Over the next three Fridays of February, additional topics related to healthcare and Black History Month will be distributed through this communication. Next Friday, we will learn how Alonzo and Pamela bring leadership and perspectives to the Stormont Vail Health board as African American representatives of our community.

Resources to Learn More

Books

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Medical Apartheid, The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to Present by Harriet A. Washington

Examining Tuskegee by Susan M. Reverby

Tuskegee’s Truths by Susan M. Reverby

The Tuskegee Syphilis Story by Fred D. Gray

Mend: Poems by Kwoya Fagin Maples

Articles/References

Racial Bias and its Effect on Health Care; David Williams, PhD and Ronald Wyatt, MD, The Joint Commission

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/features/racial-bias-and-its-effect-on-health-care/

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention African American Health

https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/aahealth/index.html

Community Forum with Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett: Everything you should know about the COVID-19 Vaccines (Johns Hopkins)

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/live/events/community-forum-with-dr-kizzmekia-corbett

Here are today’s updates:

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Updates
  • COVID-19 Scorecard  and Team Member Health (Scorecard: English | Spanish)

COVID-19 Vaccine Updates

  • We have provided 13,861 COVID-19 immunizations through Thursday at our COVID-19 vaccine center at the Exhibition Hall at the Stormont Vail Events Center. Today we have 1,186 appointments for people getting vaccines and Monday we have 802 appointments. These are patients in Phase 2 age 72 and up. We will expand to younger ages within the Phase 2 group of those age 65 and older as additional vaccine becomes available. Our ability to open up appointments is based on the allocation of vaccine we receive from the Shawnee County Health Department.
  • Take a virtual walk through at the Stormont Vail vaccine center to learn what to expect at an appointment.
  • To provide protection from cold weather, we have changed the entrance of the vaccine center to the south door of the arena. People now can walk inside through the arena to the Exhibition Hall, instead of outside around the construction area. We provide a shuttle service to transport people from their vehicles to the south entrance door. We also encourage those with mobility issues to bring a wheelchair or assistive device, and/or a person to help them.
  • To get details about this COVID-19 vaccine process through Stormont Vail and to learn about vaccine availability, call the COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline: (785) 270-0675 or go to the Stormont Vail Vaccine website: https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

  • We are caring for 43 inpatients with COVID-19. To date, we have cared for 1,586 patients in the hospital positive with the virus.
  • We are currently have 129 patients in our Enhanced Primary Care program. We have had a total of 659 participants in the program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 14.7% percent. This percentage continues to decrease, but is still considered at a high level.
  • Team Member Health information is below. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 20 19 631
Providers 2 2 55
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

We were energized yesterday by the performance of the Topeka High School drumline for our team members, encouraging us to “March On” to get to the end of this challenging pandemic. You can view the performance on the Stormont Vail Facebook page.

We all appreciated this boost. Even with the good news that the COVID-19 vaccine is now available, we know there are frustrations because of limited supplies; we know that people are tired of wearing facemasks, social distancing and avoiding crowds even though we still need to follow these precautions to slow the spread.

Today we have 44 COVID-19 positive inpatients, bringing us to a total of 1,578 inpatients we have cared for since the pandemic arrived in our region. We are also caring for 127 COVID-19 patients in our Enhanced Primary Care Clinic, which has now had a total of 646 participants.

Here are today’s updates:

Changes in Main Lobby
Beginning at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8, contractors will start installing a ramp over the stairs in the main (North Tower) lobby. It is expected to take about a week and will all be done between 5:40 p.m. and midnight. This will aid in flow of patients, visitors and staff by providing separate entrance and exit lanes.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Here are highlights from today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We are caring for 39 inpatients with COVID-19. To date, we have cared for 1,564 patients in the hospital positive with the virus.
  • We are currently caring for 134 patients in our Enhanced Primary Care program. We have had a total of 634 participants in the program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 15.9% percent. This percentage has been decreasing, which is good news.
  • Utilization of our Call Before You Go line for people experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms has been steady. The hotline number is (785) 354-6000. People are asked to call that number before going to a Stormont Vail location and they will be directed to appropriate care.
  • Stormont Vail has provided 12,513 COVID-19 vaccines. For updates about vaccine availability, call the COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline: (785) 270-0675 or go to the Stormont Vail Vaccine website: https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/

We are in the early phases of the COVID-19 vaccine roll out and must continue to wear facemasks, social distance by at least six feet, wash our hands and avoid crowds. These actions will help us slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Here’s a paradox to consider: In a pandemic, the writing on the wall is uplifting and positive.

For proof, just check out the messages on the message banners posted on the walls around the hospital and clinics where team members and others can communicate how they feel about the team at Stormont Vail Health.

“Stay positive. Let’s all get through this together.”

“Together we stand solid.”
“You are brilliant and resilient.”

“Remember there is no such thing as a bad day, just some days are better than others. You are amazing.”

“You are beyond awesome.”

“Amazing things happen with an amazing team. Thank you for all you do!”

The message banners are part of Project SHIELD. “Shield” stands for Giving each other Space, Hope, Intention, Empathy and Love to help continue moving in a Positive Direction. Project SHIELD was initiated by Dena Brake and Bobbi Kohls, Learning and Talent Development team members, as a way to show support, give inspiration and provide an outlet to team members to de-stress each day.

There are currently four message banners in the hospital, and clinics message boards will be going up in the clinics soon. There are also small message cards sprinkled throughout the hospital and soon clinics, with messages such as “Thank you for giving us hope.” In addition, there are miniature trashcans at several exits with a poem attached, asking that people write their worries or stresses down and then throw them away before going home.

This is just a small way to help the team during what has been a challenging year, Dena says. She asks that if any team members have efforts underway to help support other co-workers to send the ideas to her, Bobbi Kohls or Laurie Rueschhoff in Benefits and Wellness so they can share those with others – and keep an archive of the support that is going on.

It takes just one uplifting message to brighten another person’s day - and turn that frown upside down.

Here are today’s updates:

  • COVID-19 Vaccination Update
  • We Together: Coronavirus Discussion on KSNT
  • Topeka High Drumline Coming Wednesday
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (Scorecard: English | Spanish)

 

COVID-19 Vaccination Update
We will be opening more than 2,200 appointments in MyChart for COVID-19 vaccines for Thursday (Feb. 4), Friday (Feb. 5), and Monday (Feb. 8) at our COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. Patients in Phase 2 age 72 and up will receive new invitations to sign up for these appointments in MyChart while we continue to work through the challenges of how we reach and schedule patients without MyChart accounts.

We also continue to serve some individuals from Phase 1 (health care workers) who seek a COVID-19 immunization. As additional vaccine becomes available, we will expand to younger ages within the Phase 2 group of those age 65 and older.

  • PLEASE NOTE A NEW PROCESS FOR POSSIBLE END-OF-DAY VACCINES: Each day we also provide the opportunity for patients age 65 and older who were not able to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine to receive a vaccine through our Call-In Waiting Line. Patients can call (785) 270-0693 at 8 a.m. each morning that we are offering COVID-19 vaccinations to the public. The first 40 patients who call will be placed on a list and will be contacted later in the afternoon should we have unused vaccine available.  No walk-in patients will be accepted at the Stormont Vail Events Center. More guidelines about that process are available at https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/
  • For updates about vaccine availability, call the COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline: (785) 270-0675 or go to the Stormont Vail Vaccine website: https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/

We Together: Coronavirus Discussion on KSNT
Dr. Susan Brian, endocrinologist, and Dr. Soni Mathew, occupational medicine specialist, appeared on last night’s KSNT segment of “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion.” It can be viewed at ksnt.com at https://www.ksnt.com/video/we-together%e2%80%99-local-health-leaders-discuss-covid-19-pandemic-in-kansas/6249926/

Topeka High Drumline Coming Wednesday
The drumline from Topeka High School will perform for our team members and patients at 11 a.m. Wednesday. They will perform for about 15 minutes on the ground level helipad on the east side of the hospital, along Washburn Avenue. When you hear the sound of the drums, just look out the windows and you’ll be able to see the show!

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

  • Today we have 47 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive. Overall, we have cared for 1,560 inpatients with COVID-19 since the pandemic came to our region.
  • We are currently caring for 144 COVID-19 positive patients in our Enhanced Primary Care program. We have had 627 participants in the program since it started in November.
  • The percentage of patient testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 15.7%. These are symptomatic people in the region.
  • We continue to see a decline in the number of team members on contact leave or out because they are COVID-19 positive. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 21 19 624
Providers 2 2 55
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

In order to provide a better experience for community members arriving for their COVID-19 vaccine appointment we have implemented several changes at our COVID-19 Vaccine Center at the Stormont Vail Events Center. The changes, in part, are to assist with navigating around construction at the site and to address mobility challenges.

  • We have worked closely with the events center staff to mitigate exposure to inclement weather. There are now canopies at the entrance with heater stands, and at the parking lot location where a shuttle service picks up community members who need a ride from their vehicle to the entrance of the Exhibition Hall.
  • In addition, we have made adjustments to our screening station just inside the entrance and are reviewing options for modifying the entrance to minimize the need to navigate walking outside. We are doing all we can to make the site easier to navigate from parking lot to door.

Inside the vaccine center, the area is set up to maintain social distancing and to be able to serve large volumes of community members safely. We are continually reviewing how we can modify the process to make it easier for our community to access and navigate in a timely and efficient way.

  • To increase our ability to assist those who need extra help with mobility and to minimize delays we have lowered the number of daily appointments available.
  • We offer some wheelchairs on site but we ask those individuals who need assistance to bring their own assistive devices and one visitor, if needed, to help them through the process.
  • We encourage people to allocate at least one hour of time – from check in, for vaccine administration and then for a waiting period after the shot for observation. This time may extend longer, depending on the number of other people with appointments and any delays that may occur impacting the schedule.

This is a new process for our organization and for the community with no preexisting roadmap. We thank you for your patience as we continually adjust to meet the community’s needs.

We anticipate receiving more vaccine later this week and will provide notification when we are able to open up appointments through the MyChart system. Because of a limited amount of vaccine, we are reaching out to eligible individuals in groups based on age. To date, we have contacted our patients age 73 and older to schedule their first vaccine. They will continue to have opportunities to sign up for appointments as vaccine becomes available, as will Stormont Vail employees and affiliates from the first phase.

For updates about vaccine availability, call the COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline: (785) 270-0675 or go to the Stormont Vail Vaccine website: https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/

Here are today’s updates:

  • Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KSNT
  • Today’s COVID-19 Scorecard
  • Pet Therapy Expands to Evenings

Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KSNT
Dr. Susan Brian, endocrinologist, and Dr. Soni Mathew, occupational medicine specialist, will represent Stormont Vail Health on tonight’s segment of “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion.” This segment will air at 6:30 p.m. on KSNT, Channel 27. Dr. Mathew will represent Stormont Vail to answer COVID questions. Dr. Brian will discuss telemedicine. The segment will later be posted on ksnt.com.

Today’s COVID-19 Scorecard

  • Today we have 47 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive. Overall, we have cared for 1,552 inpatients with COVID-19 since the pandemic came to our region.
  • We are currently caring for 129 COVID-19 positive patients in our Enhanced Primary Care program. We have had 606 participants in the program since it started in November.
  • The percentage of patient testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 16.9%. These are symptomatic people in the region.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Today we celebrate the 160th birthday of Kansas. When I think about Kansas, I envision the subtle beauty of the rolling prairie, expansive blue skies and majestic sunsets. I visualize Kansans with strength of character, a resiliency to buffer the storm, and “can do” attitudes.

Kansas is a place where families have planted their roots, some for generations. It is land with roots that have sustained Kansans with nourishment and livelihoods for decades. It is home.

Our state motto “Ad Astra per Aspera” means “to the stars through difficulties.” When Kansas achieved statehood on Jan. 29, 1861, it became the 34th state to join the union, the 34th star on the U.S. flag.

Together we have experienced a year of difficulty, but we have persevered and we have been resilient. Today is a day to reflect on the good that we have in Kansas, to take note of the small moments of kindness and compassion, to take actions to show we care.

While our focus is healthcare, we are very much intertwined with our community and our state. We are a part of its culture and its history. We must continue to work together to create a better place to live and work, to create a healthier place to call home.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Re-Opening of Ambulatory Surgery Areas
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (Scorecard: English | Spanish)

Re-Opening of Ambulatory Surgery Areas
Incident Command has approved re-opening Stormont Vail Single Day Surgery and ExcellENT Surgery Center on March 1. This will be the start of transitioning team members and cases back to these ambulatory surgery facilities. The temporary Peri-Op area in the Main OR waiting room will be removed and Pre-Post will no longer provide overnight patient stays once the ambulatory facilities re-open.

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

  • Today we have 36 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive. The last time we were at that level was Nov. 1. Overall, we have cared for 1,522 inpatients with COVID-19 since the pandemic came to our region in March.
  • We are currently caring for 132 patients in our Enhanced Primary Care program. Since we started this program in November, we have had 589 participants.
  • We have provided 10,821 COVID-19 immunizations at our COVID-19 vaccination center at the Exhibition Hall at the Stormont Vail Events Center. Today we have 1,050 appointments at the vaccination center for patients age 73 and older in Phase 2.
  • For updates about vaccine availability, call the COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline: (785) 270-0675 or go to the Stormont Vail Vaccine website: https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/
  • Team Member Health information is included on the scorecard. Numbers in those areas have been steadily decreasing. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 29 26 616
Providers 2 2 55
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Immunizing our community and region with the COVID-19 vaccine is one of our primary goals as we continue to fight this pandemic. Immunizing adequate numbers of community members will dramatically slow the spread of the virus, and protect the health of individuals and provide a pathway to a more normal way of life.

Getting the vaccine from the manufacturer into the arms of our community members is a complex process. It goes through multiple layers of government – federal, state and local; has stringent storage requirements and delivery methods, has a limited use time, and must be provided through phases based on definitions of potential exposure, medical conditions and age that are determined by government.

From the beginning, we raised our hand to volunteer to help the community in a big way. We believe that the vaccine is the ultimate answer to ending this horrific pandemic. We have seen the worst of what the virus can do to individuals, to families, to the psyches of our team members. COVID-19 is real.

We set up an amazing vaccine center at the Exhibition Hall at Stormont Vail Events Center that can provide efficient distribution of up to 2,500 vaccines a day. Already we have distributed 10,819 vaccines, which includes first and second doses, of the two vaccines currently available – Pfizer and Moderna.

We had a well thought out plan for Phase 1 in which our frontline health care team were the first to be offered and the first to receive the vaccine – those working in patient facing roles; next we offered the vaccine to the rest of our employees; that was followed by our volunteer team, which included our board of directors and foundation board, and all of the students who do their clinical experiences in our facilities. All of these people are on our team and come into our facilities. We received approval from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment prior to offering the vaccine to these groups.

Now we are in Phase 2 and are receiving vaccine through the Shawnee County Health Department’s allocation. We are providing it for those age 65 and up. We have 1,006 people scheduled for their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, which will deplete our supply of vaccine until we receive another allocation. Our hope is to someday soon be able to test the capacity of our system, 2,500 doses daily, as a part of an ongoing adequately supplied mass vaccination effort; for our community and region.

Bottom line, more vaccine is needed. We are here to support this effort in a timely and efficient way.

Here are today’s COVID-19 Scorecard updates. It is attached in English and Spanish:

  • We have 41 COVID-19 positive inpatients today, bringing the total to the number of patients positive with the virus we have cared for to 1,517.
  • We have 131 patients currently in the Enhanced Primary Care Program. To date, we have had 576 people participate in this program.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

We have administered 10,819 COVID-19 vaccinations to date. We received the first vaccine in mid-December and immediately began providing vaccinations to health care team members. Following the guidance of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Shawnee County Health Department, we began providing immunizations this week to individuals who meet the criteria in Phase 2 of the vaccine program – those age 65 and older.

Our team has reported this week that many of the patients receiving their COVID-19 vaccines are expressing gratitude for the opportunity to get the vaccine. It is heartwarming to hear of their excitement and in some cases, their eventual plans to meet newly arrived grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We know that we still need to take precautions with facemasks and social distancing, but the vaccine gives us hope of a return to more normal times and family generations gathering safely.

Today’s COVID-19 scorecard also shows:

  • We have surpassed the 1,500 mark for hospitalized COVID-19 patients. We have cared for 1,510 patients since the pandemic reached our region last March. Of those, 47 are current patients.
  • We have 133 patients being cared for in our Enhanced Primary Care program in the clinic. Overall, we have cared for 565 patients through this program.

COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments Update
We will be opening 1,000 additional appointments in MyChart for COVID-19 vaccines for Friday, Jan. 29, at our COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at the Stormont Vail Events Center. Patients in Phase 2 who have already received scheduling invitations will have the opportunity to sign up for these appointments as we continue to look for opportunities to offer vaccine to more patients as vaccine availability allows.  We also continue to serve those from Phase 1 (health care workers) who still seek a COVID-19 immunization.

  • In addition, at the end of each day that we provide vaccinations, we may have unused vaccine available to a limited number of unscheduled eligible patients on a first-come, first-serve basis. Check-in can be no earlier than 2:30 p.m. More guidelines about that process are available at https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/
  • For updates about vaccine availability, call the COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline: (785) 270-0675 or go to the Stormont Vail Vaccine website: https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/
  • Patients in Lyon County in the Phase 2 group will receive a text to direct them to access Newman Regional Health’s vaccination services.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, practices to keep employees safe were critical as businesses planned to reopen.  Area employers reached out to Cotton O’Neil Work Care, our occupational health experts, for guidance in this area.

Under the leadership of Dr. Soni Mathew, Medical Director, the team provided recommendations for COVID-19 safety measures and precautions, and also stood up onsite entry screening services for three large employers. Service arrangements started in April and continued until the end of 2020 in some cases. Entry screening services were customized for each large employer and included screening questions, temperature checking, and education about COVID-19 symptoms.

The screening services provided employment for 17 team members.  Eleven of those team members continue to work for Stormont Vail Health in other capacities.  These individuals, in addition to collaborative efforts from many Stormont Vail team members through our labor pool utilization, provided nearly 11,500 cumulative hours of screening services to over 1,000 employees to make sure they met health and safety protocols for these local employers.

Cotton O’Neil Work Care continues to provide employer consultation services to employers for topics and concerns related to the pandemic.

Here are today’s updates:

  • We Together: Coronavirus Discussion on KSNT
  • COVID-19 Scorecard  and Team Member Health (Scorecard: English | Spanish)

We Together: Coronavirus Discussion on KSNT
Dr. Sri Donepudi, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Quality Officer, and Gov. Laura Kelly were on last night’s KSNT segment of “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion.” It can be viewed at ksnt.com at https://www.ksnt.com/health/coronavirus/gov-kelly-stormont-vail-doctor-join-ksnt-to-discuss-vaccine-distribution-in-the-state/

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

  • As of today, we have given 9,655 COVID-19 vaccinations at our vaccine center at the Stormont Vail Events Center. We provided nearly 1,600 vaccines yesterday during our first day of providing immunizations in Phase 2 to individuals over the age of 65.
  • Today we have 42 inpatients who are positive for COVID-19. Since the pandemic entered our region in March, we have cared for 1,496 patients in the hospital who have had the virus – up 12 from the previous day.
  • We have 125 COVID-19 positive patients who are in our Enhanced Primary Care program. We have had a total of 540 participants in this program since it started in December.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail locations across the region is 19.5%. A 5% level shows community spread; 10% is uncontrolled spread.
  • Below is information about Team Member Health. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 42 31 605
Providers 2 2 55
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

We are committed to helping as many people as possible get immunized with the COVID-19 vaccine with the supplies provided by the Shawnee County Health Department directing a portion of their allocation to us.

KDHE has opened Phase 2 of the vaccine program, which includes any individual over the age of 65, those in congregate settings, high contact critical workers and any unvaccinated people from Phase 1. We are primarily charged with reaching out to patients 65 and older at this time and those groups we served with residual needs from Phase 1. Others in Phase 2 should contact their county health department.

We are in a situation currently where demand for the vaccine is greater than supply. We are working diligently to get the vaccine supply we receive into the arms of our community members as safely and quickly as possible.

  • We have received more than 2,000 doses of vaccine to use for Phase 2. Ongoing, we anticipate receiving approximately 1,000 to 2,000 doses per week from Shawnee County Health Department’s allocation, some portion of which may be earmarked for other groups also prioritized in this phase. KDHE provides the vaccine to Shawnee County Health.
  • We have more than 60,000 patients who are 65 and older. We initially opened the vaccine schedule to patients ages 75 and over through MyChart and filled all of the appointment slots by incrementally opening the scheduling system to people age of 74 and older. At that point, appointments were filled.
  • As additional vaccine becomes available, we will set up appointment times and send invitations out via MyChart by age so people can schedule. Appointments are scheduled first-come, first-served, and those who were unable to schedule will still have opportunity to schedule a vaccine appointment as soon as we have additional vaccine available and open another vaccine clinic date. We also are reaching out to our patients who do not utilize MyChart to schedule appointments as they are available.
  • In addition, at the end of each day that we provide vaccinations, we may have unused vaccine available to a limited number of unscheduled eligible patients on a first-come, first-serve basis. Check-in can be no earlier than 2:30 p.m. More guidelines about that process are available at https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/
  • For updates about vaccine availability, call the COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline: (785) 270-0675 or go to the Stormont Vail Vaccine website: https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/

Today, we hope to provide more than 1,500 of the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to our senior community members. I am so proud of the team that has set up this enormous effort to serve our community. They have covered the details of providing shuttle service from the parking lot and assisting those with mobility issues.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Next Steps of COVID-19 Response
  • Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KSNT
  • Today’s COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

Next Steps of COVID-19 Response
Stormont Vail’s Incident Command has reviewed COVID-19 surge plans and operational processes.  The COVID-19 pandemic is still very much in our region with widespread transmission rates and hospitalization of COVID-19 patients. All pandemic policies, screening protocols for patients, visitors and team members remain in place, with no changes. We continue to follow the guidance of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health departments.

We will be continuing many of the services, processes and workflows that we have developed over the past year, including:

  • Cohorting COVID-19 inpatients
  • Discharge lounge for more efficient discharging of non-COVID-19 patients from the hospital
  • Utilization of telehealth in clinics
  • Use of Enhanced Primary Care program for high risk COVID-19 positive patients seen in the Emergency Department or being discharged from the hospital
  • Outpatient respiratory clinics
  • COVID-19 testing center in the Surgery Parking Garage
  • COVID-19 Vaccination Center

Due to our COVID-19 inpatient volume decreasing, we plan to begin transitioning some of our team members back to their regular positions from the acute care hospital assignments. This shift is contingent on steady to declining numbers of COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization in the coming weeks.

Advance Practice Providers will go back to their regular assignment on Jan. 30.  Nurse team members working in acute care patient areas will begin to returning to their regular assignments Feb. 6.  We will continue to offer rotations for those nursing team members who would like to maintain their competencies and work shifts in the acute care environment. These can be scheduled through central staffing pool.

A date has not been determined for when we will reopen Stormont Vail Single Day Surgery or ExcellENT Surgery Center as we are working through plans for schedules and staffing. That information will be provided as soon as a determination is made.

Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KSNT

Dr. Sri Donepudi, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Quality Officer, and Gov. Laura Kelly will be the guests on tonight’s segment of “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion.” This segment will air at 6:30 p.m. on KSNT, Channel 27. The segment will be available later on ksnt.com.

Today’s COVID-19 Scorecard

  • We are caring today for 45 inpatients who are positive for COVID-19. Since the pandemic entered our region in March, we have cared for 1,484 patients in the hospital who have had the virus.
  • We have 133 COVID-19 positive patients who are in our Enhanced Primary Care program. We have had a total of 525 participants in this program since it started in December.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail locations in the region is 20.6%. This is well over the 5% level that indicates community spread.

Please stay vigilant and protect yourself and others. Wear a facemask. Social distance by six feet. Wash your hands. Avoid crowds.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Getting firsthand experience in their chosen career field is more than an assignment this semester for 10 students in the Respiratory Therapy program at Washburn University. These students are working in a Respiratory Therapy Assistant role at Stormont Vail Hospital and are a huge benefit to the organization as well as to the patients they serve.

“This is the largest group of Respiratory Therapy Assistants that we have hired at one time,” says Serena Laird, RRT, Director of Pulmonary Services, Sleep Center and Allergy.  “Our team is grateful that we have been able to hire all the respiratory therapy students that are interested in working here.”

Serena said the RTAs help the Respiratory Therapy team by handling treatments for lower acuity patients while Respiratory Therapists provide care to higher acuity patients.  Since the start of the pandemic, Respiratory Therapists have been on the frontline caring for patients with this virus.

The organization benefits from having the RTA students as they often move into open full-time Respiratory Therapy positions upon graduation. When hired after being an RTA, they have already completed a portion of the orientation process.

The RTAs administer nebulizer treatments, MDI (metered dose inhaler) treatments, oxygen therapy, Acapella airway clearance treatment and airway care such as suctioning. Nathan Hopeck, RRT, Respiratory Care Manager, said students receive clearance from their school program director, then apply for a student permit from the Kansas Board of Healing Arts. They are supervised by a licensed respiratory therapist.

Alyssa Fisher and Madison Rogers, both in their final semester of the Respiratory Therapy program at Washburn, are two of the 10 students working as RTAs since December.

“It’s been good getting my foot in the door into what my future role in respiratory therapy is going to be and helping out the department,” says Alyssa. Adds Madison, “They need our help and all of the people are so grateful. They tell us it is so awesome we are here.”

All 10 of them.

Alyssa and Madison said having the large student group has made it nice because they know each other and they like working different shifts. The students self-schedule enabling them to work around conflicts. Through the holidays they could work more hours, and now with school back in session, they work around classes. “It’s a perfect job for last semester students,” Madison says.

Alyssa has worked for Stormont Vail for three and a half years as a registrar, and now does scheduling for the COVID-19 testing clinic around her RTA schedule. Madison is new to Stormont Vail, but says that it has helped her fall in love with RT. “This will always feel like my RT home,” Madison says.

Here are today’s updates:

  • COVID-19 Vaccination Distribution Plan - Phase 2 Update
  • Change in Birthplace Visitor Policy
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (Scorecard: English and Spanish)

COVID-19 Vaccination Distribution Plan - Phase 2 Update
Stormont Vail Health will be providing updates about Phase 2 of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment's Vaccine Prioritization Plan through its website and vaccine hotline.

Stormont Vail Vaccine website: https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/

COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline: (785) 270-0675.

Change in Birthplace Visitor Policy
We have modified the visitor policy in the hospital to allow for two visitors for labor and postpartum patients in the Birthplace. They may visit together. The only other departments that allow for two visitors are NICU and Pediatrics. All others areas are limited to one designated visitor for the length of stay for each patient. Visiting hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. This policy is in place to limit the number of people in the hospital due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

  • Today we have 54 inpatients with COVID-19. To date, we have cared for 1,467 patients in the hospital positive with the virus.
  • We are currently caring for 122 patients in our Enhanced Primary Care program. We have had a total of 503 participants in the program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 20.3%.
  • Team Member Health information is included in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 52 40 591
Providers 4 4 53
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Topekan Jim Leiker credits the team at Stormont Vail Health with saving his life and helping him recover from COVID-19. To show his gratitude, he made a visit to the hospital Wednesday to say thank you to some of his caregivers and drop off a treat basket for the team.

Jim, president and chief executive officer of Capper Foundation, shared that he spent nine days in the hospital, lost 17 pounds and still is working to get his strength back. His visit was covered by WIBW-TV and will be aired tonight at 10 p.m. on Channel 13.

“The staff are all terrific, absolutely terrific,” Jim says.

He said the tremendous support and encouragement he received from team members helped him each day during his hospitalization.

A group of the nurses who cared for him on 7 South, a designated area to care for COVID-19 patients, were on hand to greet Jim and hear his thanks. They included Amy Cripe, nurse manager, Erika Sanchez, Bri Appenfeller and Tabitha Newton. Jim also noted the virtual nursing system that is set up on that floor and how helpful it was in communicating with a nurse.

Jim noted that as he was recuperating in the hospital, he was aware there were other patients on the same floor who were also fighting the virus. He would often ask staff how they were doing.

“I prayed for everyone, every day,” he said.

Here are today’s updates:

  • COVID-19 Vaccination Distribution Plan - Phase 2 Update
  • COVID-19 Scorecard Update (English and Spanish)

COVID-19 Vaccination Distribution Plan - Phase 2 Update

Stormont Vail Health remains ready to move into Phase 2 of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment's Vaccine Prioritization Plan as soon as an additional allocation of the COVID-19 vaccine is received. More information about how eligible populations can register for the vaccine will be available soon. Current vaccination information can be found through the resources below. These will be updated as more information becomes available.

Stormont Vail Vaccine website: https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/vaccine/

COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline: (785) 270-0675.

COVID-19 Scorecard Update

  • The number of inpatients positive with COVID-19 increased to 61 today. We have now cared for 1,458 COVID-19 patients overall, 19 more than the previous day.
  • We have 150 COVID-19 positive patients currently being cared for in Enhanced Primary Care. We have had a total of 492 in that program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities in the region is 21.3 percent. These are symptomatic patients. This remains a high percentage.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

The COVID-19 pandemic is still very much present in our region. While we have hopes that the COVID-19 vaccines administered to more people will tamp down the virus, we need to continue to practice preventive measures – wearing face masks, social distancing, handwashing, avoiding crowds. This is the time for everyone to get on board.

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard (English | Spanish):

  • Today we have 51 inpatients with COVID-19. To date, we have cared for 1,439 patients in the hospital positive with the virus.
  • We are currently caring for 152 patients in our Enhanced Primary Care program. We have had a total of 481 participants in the program. The program helps care for people in an outpatient setting with a goal to avoid hospitalization.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities in the region is 20.9 percent. A level of 5 percent indicates community spread.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Ensuring that we have ample, qualified staff to take care of patients through surges of the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging – both for team members working assignments outside of their usual areas and scheduling staff appropriately so we can accept the next patient transfer.

In addition to staffing concerns, there are also variables such as current patient census, level of care and type of services patients need, and other situations that impact the next decision point. We have also had to adjust to shortages in our own staff levels because of illness, quarantines due to COVID-19, family and child care issues and more.

As an integrated health care system, we resolved early in the pandemic to try to find a better way to utilize our team in supporting our efforts to take the next patient who needs our care. We found that we, like other hospitals in Kansas, were not accepting the transfer of some patients because we couldn’t safely take care of additional patients when we hit a certain level.

We opted to develop a “central labor pool” to help us manage patient care staff needed to take care of our hospitalized patients – both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 – by returning as many licensed caregivers in our system back to the bedside. While this effort was primarily to staff our acute care hospital, in some cases, caregivers also moved to clinic positions to help. All hands on deck have been needed.

Kristina Jones, RN, took on the role of developing a central labor pool with Marley Baum, RN. Kristina says it was a big task and challenging to learn how to work with all the departments, “but once we were able to get a good system set up, it’s really been a smooth process.”

The central labor pool has helped add staff for acute care areas, such as LPNs, RNs and Advance Practice Providers as extenders and primary nurse assignments, and medical assistants from the clinic as patient care technicians and patient safety monitors. The primary nurse takes a full patient load and extenders help another nurse take a higher number of patients. The APPs have offered great suggestions which have improved assignments.

“Our goal is to open and keep open beds” for patients needing hospital care, says Kristina.

In addition to keeping the team ready to take the next patient, staffing adjustments also took place in the Main OR, where Stormont Vail Single Day Surgery and ExcellENT Surgery staff shifted when surgeries were consolidated at the hospital. Team members transitioned to 12 hour shifts to maximize the efficiency of the surgery schedule. Surgery opened the pre/post area as a location for overnight stays for surgical patients, freeing up hospital rooms for other inpatients.

The Emergency Department has been bolstered by former staff returning to help with shifts when current team members moved to other areas. Since the pandemic, the ED has seen higher acuity patients, translating into more hospital admissions. The ED team provides them care in the ED until an inpatient room is available.

Tami Gogel, APRN, FNP-BC, now works in the Trauma and General Surgery, but recently returned to help in the ED where she was a nurse four years. “I was happy that I was able to use both my APRN and RN licensures to make a valuable contribution to our hospital in response to the pandemic,” Tami says.

Tami adds that her co-workers at Stormont Vail have responded exceptionally well during this pandemic. “They show up to work and put in long hard hours to care for our community and each other. They rapidly adapt to changes while continuously showing compassion and bravery despite the odds. These actions make working in a pandemic less daunting,” she says.

Shelby Brooks, APRN, is an example of how innovative scheduling has helped both clinic and acute care areas. She usually works as a nurse practitioner in the Allergy Clinic. However, when the pandemic struck, she began covering mornings at the hospital to do pediatric sedations and working in her clinic in the afternoons. This allowed acute care pediatric staff to take care of more inpatients.

Moving to different work areas and shifts can be difficult and stressful because it may also impact life at home. COVID-19 has been disruptive to all of us personally and professionally and to our organization. We are grateful for our team members for being adaptable and open to these changes. It has helped us to better serve our communities. Thank you. You are an amazing team.

Here are today’s updates:

  • We Together: Coronavirus Discussion on KSNT
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (Scorecard: English | Spanish)

We Together: Coronavirus Discussion on KSNT
Dr. Sri Donepudi, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Quality Officer, was on last night’s KSNT segment of “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion.” She was joined by Shawnee County Commission Chair Kevin Cook. It can be viewed at ksnt.com at https://www.ksnt.com/health/coronavirus/tonight-local-hospital-and-county-officials-answer-your-coronavirus-questions/

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

  • Today we have 52 inpatients with COVID-19. To date, we have cared for 1,428 patients in the hospital positive with the virus.
  • We are currently caring for 154 patients in our Enhanced Primary Care program. We have had a total of 461 participants in the program.
  • We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 46 39 581
Providers 4 4 53
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Today marks the 35th anniversary of the federal holiday that honors the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. It was signed into law in 1983 and first observed in 1986. The holiday pays tribute to Dr. King for advancing civil rights and social justice through non-violent protest.

Taking a pause to reflect on Dr. King’s life and achievements seems especially apropos this year. We can all recommit to better understanding of his work to end racial injustice and to seek fairness and equality for all in our country. We can all commit ourselves to the cause of justice for all and we together commit to each other to improve the qualities of our relationships here at SVH and in our communities.

As healthcare providers we know that violence is not the answer as we care for people every day who are injured both physically and emotionally at the hands of others. Now is the time to listen, to learn, to respect, to take a deep breath, and to collaborate for the common good.

Each of us individually represents Stormont Vail – both at work and in our off hours. I encourage you to always be a great representative of our organization and of healthcare, to be mindful of our policies covering professional behavior expectations, to treat each other and our patients with the utmost respect, to embrace your role in delivering care to our communities. We together.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Highlights from COVID-19 Scorecard
  • Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KSNT

Highlights from COVID-19 Scorecard (English | Spanish)

  • Today we have 53 inpatients with COVID-19. To date, we have cared for 1,417 patients in the hospital positive with the virus.
  • We are currently caring for 151 patients in our Enhanced Primary Care program. We have had a total of 436 participants in the program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 19.4 percent. This percentage continues to decrease.

Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KSNT

Dr. Sri Donepudi, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Quality Officer, will represent Stormont Vail Health on tonight’s segment of “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion.” This segment will air at 6:30 p.m. on KSNT, Channel 27. Dr. Donepudi will answer COVID-19 questions. Shawnee County Commission Chair Kevin Cook will also be a guest on the show to discuss Shawnee County COVID-19 response.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Kylee Skahan, RRT, RN, BHS, Care Manager, says performing daily checks on high risk, COVID-19 patients recovering at home has been an extremely rewarding experience - both personally and professionally.

“These patients are so grateful,” she says. “The patients have had me in tears several times they have been so appreciative. They truly do realize what health care workers are doing to care for them and they appreciate it.”

Kylee is one of the team members supporting Stormont Vail’s Enhanced Primary Care program that was launched to closely monitor COVID-19 patients either seen in the Emergency Department or previously discharged from the hospital. The program also includes other outpatients in high risk categories who test positive with the virus.

Through the daily check-ins with care managers and monitoring by a primary care provider, the goal is to help these patients successfully recover and avoid the need for hospitalization. There are currently 134 people being actively monitored in the program and 407 who have participated. The program launched in early December 2020.

“We track them from onset all throughout the illness and recovery process. We initially reach out every day then move to every other day, depending on how they are feeling,” Kylee says. “We discuss different things they can do at home in the hopes of keeping them out of the hospital.”

Kylee said many of the patients are older and have been very isolated. “To have someone call and check on them eases their mind a lot.”

Kylee normally works as a care manager in the Oskaloosa and Meriden clinics, but now care manages COVID-19 patients. She takes care of the patients who were seen in the ED for COVID-19 and are then referred to the Enhanced Primary Care program. The other 13 care managers care for the high risk COVID-19 patients from their assigned clinics, upon discharge from the hospital. “We really do have a unique team,” Kylee says, noting that the nurses represent a variety of backgrounds. She was a Respiratory Therapist before she became a nurse.

Kylee also reaches out to any primary care providers when patient concerns arise. “All of our primary care providers have been phenomenal in their response back to these patients,” she says.

The program has garnered positive response from patients and families. “It truly makes all the difference to know that we are not alone at home,” said one patient. Noted another: “I truly credit these daily calls from keeping me from being admitted to the hospital. You are all angels for what you do!”

Here are today’s updates:

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

  • We have 55 COVID-19 positive inpatients today. In total, we have cared for 1,392 hospitalized patients since the pandemic reached our region, which is 15 more than the previous day as patients are admitted and discharged.
  • We have administered 7,812 COVID-19 vaccinations to date.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive at Stormont Vail facilities in the region is 22.8%.
  • Team Member Health information is included in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
  Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 47 41 574
Providers 5 5 51
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

 

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Highlights from today’s COVID-19 scorecard (English | Spanish):

  • We are caring for 56 COVID-19 positive inpatients.
  • We have 137 patients in our enhanced primary care program in the clinic, which cares for COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient setting in the hopes of avoiding hospitalization. In total, 395 people have participated in this program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities decreased to 24.0%.
  • As of yesterday, we have provided 7,635 COVID-19 vaccinations to Stormont Vail team members and affiliates.
  • COVID-19 Scorecard (Attached in English and Spanish).

Wear a facemask. Social distance by six feet. Wash your hands. Avoid crowds.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

We’ve been gratified to have a plateau and even a slight decrease in the number of COVID-19 positive inpatients the past couple of weeks. We are closely monitoring the numbers. If there is to be an increase in hospitalizations from winter holiday gatherings it will come in the next week. This is based on the projected time infections develop and then some individuals progressing to more serious illness requiring hospitalization.

Today we are caring for 54 COVID-19 positive inpatients. We also have 150 patients in our enhanced primary care program in the clinic, which helps us care for COVID-19 positive patients in the outpatient setting in the hope of avoiding hospitalization. In total, 387 people have participated in this innovative program.

As of yesterday, we have provided 7,355 COVID-19 vaccinations for healthcare professionals in the first phase of the vaccine program as directed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. For more information, call the COVID Vaccination Information Hotline at (785) 270-0675. The automated voice messaging hotline provides information about which groups are currently eligible for vaccination.

Proof of COVID-19 Vaccine
For team members who have received the COVID-19 vaccine, you can find this recorded in your My Chart record. On the app, go to the Health Summary icon, then go to the Immunizations tab. There should be information listed there about COVID-19 vaccine type you received (either Pfizer or Moderna) and the date(s) of immunization.

Additional items:
New 128-slice CT Scanner Arrived Monday

New 128-slice CT Scanner Arrived Monday
A new 128-slice Computed Tomography (CT) scanner was delivered to the Stormont Vail MRI Center Monday. It joined the open MRI at the center, 731 S.W. Mulvane. Construction has been underway on the west side of the building to make space for the CT scanner, which will go live on Jan. 25. The registration area is also being redesigned, but the striking Kansas sunflower theme throughout the building remains. The name of the facility will also be changing to the Stormont Vail Imaging Center.

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

One of the silver linings of the COVID-19 pandemic is the rapid development of telemedicine within our healthcare system. This provides patients with an appointment with their providers through either an online or telephone visit. It is safe, convenient and efficient for those visits that are appropriate.

Primary care is the largest specialty utilizing telehealth, but many other specialties have adopted this method. Some of those embracing this with higher visit numbers are behavioral health, neurology, bariatrics, endocrinology, rheumatology, cardiology, allergy, gastroenterology, hematology and oncology, nephrology, and pulmonology. Providers include physicians, advance practice providers, psychologists, speech and language pathologists and therapists.

Yesterday, we conducted 507 telemedicine visits. Since July, our system has conducted 46,448 appointments through these means. This is an amazing transformation to a new way of delivering care because of the pandemic and something we believe will benefit our patients long after the pandemic is over. Through telemedicine, we are able to communicate with our patients in a new way and meet their needs.

A couple of great examples of this are in behavioral health and in our bariatrics areas. In behavioral health, we are now conducting more than 50% of our appointments through telemedicine. This is a very strong effort and has helped us serve our patients during a time when mental health services have been in demand. Our behavioral health team has conducted more than 5,000 telemedicine visits since July. During the last three months of 2020, our bariatrics team really embraced technology, with a nearly fivefold increase in telemedicine appointments compared to the three months preceding that time period.

These efforts don’t go unnoticed and are much appreciated. We are thankful for the ability to maintain our human connection through virtual delivery of healthcare. The development of telemedicine has provided our community with an approach to healthcare delivery that allows us to expand beyond our walls during the pandemic and thereafter.

Here are today’s updates:

  • We Together: Coronavirus Discussion on KSNT
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (Scorecard: English | Spanish)

We Together: Coronavirus Discussion on KSNT

Tracy Duran, RN, Director of Medical Surgical, and Dr. Wael Khreiss, general surgeon, were on last night’s KSNT segment of “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion.” It can be viewed at ksnt.com at https://www.ksnt.com/health/coronavirus/tonight-local-health-experts-answer-your-questions-about-coronavirus/

They discussed COVID-19 vaccines and the process set up at the Stormont Vail Vaccine Center, as well as all of the precautions taken to provide safe surgical experiences and the importance of not postponing medical care.

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

Here’s a look at today’s scorecard:

  • Total number of inpatients positive for COVID-19 has decreased to 55.
  • The number of patients in our enhanced primary care program today is 158, with a total of 376 having been in the program. This is a program for patients who are COVID-19 positive needing more robust care in an outpatient setting.
  • The percentage of patient testing positive for COVID-19 through a Stormont Vail facility is 26.3%. This percentage has been trending down, which is a good, although it is still very high.
  • We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 57 49 558
Providers 4 4 51
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

Please continue to wear a facemask, social distance by at least six feet, wash your hands and avoid crowds. We need to continue to practice these guidelines to slow the spread of the virus.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Our goal is to get the COVID-19 vaccine distributed both timely and appropriately by following the guidance of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s phased approach. The first phase in Kansas is the vaccination of the health care team, starting with the frontline. Additionally, through other partnerships and collaborations, residents and staff of long-term care facilities and senior housing are receiving COVID-19 vaccinations, as are workers critical to pandemic response continuity.

To support this effort, Stormont Vail Health has set up a mass vaccination site at the Exhibition Hall at the Stormont Vail Events Center.

We received our initial allotment of vaccine in mid-December, and a second shipment in late December. We first provided the opportunity for the vaccine to our team members in patient facing roles. Following that, with KDHE’s approval, we moved to the rest of our team, affiliates who work in our patient-facing areas, and also to our board and volunteers who we consider a part of our team. We have also now broadened our scope, with KDHE approval, to assist in providing the vaccine to community health workers.

We want to ensure that every dose of vaccine is used and never wasted. Our team members who have more flexible schedules have worked with us to make that happen. This is my ultimate goal – to administer every dose into the arm of someone to protect the individual and our community from this insidious virus. We know we need to do this equitably and through a fair process.

Since the beginning of this pandemic, we have sought to be transparent about how our organization is preparing and caring for our communities. We have recently learned that it appears our private electronic vaccine scheduling site for the COVID-19 vaccination was shared with individuals not associated with our organization and to people not meeting criteria of the first phase of healthcare workers. Due to this breach in our target population, we have disabled the vaccination scheduling link as we investigate how this breach occurred.

We are currently reviewing scheduled appointments and advising those who do not meet criteria that we cannot serve them at this time. Individuals seeking a vaccination in the current phase will need to provide proof they are a healthcare worker

Today, we have also reviewed with all team members that we are bound to provide vaccines only to those within the phase 1 guidelines and that there will be no access to anyone outside of that group.

We have administered 5,925 COVID-19 vaccinations as of Friday, which includes both the first and second doses. I am extremely proud of that effort and the team who put together the amazing process to provide COVID-19 immunizations. Please work together to help us get Kansans vaccinated and protected through the appropriate phases outlined by KDHE. More Kansas COVID-19 Vaccine Information, including the phases, can be found at https://www.kansasvaccine.gov/

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 56 inpatients who are positive for COVID-19 in the hospital.
  • Patients being cared for in the enhanced primary care program number 165 today. In total, we have had 359 participate in the program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities decreased to 28.8%.

Here are additional updates:

  • Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KSNT

Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KSNT

Tracy Duran, RN, Director of Medical Surgical, and Dr. Wael Khreiss, general surgeon, will represent Stormont Vail Health on tonight’s segment of “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion.” This segment will air at 6:30 p.m. on KSNT, Channel 27. Dr. Khreiss will provide updates related to the precautions taken to ensure surgeries can continue safely and answer questions related to bariatrics and the comorbidities that exist for that population. Tracy will provide insights about what it was like working during the pandemic and answer COVID-19 questions.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

This afternoon I will receive my second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. It is important that we each complete two doses of the vaccine to get maximum benefit and to collectively put an end to this pandemic. I had my first immunization Dec. 22.

Stormont Vail is supporting a huge effort to vaccinate our team and our community. We have developed a vaccination center in the Exhibition Hall at the Stormont Vail Events Center that ultimately will be able to serve up to 2,000 people a day.

Today there are more than 1,000 people scheduled to receive either their first dose or second dose. These individuals are Stormont Vail team members or affiliated people providing services to our patients. We are following the guidance of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment about who can receive the vaccine during each phase of the vaccination rollout. As of yesterday, we had administered a total of 4,910 COVID-19 vaccines.

To provide information about vaccines, we have set up a COVID-19 Vaccination Information Hotline at (785) 270-0675. The automated voice messaging hotline provides information about which groups are currently eligible for vaccination, what to do if people on a current vaccination list need to schedule, reschedule or cancel a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, or need directions to the Stormont Vail Health COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic. The best entrance to use at the Stormont Vail Events Center is from S.W. 21st.

Some people receiving the vaccine may experience mild side effects, which according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are normal signs that our bodies are building protection. Common side effects are pain and swelling on the arm where you got the shot, or fever, chills, tiredness and headache. The side effects may affect our ability to perform daily activities, but should disappear in a few days. If you have questions about any pain or discomfort you are feeling, you should contact your healthcare provider.

Here are today’s updates:

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

  • We have 55 inpatients in the hospital who are COVID-19 positive today.
  • We have 139 patients actively enrolled in our enhanced primary care program in the clinic. These patients are COVID-19 positive and need additional support as outpatients in their recovery process. In total, we have had 311 patients participate in the program.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail testing facilities in the region is 30.8% today. This indicates widespread virus activity.
  • Team Member Health information is included in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 69 61 538
Providers 5 5 49
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

Take care of yourself, your families and your community by wearing a face mask, social distancing, washing your hands and getting a COVID-19 vaccine when it’s available.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

We continue to see a steady pace of COVID-19 infections impacting patients.  Today we have 65 inpatients in the hospital who are COVID-19 positive. We have 134 patients active in our enhanced primary care program in the clinic. This program serves patients who are COVID-19 positive and need close medical management of their illness in an outpatient setting to support them through recovery.

The percentage of people tested who are positive for COVID-19 is 32.4%. This is symptomatic people who are tested at Stormont Vail facilities in the region. This high percentage is concerning. It indicates the virus is widespread in the region.

As of yesterday, we had administered 4,264 COVID-19 vaccinations, which includes both first and second doses. Two doses of the vaccine are necessary to get maximum protection.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Shawnee County SPARK Funding Assists with Workforce Demands
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

Shawnee County SPARK Funding Assists with Workforce Demands

Stormont Vail Health was awarded funds from the Community Based Programs allocation of the Shawnee County CARES Act SPARK Funds. Stormont Vail partnered with the Topeka Public School’s Center for Advanced Learning and Careers (TCALC) and Washburn Institute of Technology to assist with growing health care workforce demands due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funds expanded Washburn Institute of Technology's Certified Nurse Aid (CNA) program through a new simulation lab at TCALC. This is a new program offered to TCALC/USD 501 students enrolled in the Medical Professions Pathway or interested in health careers. Students began using the simulation lab in December 2020, and additional CNA classes will be added in January 2021.

Graduates of the CNA program are qualified to work as medical assistants and patient care technicians. These funds provided ten students with hardships with assistance for the cost of licensing exams, and 10 students received uniforms to use in their new positions at Stormont Vail. Stormont Vail will provide mentors for new students and encourage their growth by offering scholarships to pursue continued training as part of their medical career pathway.

We are pleased with this partnership to educate future healthcare professionals and look forward to seeing this great vision become reality.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Today we have added new metrics to our scorecard: the number of COVID-19 vaccinations we have administered to date and the numbers of active and total (active and completed) patients cared for in our enhanced care primary care initiative.

On the vaccination metric, individuals should receive two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for it to be most effective. The scorecard includes the total number of vaccinations administered, a combination of first and second doses. As of yesterday, we had provided 3,706 vaccinations. We will note on the footnote of the scorecard what groups are receiving vaccinations. At this time, those receiving vaccines are Stormont Vail team members. The groups are determined by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the agency through which we receive the vaccine.

The enhanced primary care program is currently caring for 120 patients. In total, 262 patients have been in the program at either an active or completed status. Enhanced primary care is serving patients who are COVID-19 positive and need more robust care in an outpatient care setting as they recover from the virus. They may have received care in our Emergency Department or they may have been hospitalized and are now returning to their homes. Through enhanced primary care they are checked on frequently by a nurse care coordinator, have their oxygen level monitored, and receive care from a primary care provider. The goal is to support their recovery and avoid hospitalization. This has been an extremely beneficial program for our patients and has been a tremendous effort by our clinic team members.

Here’s are additional metrics from today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 69 inpatients in the hospital who are positive with COVID-19.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive at Stormont Vail testing locations is 31.9%. These are symptomatic patients. This is much higher than 5% that indicates community spread and 10% that shows uncontrolled spread.

The pandemic is not over. We need to remain vigilant and follow preventive measures. Wear a facemask. Social distance by six feet. Wash your hands. Avoid crowds. Get a COVID-19 vaccine when you have the opportunity.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

I had the privilege this afternoon of showing the Shawnee County Commissioner Aaron Mays the COVID-19 immunization center that we developed at the Stormont Vail Events Center. Every time I go to this center I am just in awe by what the team has set up.

It is a well-designed, efficient and organized clinic utilizing signage, technology and more to enhance the patient experience. Most of all, it is the team there providing a welcoming and attentive experience for those coming for a COVID-19 vaccine. From the door screeners to those registering people to the team members administering vaccines – and all those supporting them – this is a true team effort. I am so proud of this vaccine center and how the team came together to create it.

This week we are administering both the Moderna vaccine for those team members and affiliates who need their first COVID-19 immunization, and the Pfizer vaccine for those team members getting their second immunization, having received their first Pfizer vaccine in mid-December. We are currently providing immunizations to team members and affiliates as approved by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. KDHE oversees the type and supply of vaccine that we receive. We anticipate receiving additional vaccine supplies and being able to provide immunizations to additional groups in the future at this vaccine center.

Through Monday, we have provided 3,381 COVID-19 immunizations. Today, we have more than 500 people scheduled to get vaccines – some for their first and some for their second.

Everyone is encouraged to get a COVID-19 vaccine when the opportunity arises. This is our chance as a community and country to get the pandemic under control and in the history books. The Pfizer vaccine has shown efficacy of 95% at preventing symptomatic COVID infection. The New England Journal of Medicine recently reported that the Moderna vaccine showed 94.1% efficacy at preventing COVID-19 illness, including severe disease. Both vaccines require two shots. The interval between the Pfizer vaccine is 21 days and for Moderna is 28 days.

Here are today’s updates:

  • We Together: Coronavirus Discussion on KTKA / KSNT
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health (Scorecard : English | Spanish)

We Together: Coronavirus Discussion on KTKA / KSNT
Dr. Sri Donepudi, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Quality Officer, and Dr. Kimberly Brey, Obstetrician and Gynecologist at Lincoln Center, appeared on last night’s segment of “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion.” This segment was on KTKA, Channel 49. Dr. Donepudi talked about COVID-19 vaccine topics and Dr. Brey noted pregnant women should talk to their physician about the vaccine and discussed steps being taken to ensure new mothers have a safe delivery. It can be viewed at ksnt.com at https://www.ksnt.com/video/watch-stormont-vail-experts-answer-your-coronavirus-questions/6167054/

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health
Today we are caring for 72 inpatients positive for COVID-19 in the hospital. We are experiencing increased demand in our Call Before You Go line for people having COVID-like symptoms, outpatient respiratory clinics, COVID-19 testing areas, and telehealth appointments. The percentage of patients testing positive at Stormont Vail testing locations remains high at 31.1%. This is reflective of symptomatic patients being tested across the region. In addition, the scorecard shares information about Team Member Health. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 82 76 511
Providers 7 7 47
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

COVID-19 Scorecard Update

We are seeing an uptick in the number of COVID-19 positive inpatients the past several days. Today we have 75 inpatients being cared for because of COVID-19. Overall, we have cared for 1,277 people needing hospitalization because of the virus since March.

The percentage of people testing positive with COVID-19 at the Stormont Vail testing facilities remains high at 31%. This is testing done of symptomatic people from across the region and tells us that the virus remains widespread.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

This week we are providing additional team members and affiliate groups with their initial COVID-19 vaccine with a new supply we received through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. We are also starting the second dose of vaccine for team members who received their initial inoculation in mid-December.

We have rolled out a COVID Vaccination Information Hotline at (785) 270-0675 to provide information about vaccine availability. The automated voice messaging hotline provides information about which groups are currently eligible for vaccination, what to do if people on a current vaccination list need to schedule, reschedule or cancel a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, or need directions to the Stormont Vail Health COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic.

Here are some additional updates:

  • Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KSNT
  • Fraudulent Unemployment Claims

Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KTKA

Dr. Sri Donepudi, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Quality Officer, Dr. Kimberly Brey, Obstetrician and Gynecologist at Lincoln Center, will represent Stormont Vail Health on tonight’s segment of “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion.” This segment will air at 6:30 p.m. on KTKA, Channel 49. Dr. Donepdui will cover COVID-19 related topics and general hospital updates. Dr. Brey will discuss topics related to the Birthplace and the steps taken to ensure mothers have a safe delivery. The segment will later be posted on ksnt.com.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

When I think back to a year ago, as we launched into 2020, I am amazed at the incredible journey we have been on together. This has truly been an extraordinary year.

Who could have predicted the past year, a global pandemic evolving from what was initially a headline about a novel virus starting in an animal market on the other side of the globe?  Soon we were closely following Wuhan, China with interest as the outbreak became an epidemic spreading across multiple countries. Ultimately, it was classified as a pandemic. Once the U.S. saw its first cases, it was not long before the virus reached our region and communities.

In March 2020, at the last in-person All Employee Meeting we were able to hold, we had one PowerPoint slide about COVID-19. I talked about how we were making preparations, getting additional supplies and working through a communications plan should an outbreak occur. At that same meeting, I shared an update about how we had secured naming rights for the Stormont Vail Events Center, formerly the Kansas Expocentre.

Never did it occur to any of us that 10 months later we would be using the Events Center for a mass vaccination location for a new vaccine for this novel virus.

To date, we have provided more than 3,000 COVID-19 vaccinations for our team members and partners providing frontline work in the hospital, as approved by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. We stand ready to distribute even more of the vaccine to help protect our communities and get us to a place where this pandemic is in the history books.

I think we are all ready to put 2020 behind us, with the promise that 2021 will bring better times. But the situations and challenges we have faced have changed us. We are not who we were a year ago – as individuals or as an organization. We have experienced a lot – bad and good, joy and sorrow, stress and relief, alone and together. We are still processing all of that.

We need to harness that togetherness and stay strong, continue to support one another, keep talking and sharing. We have developed tremendous initiatives and programs to support our patients and communities, and we need to continue to provide the best patient care in our clinics and hospital. Taking care of the team is also of importance. In 2021, we will be seeking ways for team members to share their experiences, their journeys, with each other. We together.

 

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard: (English|Spanish)

  • Today we have 64 inpatients who are positive for COVID-19.
  • The percentage of people who are testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 29.3%. This is a seven-day average. These are tests for symptomatic people.
  • We had 201 calls to the “Call Before You Go” line, which is (785) 354-6000. That is the number a person is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should call before visiting Stormont Vail or any Cotton O’Neil facility so we can facilitate safe care. Symptoms include fever, cough, difficulty breathing, chills, sore throat, headache, sudden loss of smell or taste, intestinal distress or any other COVID-19-like symptoms.
  • Our team did 549 telehealth appointments yesterday. This is a method for us to provide care and keep patients and providers safe during the pandemic.

 

As we begin 2021, please be a part of the solution to end this pandemic. Wear a facemask. Social distance by six feet. Wash your hands. Avoid crowds.

 

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

We have 62 inpatients positive for COVID-19 in the hospital today. Since the pandemic entered our region in March, we have cared for 1,207 COVID-19 positive inpatients.

Patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail locations remains very high at 27.8%, a seven-day average. We administered 396 COVID-19 tests yesterday.

As additional supplies of the COVID-19 vaccine are distributed across the state to end the spread of the virus, we remain steadfast in practicing prevention: wearing face masks, washing our hands, social distancing, avoiding crowds and staying home. It’s important that we collectively practice these efforts.

Here are today’s updates:

  • 2020 Clyde Clifton Award: Dr. Korri Phillips
  • 2020 Extraordinary Care Award: Stormont Vail Team
  • We Together: Coronavirus Discussion on KSNT
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

2020 Clyde Clifton Award: Dr. Korri Philllips

Congratulations to Dr. Korri Phillips for receiving the 2020 Clyde Clifton Award. Dr. Philips was nominated for her tireless work to develop the respiratory clinics and drive-through COVID-19 testing center shortly after the pandemic reached our region last spring.

Named for Stormont Vail Health's former Chief Financial Officer and long-time employee, the Clyde Clifton Award recognizes Stormont Vail supervisors, managers, charge nurses and directors who have demonstrated exemplary leadership characteristics. Established through the Stormont Vail Foundation by an anonymous donor in 1993, the recipient receives financial assistance to support professional development through continuing education.

2020 Extraordinary Care Award: Stormont Vail Team
The entire Stormont Vail team is being honored with this year’s Extraordinary Care Award for how the team stepped up to take care of our patients and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The team received kudos from Dr. Kenagy, Dr. Sri Donepudi and Carol Perry for accomplishing so much in a short timeframe, and for the continued care they provide to each other and to patients.

We Together: Coronavirus Discussion on KSNT
Dr. Kevin Dishman, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, and Dr. Bradley Poole, orthopedic surgeon, were on last night’s KSNT segment of “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion.” It can be viewed at https://www.ksnt.com/health/coronavirus/we-together-a-pair-of-doctors-from-stormont-vail-health-will-join-ksnt-to-discuss-coronavirus-monday/

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 69 61 488
Providers 8 8 45
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

 

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Today we are caring for 66 inpatients who are positive for COVID-19. Since March, we have provided care for nearly 1,200 COVID-19 positive inpatients. This is in addition to patients requiring hospitalization for many other medical reasons. Staffing to care for this volume of patients remains all hands on deck.

The COVID-19 scorecard today also shows that percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 26.8%. Community spread is indicated at 5%, with a 10% level showing uncontrolled spread. We have administered 64,168 COVID-19 tests to date

Here are today’s updates:

  • Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KSNT

Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KSNT

Dr. Kevin Dishman, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, will provide a tour of the COVID-19 vaccination center on tonight’s segment of “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion.” Dr. Bradley Poole, orthopedic surgeon, will provide insights on safety measures taken for surgeries and why care should not be delayed. He will also discuss increases in sports injuries seen from training and practices changes this year. This segment will air at 6:30 p.m. on KSNT, Channel 27. The segment can be viewed later on ksnt.com.

Please continue to protect yourself and others. Wear a facemask. Social distance by six feet. Wash your hands. Avoid crowds.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Living through the pandemic has provided us the opportunity to examine priorities in our lives and to refocus our energies. The COVID-19 virus has brought us sadness, grief, isolation and uncertainty. It has disrupted and changed our lives and our communities. It has also brought us togetherness, resiliency and fortitude.

Now, as we mark seasonal and religious holidays at the close of 2020, we pause to reflect on what brings us joy in the midst of this chaotic year. Joy may mean different things to different people, but joy is often found when we focus on others - not ourselves.

  • Joy is the delight of a child’s excitement and squeals of happiness.
  • Joy is the sound of beautiful, melodic music.
  • Joy is the contentment of family and friends gathering together.
  • Joy is spiritual connection to a higher power.
  • Joy is the witness of creations and creatures of nature; spring blooms of the prairie or the playful antics of baby goats.
  • Joy is helping others through compassionate care or intentional listening.

In healthcare, we see sorrow and joy every day. Joy happens with the birth of a child, when a patient receives news that cancer is in remission, as a milestone in recovery is reached. Joy was watching the first inoculations of the COVID-19 vaccine.

We have seen so much sorrow and exhaustion these past months connected to the pandemic that we need to embrace any and all moments of joy, to nurture them, to feel them. Joy can give us hope and resilience, it can trigger creativity and happiness.

We are doing difficult work. We are facing the challenges of COVID-19 together. We must care for each other and share our times of joy. We together.

Happy holidays to you and your families.

Here are today’s updates:

COVID-19 Scorecard
Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 67 inpatients who are positive for COVID-19.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID at Stormont Vail facilities is 25.7%. This is a seven day average. Community spread is indicated at 5%; uncontrolled spread is 10%.
  • We have provided approximately 3,000 COVID-19 immunizations to team members over a five day period.

Have a safe holiday, wear a facemask, social distance, wash your hands and avoid crowds.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

As Jenifer Brewer waited in line for her COVID-19 vaccine she felt a mixture of excitement and reflection. She thought about how much she and her Stormont Vail co-workers had learned about this vicious virus since the pandemic began, about the intensive care patients infected by COVID-19 that they had cared for.

“When I thought about the patients, that just got to me,” Jen said. “I know a lot of nurses have been through that, too. A lot of health care workers have all experienced the same thing as me. It’s just hard.”

  • Time• the sedative was given
  • Time• the paralytic was given
  • Time• the patient was intubated
  • Time• their central line was placed

Jen started as an RN in Stormont Vail’s Surgical Intensive Care Unit in July 2019 after working nearly four years at Hays Medical Center. She graduated from Butler Community College, then completed the RN-to-BSN program at Washburn University. She is currently in the BSN-to-DNP program at Washburn. She moved to Topeka to be closer to family. She found her work family at Stormont Vail.

Like some of her nursing peers, Jen said initially the thought of caring for a patient with COVID-19 was scary because so little was known about the virus. The SICU, like other hospital departments, began preparing for potential COVID patients, and a six-patient annex to the department was designated for those needing ICU level care.

“I remember our charge nurse saying we were getting a sick COVID patient and she was looking for volunteers to care for the patient. I raised my hand, but it was shaking. She said, ‘Jen, you don’t have to volunteer,’” Jen recalled. “But I needed to, I needed to see how serious this virus was.”

As more COVID-positive patients were admitted, Jen and the other SICU nurses became more comfortable caring for them, but it was still troubling. These patients were extremely ill, fighting a virus that continually veered into the unexpected, with no guidebook for the journey. “We were all learning about it and we had a lot of resources there that the patients needed, but still a lot of emergencies popped up,” Jen said.

  • Time• their arterial line was placed
  • Time• their Vas Cath was placed
  • Time• CRRT initiated
  • Time• the patient was proned

The words for Jen’s Facebook post came from a compilation of vivid days of working in the COVID unit.  She said usually she leaves work at work when her shift is over, but with COVID, the patients she has cared for have stayed on her mind.

“You work so hard to make them feel better and you hold on to any small bit of hope. It’s so devastating to come back and find out they didn’t make it,” she said. “A lot of us have gone through this as a personal experience. We have to be their families because their families can’t be with them.

“We have to know how they want to lay, how they want to listen to their music. If you are human that experience will affect you in some way. You remember them by name, you remember them by what they went through, and more important, you remember them by how scared they were. No matter how tired you are, those situations will get to you. You just have to be there for them.”

  • Time• the ABG was drawn
  • Time• the family was notified
  • Time• the zoom meeting was set for
  • Time• the family said their goodbyes
  • Time• of death

The “Times” in Jen’s Facebook post reflect the final medical efforts being made for a patient. “It’s a scenario of how the last course of their stay is. It’s very invasive and it’s to keep every body system alive,” she said.

The sequence of times began rolling through Jen’s mind as she stood in line waiting for her time to get her COVID-19 vaccine. Her time to take care of herself, her loved ones, her co-workers, her community. She wanted to get a photo of herself getting the vaccine, but that didn’t work out. Instead, after she left the vaccination site, she propped her phone on her car door and pushed her clinched fist high in the air to show she had done it, she had succeeded in her vaccine, and took at selfie. The photo is a show of support to all of the other nurses and health care workers on the frontline.

  • Time• 1118

That’s the •time• I received the Covid-19 vaccine today.

When Jen got home, she posted the words and the photo, hoping she might prompt a few others to get the vaccine. It wasn’t until an hour later that she realized the post was getting attention. It further gained traction when it was shared on the Stormont Vail Health Facebook page.

As of Tuesday, the Facebook post has reached 13.6 million people around the world and it has been  shared more than 106,000 times. Nearly 6,500 people have logged comments on the post itself, with an additional 90,000 comments on the shared posts. Jen wants the post to stand on its own and has turned down media requests for interviews, saying that the post itself speaks for nurses and healthcare workers.

“The bigger picture is that this is not about me, but is about COVID and healthcare,” Jen says. The message has resonated with nurses and other health care workers who have had similar experiences. She believes it is important to share those experiences to get through these times.

While COVID-19 has brought challenging times, Jen believes the entire Stormont Vail team of nurses, doctors, nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, CNAs, PCTs, phlebotomists, Rad and CT techs, security, facilities, maintenance, environmental services, information systems and others is closer than ever. There is a new sense of teamwork.

“We can do so much more together now because of this. You cannot do it alone,” she says.

Here are today’s updates:

  • We Together: Coronavirus Discussion on KSNT
  • COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health: English | Spanish

We Together: Coronavirus Discussion on KSNT

Dr. Clif Jones, Vice President of Subspecialty Care and an infectious disease specialist, and Andy Barnes, APRN, Emergency Department, were on last night’s KSNT segment of “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion.” It can be viewed at ksnt.com.

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health
Today’s COVID-19 Scorecard:

  • We have 72 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive.
  • The percentage of testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 25.5%.
  • We have provided 2,406 COVID immunizations to date.
  • Team Member Health is provided in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers. Contact leave numbers indicate those on leave from on-site exposure plus COVID-positive employees.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 92 86 438
Providers 10 10 40
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

We are pleased with the number of our team members who have stepped up to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Rolling up your sleeve to the vaccine means you care about your health and the health of others. It helps ensure that our organization has the ability to continue to care for our communities, our friends, our neighbors and our own families.

To each of you who has stepped forward to get the vaccine, I say thank you. Please encourage others to sign up for the remaining doses that we have allocated to Stormont Vail in this first round. All of our team members should have been offered the opportunity to get the vaccine.

As of Friday, we had administered 1,838 COVID-19 vaccines to team members over three days. When I got my vaccine last week, I had a great experience. I saw a well-organized effort, a team of committed and energetic co-workers, and a tremendous community initiative that is going to help end this pandemic.

We are poised to continue to provide the vaccine through the massive vaccination center we have set up at the Stormont Vail Events Center. We await further guidance from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to see how we help our community the most. We should all be a part of this effort. We together.

From today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • Our inpatients positive with COVID-19 number 70 today.
  • We have conducted 62,484 COVID-19 tests. The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 is 25.4%. That remains well above the 5% community spread level; and 10% uncontrolled spread. Those are tests from across the region.

Here are additional updates:

  • Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KSNT
  • Get Out Those Holiday Scrubs
  • Hometown Holiday Treats

Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KSNT
Dr. Clif Jones, Vice President of Subspecialty Care and an infectious disease specialist, and Andy Barnes, APRN, Emergency Department, will represent Stormont Vail Health on tonight’s segment of “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion.” This segment will air at 6:30 p.m. on KSNT, Channel 27. Dr. Jones will discuss vaccine related topics and Andy will talk about the importance of not delaying care. The show is continuing for four additional Mondays. Following airing, the segments are available at ksnt.com.

Get Out Those Holiday Scrubs
Team members working on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Dec. 24 and 25, are invited to enjoy a more relaxed dress code, which can include holiday scrubs and festive sweaters. Team members can also wear jeans on these days. Please continue to maintain the Stormont Vail culture in your holiday-style. We appreciate those who are working through the holidays to take care of our patients.

Hometown Holiday Treats
We hope that all of the team members enjoyed the hometown holiday treats that were provided the past few weeks and delivered by members of Operating Committee to Stormont Vail locations. The purpose was to “treat” our team and let them know what a great job they have been doing, and do so by supporting local businesses. A special thank you to the Administration support and Marketing-Communications teams for helping us facilitate this effort.

Please get a COVID-19 vaccine – for yourself and others. Wear a facemask. Social distance by six feet. Wash your hands. Avoid crowds.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

As COVID-19 virus challenged some of our traditional ways of caring for patients, we have developed innovative ways to address those needs. One example is the enhanced primary care initiative that has been spearheaded by Dr. George Wright and Dr. Salah Najm.

Dr. Wright is Vice President of Primary Care Services and Dr. Najm is Vice President of Acute Care Services.

Enhanced primary care is a model to help us care for two patient groups - COVID-19 positive patients who are being discharged from the hospital but still need enhanced oversight in an outpatient setting, and COVID-19 positive patients who are seen in our Emergency Department and don’t need to be admitted to the hospital but do need enhanced outpatient oversight.

By having our primary care providers collaborate with their acute care peers – both Emergency Department physicians and inpatient hospitalists, we developed a care model that allows us to closely monitor these outpatients and address follow up issues related to their illness. Integral to this process is our ambulatory care manager team who drive the coordination and connection with patients and the primary care provider.

What we have learned since the beginning of this pandemic is that there is a wide variation in the severity of the illness, from asymptomatic to critical. Most cases up to the mild and moderate illness levels can be managed as an outpatient, with the severe and critical patients needing hospitalization. But patients after recovery from acute COVID-19 increasingly are reporting that they are experiencing persistent symptoms and this is when they often need closer medical attention.

The enhanced primary care model for patients with an acute illness associated with COVID-19 is unique and being received well by patients.

Our providers offering enhanced primary care have tools in their tool belt to monitor patients through telehealth, pulse oximetry, and care management, to hopefully get these patients feeling better and avoid hospitalization. Besides providing better care for patients, this model also leverages team-based care with our inpatient and outpatient providers working together. We together.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Two Patients Enrolled in COVID-19 Treatment Study
  • Self-Scheduling Now Available for COVID-19 Tests
  • COVID-19 Scorecard  and Team Member Health: English | Spanish

Two Patients Enrolled in COVID-19 Treatment Study
Two inpatients have been enrolled in a NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) clinical research trial that Stormont Vail is participating in. The study is an investigational treatment for hospitalized patients with COVID-19. The drug being studied, hIVIG, is an anti-coronavirus hyperimmune intravenous immunoglobulin.

Self-Scheduling Now Available for COVID-19 Tests
The Stormont Vail Health online health management tool, My Chart, now offers self-scheduling for COVID-19 tests. To learn more about scheduling an appointment with the Cotton O’Neil Drive-Up Testing Center, visit: https://www.stormontvail.org/covid-testing/

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

  • We have 63 COVID-19 positive patients today.
  • The percentage of patients positive for COVID-19 is 26.4%.
  • We have provided 1,075 immunizations to team members thus far; 572 on Wednesday and 502 on Thursday.

Team Member Health information is included in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 82 82 420
Providers 11 11 37
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Five hundred eighty team members received the COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday and more team members are scheduled this week at our vaccination center at the Stormont Vail Events Center. This has been a tremendous launch to protect our team and community against the virus and get this pandemic under control.

The mood of our team is one of pride and “can do.” We have been through a lot together over the past year, and together is what it will take to get through the rest of this pandemic.

Everyone is strongly encouraged to get the COVID-19 vaccine – and to complete both doses. When individuals are registering for their first vaccine through Stormont Vail, they need to be prepared to make their appointment for their second injection.

The Pfizer vaccine, which is what we have been provided in this first round, requires a second dose in 21 days. The Moderna vaccine, which is anticipated to be released soon, has second dose in 28 days. The vaccines have been reviewed for safety and efficacy and will continue to be closely monitored.

Of the 580 Pfizer vaccines we administered on Wednesday, two individuals experienced very minor side effects. Most of the research has shown that side effects, if they are to occur, usually happen after the second dose. These may include a low grade fever or fatigue.

We will continue to roll out the vaccine to team members and our community following the guidance of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.  Please be a role model and receive the vaccination.

We also want to emphasize that even with the vaccine, we need to continue to wear face masks, promote handwashing and social distancing and avoid crowds. We still have uncontrolled infection rates of the virus in our region.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Update on COVID-19 Testing
  • Thank You, Security Benefit Charitable Trust
  • Kylie Hastings Honored
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

Update on COVID-19 Testing
Our Lab team continues to do a great job keeping us at the forefront of COVID-19 testing. The testing committee recently approved two changes for COVID-19 testing for Emergency Department patients and inpatients.

  • We are starting point of care PCR testing in the Emergency Department today for SARS-COV-2, Influenza A/B and Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
  • We are standing up COVID-19 antigen testing that we will utilize for asymptomatic screening of inpatients who will be transferred to a post-acute care facility.

PCR tests and antigen tests are both diagnostic tests to determine whether a person currently has an active COVID-19 infection. PCR tests detect the presence of the virus's genetic material using transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, or RT-PCR. Antigen tests detect a protein that is part of the coronavirus.

Thank You, Security Benefit Charitable Trust
On Wednesday, Stormont Vail Foundation received a $20,000 donation from the Security Benefit Charitable Trust, a committee representing the employees of Security Benefit and SE2. The donation will support the Health Care Heroes Fund, which provides up to $750 in emergency assistance to team members with immediate financial needs for utility, rent, child care, transportation and other assistance.

This donation was a part of a series of donations made by the charitable trust to alleviate financial stressors for 11 Topeka-area nonprofit organizations and their recipients especially hard hit by the pandemic. The human services organizations selected for the holiday cash gifts are dedicated to helping individuals struggling with issues that include food insecurity, poverty and mental health conditions, all of which have been exacerbated by COVID-19.

Amy Burns, president and executive director, Stormont Vail Foundation, said the Foundation was grateful for the gift to the Health Care Heroes Fund: “It means so much to our team members that the community appreciates their work and is willing to help them through the hardships they face due to working during the pandemic.”

Kylie Hastings Honored
Kylie Hasting, APRN, Osage City Clinic, was honored this morning with the DAISY Award. Kylie has been working some hospital shifts to help with high patient volumes so she was surprised at this morning’s Administrative Huddle with the award. Kylie was nominated by a clinic patient who said she has provided exceptional care to his family. “She is kind and caring and I have personally developed a strong trust in her because of the way she has handled our case,” the nominator wrote. Congratulations, Kylie!

COVID-19 Scorecard
Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • Today we have 72 inpatients positive with COVID-19.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 in Stormont Vail testing facilities is 25.7%. That is a seven day average. Community spread is 5%.

Wear a facemask. Social distance by six feet. Wash your hands. Avoid crowds.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD


Julie Snyder, RN, (left) receives her COVID-19 vaccine from Elizabeth Gerhardt, RN.
Dr. Nason Lui, Andrew Barnes and Julie were the first Stormont Vail team members to get the vaccine on Wednesday.

Dear Community Partners,

Today is an incredible day for our region, our patients, our organization and our team.  I am so pleased that we gave our first COVID-19 vaccines this morning to members of our frontline healthcare team - the first of more to come, to protect us from this insidious virus and to end this pandemic.

It feels so great to see a light at the end of the tunnel. For me and others, this is an emotional day because we know how tirelessly and fervently our team has worked the past nine months to develop initiatives and programs to care and protect our patients, team and communities.

Today gives me hope as we begin our journey to finally limit this virus’ impact, to imagine a time when we return to our usual customs and socialization without fear. We still need to wear face masks, social distance and wash our hands until the COVID-19 vaccine is fully distributed, which will take months. But we can imagine a time when we won’t have to.

Having safe and effective vaccines available one year into a pandemic caused by a novel virus is a triumph of human will and scientific knowledge. The confluence of will, science and money wrapped in both cooperation and competition has produced this historic victory. Now, we must remain vigilant to ensure it is universally available and widely accepted. Another kind of “We Together.”

The first team members to receive the vaccine today were Andrew Barnes, APRN, Emergency Department, Julie Snyder, RN, Medical Intensive Care Unit, and surgeon Nason Lui, M.D. Thank you to these individuals for sharing this experience during a press conference this morning to show our community that getting the vaccine is important.

Also providing information to the community at that event were Dr. Sri Donepudi, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Quality Officer, and Dr. Clif Jones, Vice President of Subspecialty Care and an infectious disease specialist, who have lead our COVID-19 vaccine efforts. They shared that the first groups of team members receiving the vaccine are at high risk for exposure and are getting it to preserve our capacity to care for the community. Of our team members who have been offered the vaccine thus far, 70% have signed up, which is similar to the national rate. Everyone is encouraged to get the vaccine.

Our team pulled together an outstanding mass vaccination center in the Exhibition Hall at the Stormont Vail Event Center. It has a spacious registration area and 24 vaccination stations. Ali Hanna, RN, PEX manager and site commander, said that many departments came together to make the effort a reality. This included Registration, Information Technology, Epic Team, Facilities, Design and Construction, Pharmacy, Security, Patient Experience, PEX, and clinical teams.

Rachel Buchanan, LPN, Clinical Informatics Manager, noted her team built a workflow in Epic that will update the state’s vaccine registry, which requires COVID-19 vaccines be documented within 24 hours. She said our interface will be done at the point of injection.

“This has been a very exciting project,” Rachel said.

The excitement and enthusiasm of the day is a welcome change from what we have been facing these past months. To the team, I say thank you. We still have more work to do, more tough times until this pandemic is under control, but we will take it a day at a time, working together.

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We have 74 COVID-19 positive inpatients today.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive in Stormont Vail testing locations is 25.6%. That is a seven day average. A 5% level shows community spread.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard: English | Spanish

  • We have 75 inpatients positive for COVID-19 today.
  • On Saturday, we surpassed the 1,000 mark of COVID-19 positive patients since the pandemic began in March. We have cared for 1,029 inpatients with the virus as of today.
  • The percentage of symptomatic people we tested who are positive is 24.7%. This is a seven day average and reflects our testing locations across the region. A 5% rate indicates community spread and a 10% rate is uncontrolled spread. Overall, we have administered 60,279 COVID-19 tests.

We are optimistic about the news today that the U.S. is receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and it is expected in Kansas this week. However, for the coming months we can’t let our guard down and must follow the basics: wearing masks, social distancing, handwashing and staying home.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KSNT

Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KSNT

Dr. Sri Donepudi, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Quality Officer, and Dr. Clif Jones, Vice President of Subspecialty Care and an infectious disease specialist, will represent Stormont Vail Health on tonight’s segment of “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion.” This television segment will air at 6:30 p.m. on KSNT, Channel 27. This is the last of four weekly segments that look at how the pandemic is impacting our region. Following airing, the segments are available at ksnt.com.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Once the COVID-19 vaccine arrives in Kansas, Stormont Vail Health will be providing the vaccine in a phased approach as guided by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The first recipients of the vaccine will be healthcare workers who provide direct care for COVID-19 patients or are at high occupational risk for exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The vaccine is still in the approval process at the federal level and further action is expected this weekend. Two vaccine manufacturers have requested Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration – Pfizer and Moderna.

Until then, we await direction from KDHE and the initial shipment to Kansas. The state said it expects to receive nearly 24,000 doses in the first shipment, which is coming from Pfizer. KDHE said additional vaccine – up to 150,000 doses – is expected by the end of December.

Both vaccines require two doses. Pfizer requires the doses to be 21 days apart. Moderna doses are 28 days apart. People will need to get both of the doses to fully benefit from the vaccine.

As a health care organization, we advocate that all individuals get the COVID-19 vaccine. We are role models and need to set the example for building immunity in our communities.

Stormont Vail team members who have been identified in the initial groups to get the vaccine have received emails with information about the vaccine and how to make appointments through SharePoint. Stormont Vail follows the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that the vaccine is not a requirement, however we strongly recommend the vaccine for all who are eligible.

We expect to receive more guidance from KDHE about other groups who will receive priority for the vaccine as supplies become available. Vaccine for the general public is not expected until late spring or early summer. The vaccines are not initially for children (anyone under the age of 18) or for pregnant women.

Interim data indicates approximately 95% efficacy for mRNA vaccines after two doses. Even with this promising preliminary data, it is critical that everyone continues to practice precautions such as wearing facemasks, washing hands, social distancing, and staying home until the spread of the COVID-19 virus has stopped.

Here are today’s updates:

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

  • We have 77 COVID-19 positive patients hospitalized today.
  • 4% of the people tested at Stormont Vail testing facilities in the region tested positive. This is a seven day average. It compares to a 5% community spread rate and 10% uncontrolled rate.
  • We are experiencing steady volumes on our Call Before You Go hotline at (785) 354-6000 for people with COVID-19 like symptoms. Visits to our respiratory clinics and COVID-19 testing center remain elevated.
  • We continue to have team members away from work because they tested positive or are on contact leave due to COVID-19. We share updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.
Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 101 83 378
Providers 8 8 32
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

We are caring for 74 inpatients positive with COVID-19 today. We are nearing the 1,000 mark of total patients who have been hospitalized for the virus since our first COVID-19 patient was admitted March 24. We have had 971 COVID-19 inpatients to date.

The percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities in the region is 28.1%, down slightly from previous days. This is a seven day average. A 5% level indicates community spread and 10% is uncontrolled spread. This is testing for symptomatic people only.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Teresa Taylor Receives Safe Kids Kansas Award

Teresa Taylor Receives Safe Kids Kansas Award

Congratulations to Teresa Taylor, RN, Trauma Prevention Coordinator, and co-coordinator of Safe Kids Shawnee County, for receiving the Dr. Dennis Cooley Award of Excellence, the highest honor given by the Safe Kids Kansas organization. Teresa serves on multiple public health and safety committees and boards, pulling together partners toward a common goal of improving lives through prevention. Congratulations, Teresa!

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

12/10 Scorecards: English | Spanish

Dear Community Partners,

We developed an outpatient respiratory clinic early on in the pandemic to separate people potentially infected with COVID-19 from other patients in the clinic setting. That has been a beneficial service and one that grew from one clinic to now eight locations throughout the region. Two of these are in Topeka – the original location at 4505 N.W. Fielding Road and another at 2860 S.W. Mission Woods Drive, near S.W. 29th and Urish Road.

On today’s COVID-19 scorecard, we begin showing a breakout of data that provides the number of people seen at the North Fielding clinic: 46 yesterday; the Mission Wood clinic: 18; and the satellite clinics combined: 26.

These respiratory clinics provide access to people if they are experiencing any type of respiratory symptom. These locations all provide COVID-19 testing. Appointments at these clinics can be accessed through the Call Before You Go number – (784) 354-6000 – or through a referral from the patient’s primary care provider.

Here are other details from today’s COVID-19 scorecard (English | Spanish):

  • 76 COVID-19 positive inpatients today.
  • 8% of patients tested positive for COVID-19 in Stormont Vail facilities (a seven day average).

Show respect for those around you. Wear a mask. Social distance. Wash your hands. Stay at home. Making these efforts is the only way we are going to slow the infection rate of this virus until a vaccine is available.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

While the COVID-19 pandemic has been focused on physical health and symptoms that people may exhibit if they become infected with the virus, we know that it is also impacting mental and emotional health. This is present now and may remain even after the virus is under control.

Stormont Vail Health is experiencing a significant increase this year in the number of patients who have attempted suicide, completed suicide or have suicide ideation. This is likely the result of the stress and isolation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and is expected to continue during the winter months.
In addition, our organization has experienced higher than normal demand for inpatient and outpatient mental health services since spring. This is consistent with what is being reported nationally for increasing numbers of people experiencing mental health conditions, substance use and suicidal ideation during the pandemic.

Our staff is concerned by the uptick in mental health needs we are seeing in our communities. We know that other providers in the community share this concern. In gathering feedback from our Patient and Family Partnership Council, we learned that some in our community now find themselves navigating new waters as they seek mental health resources for those impacted by the pandemic.

To address this, we have developed suicide prevention information and mental health resources and now have it posted on our website: https://www.stormontvail.org/suicide-prevention/ The web page provides crisis numbers, suicide warning signs and risk factors, suicide reduction strategies, and suicide awareness and mental health resources.

Stormont Vail is providing behavioral health services through inpatient and outpatient services at our Behavioral Health hospital, in our acute care hospital and in our clinics. We are also working collaboratively with other organizations and agencies in the region to deliver behavioral health care and to prevent and raise suicide awareness.

Discussing suicide, mental illness and emotional distress can be a difficult topic and one that may be avoided because of stigma. But today is not a normal day, and mental health should never be ignored. It is an integral part of who we are and it is intrinsically tied to our physical health.

This is the time to be alert to signals that something may not be right and then to ask the question: Are you OK? Do you need help?

Be proactive. Connect with others. Phone a friend. Zoom or FaceTime a family member. Engage with people in safe ways. Get outdoors. Take a walk. Exercise is good for your mental health.

Here are today’s updates:
• Carol Perry and Tracy O’Rourke on “We Together” TV Segment
• Music of the Season
• Team Member Health
• COVID-19 Scorecard - English|Spanish

Tracy O’Rourke and Carol Perry on “We Together” TV Segment
Tracy O’Rourke, Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, and Carol Perry, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, appeared on the “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion” Monday on KTMJ, a sister station to KSNT. Among topics they addressed was the COVID-19 vaccine, how the Stormont Vail team has risen to the challenge of the pandemic and is being supported, and the increase in use of telemedicine. The segment is on the KSNT website.
https://www.ksnt.com/health/coronavirus/we-together-stormont-vail-executives-and-kansas-chamber-ceo-discuss-coronavirus-in-the-state/

Music of the Season
A local dulcimist who has been a Stormont Vail Health volunteer playing soothing music for patients served by our palliative medicine team has provided our team a holiday music concert via the Internet. Along with 17 minutes of beautiful music, P. Allen Macfarlane sends this message: “My best wishes to all and hope for better days to come.” Thank you for this gift of music.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ej5H_Wkg5tM&feature=youtu.be

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health
Today we have 85 inpatients positive with COVID-19. We have administered 58,268 COVID-19 tests to date. The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 who were tested at Stormont Vail facilities is 32.1%. That is a seven-day average and compares to a 5% community spread indicator, and 10% uncontrolled spread.

We also provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 100 82 358
Providers 7 7 31
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

A look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • We are caring for 80 COVID-19 positive inpatients today. Since March, we have cared for 927 COVID-19 positive patients.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities in the region over the past seven days averages 31.5%. This includes only symptomatic patients and not those receiving pre-procedure tests. This is a very high percentage.
  • We have 86 team members and five providers out with active COVID-19 cases.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KTMJ
  • Mark Neuer a Hometown Hero
  • SaraLynn Smallback Being Honored

Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KTMJ
Tracy O’Rourke, Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, and Carol Perry, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, will represent Stormont Vail Health on tonight’s segment of “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion.” This television segment is airing at 6:30 p.m. Mondays on KTMJ, Fox 43. This is the third of four weekly segments examining how the pandemic is impacting our region. Following airing, the segments are available on ksnt.com.

Mark Neuer a Hometown Hero
Mark Neuer was named a K-State Hometown Hero Saturday. Mark is a medical laboratory scientist and has been employed by Stormont Vail for 40 years. He has helped our Microbiology team process routine and surgical specimens in a timely manner. Recently, Mark has worked tirelessly, running COVID-19 testing. Mark and his family are avid K-State fans. Congratulations, Mark!

SaraLynn Smallback Being Honored
SaraLynn Smallback is being honored on WIBW-TV in its Salute Our Heroes segment. SaraLynn is an RN in the Medical Critical Care Unit and has been caring for COVID-19 positive patients. Congratulations, SaraLynn! You can view the segment honoring SaraLynn at this link:

https://www.wibw.com/video/2020/12/07/salute-our-heroes-stormont-vail-nurse/

Each of us must do our part to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Wear a facemask. Social distance by six feet. Wash your hands. Stay home.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Stormont Vail Health has been selected to participate in an NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) clinical research trial that will study an investigational treatment for hospitalized patients with COVID-19. NIAID is headed by a name that may be familiar to those who have been tracking COVID-19 at the national level. Dr. Anthony Fauci is the director of NIAID, a position he was appointed to in 1984.

The study is taking place in several countries and Stormont Vail will be one of the initial sites to open in the United States. In all, about 500 people will be enrolled in the world who have been hospitalized for COVID-19 and do not have life-threatening organ dysfunction or organ failure.

The drug being studied, hIVIG, is an anti-coronavirus hyperimmune intravenous immunoglobulin. It is a highly concentrated mixture of antibodies against SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The antibodies are collected from people who have recovered from COVID-19. Researchers want to see if the drug can help hospitalized people with COVID-19 get better more quickly when added to remdesivir treatment. Remdesivir is an antiviral drug used in the treatment of COVID-19.

The principal investigator for Stormont Vail’s research site is Dr. Hassan Taha and the sub-investigator is Dr. Salah Najm. Both are intensivists at Stormont Vail and have been instrumental in leading our care of COVID-19 patients. The trial will be handled through the Cotton O’Neil Clinical Research Center.

This is an incredible opportunity for patients in our region. We were recommended for the study by

Takeda Pharmaceuticals, one of the manufacturers of the study treatments and a research organization that we have done clinical research trials with at the Cotton O’Neil Digestive Health Center.

Half of the people in the study will receive the study drug, hIVIG, and the other half will receive a placebo. Neither the patient nor the study team knows who gets which. The outcomes for the two groups are then compared to find out if the study drug helps people get better sooner. All people in the study will also receive a COVID-19 medicine called remdesivir, which has been shown to shorten the length of time people with COVID-19 have to stay in the hospital.

Mary Martell, MBA, ACRP-CP, Director of Research Services, says that the study is adaptive so the NIH could potentially put future research medications through the same protocol, meaning our organization wouldn’t have to go through all of the startup processes again if there are future medications selected to be studied in this protocol.

This research opportunity would not be possible without the strong collaboration among the clinical research center, pharmacy, laboratory, information technology, nursing team, and others – a testament to working together to improve the health of our community. We together.

Here are today’s updates:

  • A Special Thanks and a Sweet Treat
  • Modifications to Quarantine Requirements
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

A Special Thanks and a Sweet Treat
To show appreciation for our team members through the holidays for their extraordinary work, we will be providing sweet treats that showcase and support our local businesses. Today, Operating Committee members will be delivering 1,000 cookies to various departments and clinic locations. This is the first of more special deliveries to come. All areas will be included as we roll out our thanks – and sweet treats - in the coming weeks. Thank you for all that you do to take care of our patients and communities.

Modifications to Quarantine Requirements
In Shawnee County, Stormont Vail will follow the Shawnee County Health Department’s decision announced yesterday to reduce the duration of quarantine for most people exposed to COVID-19 from 14 to 10 days. Close self-monitoring is still emphasized days 11 to 14 for any onset of symptoms. SCHD has NOT chosen to support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s consideration for releasing at 7 days with a negative test.

The CDC announced Wednesday that it recommends a quarantine period of 14 days, but based on local circumstances and resources, offered the options for shortened quarantines. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) then issued similar guidance, saying counties could continue with the 14-day quarantine period or opt for a shortened quarantine period.

Riley County and Lyon County Health Departments have determined to maintain the original 14-day quarantine period.  Other Kansas counties will determine on a case by case basis whether to stay with KDHE’s 14-day quarantine period or to adopt elements of the shortened quarantine period options from CDC.

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health
We have 76 COVID-19 positive inpatients today. The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail testing locations in the region is 32.7%. That remains very high for the region. Volumes for COVID-19 testing, calls to our triage line, visits to our respiratory clinics, appointments shifting to telehealth are at a high level.

Team Member Health is also included on this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 101 85 336
Providers 4 4 30
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

While we are relieved to see the number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 decreasing this week – today we are at 76 – we are also concerned that the other shoe may drop and another surge will hit.

Post-Thanksgiving hospitalizations, if they are to materialize, will come in the next week; that will be followed by other winter holidays when people traditionally gather together in inside venues where this virus seems to thrive.

What’s next for us is really predicated on what community members have done on the real frontline in the past few weeks. Did people wear facemasks? Have they socially distanced from people other than those in their immediate households? Have they been washing their hands? Have they been staying home?

Hospitalizations and death typically follow new infection rates by two to three weeks. We continue to see high infection rates in our region – the percentage of patients testing positive in our testing facilities is 32.3% today. This is extremely high and shows the virus is widespread in our region.

With a COVID-19 vaccine coming, there is light at the end of the tunnel, but if we can’t get current infections under control, it will be a dark journey to get there. It doesn’t have to be this way. The next chapter of this pandemic is based on the actions of our community members. Please do your part. Help your healthcare neighbors, friends and family members in the next few months and adhere to public health practices.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Scorecard: English | Spanish

Dear Community Partners,

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard:

  • Inpatients hospitalized with COVID-19 number 87 today.
  • Percentage of patients testing positive with COVID-19 is 29.9%. Community spread is indicated at 5%, with uncontrolled spread at 10%. This metric includes symptomatic patients at Stormont Vail testing locations across the region.
  • We continue to administer a large number of COVID-19 tests, with 447 given yesterday.
  • Telehealth visits numbered 774, the most we have conducted in a single day to date. We are shifting many appointments to telehealth to keep patients and our team safe.

To help us care for higher numbers of COVID-19 positive patients, we are expanding the number of patient rooms in the hospital to negative pressure rooms. We had 79 negative pressure rooms and are in the process of converting another 57 rooms, which will bring us to 136. Negative pressure rooms help with infection control.

Each of us can help slow the spread of the virus for the next several months until a vaccine is available. Please do your part and wear a facemask, social distance from others, wash your hands frequently, and stay at home when possible.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

It’s hard to imagine a more unnerving situation than being a healthcare worker in the midst of a pandemic - other than being a healthcare worker in the midst of a pandemic with a young child with a chronic condition.

But that’s precisely the situation DaeQuina Smith found herself in.  Her now 4-year old son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes this spring when the pandemic hit.  Simultaneously, she found herself managing new realities both at work and home.

“It was really rough in the beginning,” Smith, a patient care tech on 6 North, recalled of that chaotic time which also included her daughter finishing her Kindergarten year online.  “But, what I was most concerned about was bringing something home.”

While she continued to work through the spring, her hours were limited which made managing expenses difficult – particularly those associated with another child in daycare and her son’s diagnosis.

“He has a strict diet and needs specific foods,” she said.  “It’s also more expensive.”

She also decided not to send her daughter back to the classroom this fall in order to best protect her son’s health.

Smith was finding it harder to get by when she learned about the Stormont Vail Foundation’s Healthcare Heroes fund from her nurse manager.  She plans to use her grant for her son’s special nutrition needs.

“I am very grateful,” she said.  “It’s encouraging to know there are people who are so thoughtful to recognize we are going through our own personal battles at home while at the same time working during the pandemic.”

“While to some it may not seem like much, small things can add up.  For me, this grant is taking a really big weight away.”

The Stormont Vail Foundation’s Health Care Heroes Fund to provide emergency financial assistance during the pandemic was made possible by generous donors. The fund continues to help our team members who incurred additional expenses as a result of working during the pandemic. Funding may be approved for a maximum of $500 per household.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Stormont Vail Receives Allocation of Regeneron Product
  • Dishman on “We Together” TV Segment
  • Discharge Lounge Opens Today
  • Supporting Stormont Vail Foundation
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

Stormont Vail Receives Allocation of Regeneron Product
Stormont Vail has received an allocation of a monoclonal antibody therapeutic drug - Regeneron combination product (Casirivimab and Imdevimab) - that can be used to treat certain COVID-19 positive patients. This is in addition to another monoclonal antibody therapy, Bamlanivimab, that we began administering to appropriate patients Nov. 16. Both products are used for outpatients with mild to moderate COVID-19, in early stages of the illness, prior to progressing to hospitalization. We have a limited supply of both therapies.

Dr. Dishman on “We Together” TV Segment
Dr. Kevin Dishman, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, spoke on the “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion” Monday on KTKA, a sister station to KSNT. It can be viewed on the KSNT website at: https://www.ksnt.com/health/coronavirus/watch-we-together-local-health-and-business-leaders-discuss-coronavirus-in-kansas/

Discharge Lounge Opens Today
Starting today, we are utilizing the Critical Care waiting room in the South Tower as a discharge lounge. This will provide inpatients who are discharging with a location to complete details needed prior to discharge and allow us prepare patient rooms for incoming patients. The Hospitalist team will manage these patients and select appropriate patients for this service. The area was recently renovated by our Facilities team and converted into 11 patient rooms. This is an innovative effort to help us have better throughput and manage our higher patient volumes. Thank you to everyone who has helped with this effort.

Supporting Stormont Vail Foundation
You can support the Stormont Vail Foundation while doing your holiday shopping. Jewelry store Kendra Scott is holding a special online shopping event for the Foundation on Dec. 3 and 4. Shop at www.kendrascott.com, and when you check out, enter coupon code GIVEBACK-0JRE and 20% of your purchase price will be donated to the Foundation to benefit the Cancer Center’s Angel Fund. (That’s a zero before JRE.)

Another opportunity to show support: Now through Dec. 31, Westlake Ace, Midwest Ace and Gibson’s Ace Hardware stores in our region are “rounding-up” to benefit Children’s Miracle Network at Stormont Vail. While you’re there, pick up some of their 2021 calendars featuring April artwork by Lily, one of our Miracle Kids. Lily won a $500 contribution to CMN at Stormont Vail from Ace Hardware with her winning artwork.

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health
Today we have 91 COVID-19 positive inpatients. The percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 is 30.4% at Stormont Vail testing facilities in the region. A metric of 5% is an indicator of community spread. Our efforts to increase telehealth visits resulted in 746 telehealth appointments yesterday. This is a huge effort and our team is to be commended for all they are doing to utilize telehealth.

Team Member Health is provided in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 117 97 300
Providers 9 9 25
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Monday paints a similar picture of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations that we have been experiencing the past week or so. We are caring for 100 COVID-positive inpatients today – a number that will likely fluctuate some throughout the day as patients are discharged or are admitted to the limited beds we have available.

The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 in our testing locations around the region is 29.9 percent today. These are patients who were symptomatic. This is a high rate and shows a high level of community spread. By comparison, two months ago at the end of September, this number was 9.1 percent. Any percentage over 5 percent indicates community spread. We have administered nearly 55,000 COVID-19 tests since we began testing in March.

Our organization is impacted by the community spread and we are having more ill team members. We have 111 team members and 10 providers with active cases today. This high number strains our ability to staff our clinics and hospitals.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KSNT
  • Community Support
  • Scorecards: English | Spanish

Coronavirus Segment Airing Tonight on KSNT

Dr. Kevin Dishman, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, will represent Stormont Vail Health on tonight’s segment of “We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion.” This television segment is airing at 6:30 p.m. Mondays on KSNT, Channel 27. This is the second of four weekly segments that look at how the pandemic is impacting our region. Following airing, the segments are available at ksnt.com.

Community Support

Community support of the Stormont Vail team since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived is much appreciated. Thank you to all those who are supporting our organization and our communities. For information about donations or offers of assistance, please contact Karla Hedquist, Director of Community Health Engagement, at (785) 270-0139.

These are challenging times. Our team needs our community members to help.

Wear a facemask. Social distance by six feet. Wash your hands. Avoid crowds. Stay at home, if possible.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

I have much gratitude this year for the amazing team I work beside each day, a supportive community, and a caring and encouraging family.

Even though 2020 has been a year of sleepless nights, challenges and angst over matters that are unimaginable and often out of our control, it has also brought us closer together and focused us all on a greater good. For that, I am thankful.

I am also thankful for:

  • The scientific community that is working hard to bring new therapies and vaccines to combat the COVID-19 virus.
  • Public health and government officials who have worked to make our communities a safer place.
  • The critical access hospitals and providers in our region who we collaborate with to keep COVID-19 positive patients in care settings and hospitals close to their homes. This has been a tremendous help and kept us from being overwhelmed with patients who are appropriately receiving care in their hometowns.
  • Our patients and families who have adapted with us as we have made rapid changes in the way we provide care.
  • The community members who are wearing their facemasks, social distancing, washing their hands and staying home when they can.

Celebrating Thanksgiving this year will be different. This isn’t the time for the Norman Rockwell image of three generations of the family around a table laden with turkey and trimmings. This year we need to carve the turkey by Zoom. A small dinner for household members only is the better course to take. No one wants to pass the COVID-19 virus along with the turkey platter.

We can be thankful and grateful at this time of year – but through our actions we can do something to show gratitude and mitigate some risk. We can wear a facemask, social distance, wash our hands, and stay at home. This is what we must do to protect our communities through the next few months until a massive vaccine program is deployed to protect us from future COVID-19 infections.

Be thankful that the healthcare organizations across our state are doing their best for you and your families.

Appreciate that you have the individual power to make a difference in this pandemic.

Show gratitude by supporting local businesses as they are the lifeblood of a vibrant economy.

Virtually hug your family members near and far, knowing that next year they can be real hugs.

This is a time to come together, as we together care for our communities.

Today, we have 90 inpatients positive for COVID-19 in the hospital, based on our COVID-19 scorecard (English | Spanish). The percentage of patient testing positive in Stormont Vail facilities is 27.7 percent. A rate of 5 percent indicates community spread.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dr. Hassan Taha, intensivist, being interviewed by a CBS crew today.

Dear Community Partners,

Stormont Vail Health is giving the world a view from inside a hospital rising to the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic by providing a national CBS news crew access to our COVID-19 team and departments today.

The story will air on the CBS Nightly News tonight and again Wednesday morning on CBS This Morning. It will also be featured on some CBS online platforms and distributed to CBS affiliates across the country.

Jessi Mitchell, the CBS correspondent on the story, said Stormont Vail will be part of a national story about what hospitals are dealing with as they care for increasing numbers of patients with COVID-19. She said she was most interested in learning about what patients think about the pandemic and what their message is at this point.

Since this pandemic began, it has been important to us to be transparent and share what is happening in our hospital and clinics as we all need an understanding of how this virus impacts our communities. The virus has a ripple effect. When community members are responsible and wear masks, social distance from each other and wash their hands, it helps control the spread of the virus. If they don’t, the infections get out of control, more people become seriously ill and hospitalizations increase.

Today, our hospital remains full. We have expanded again into additional departments with COVID-19 beds while we continue to care for patients who are here for surgeries, heart attacks, strokes and other medical conditions, and for our new mothers and babies and pediatric patients. We keep COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 areas separate.

Trying to take care of a community’s medical needs in a pandemic is a precarious balance and there is no playbook for reference. We are committed to taking care of our region. At the same time, we continue to have our team beleaguered by the impact of the virus, some ill and others out with exposure because of the massive community spread.

By providing access to the CBS news crew, we are hoping to better educate Kansans and the nation that the COVID-19 virus is real. The virus is taking a toll on our neighbors, our families, our team. We are experiencing a level of acutely ill patients in our hospital that we have not seen in our collective memories. We have had an unprecedented number of hospital deaths.

As the CBS crew witnessed at our 8:30 a.m. Command Center huddle, we had zero COVID-19 intensive care beds available and zero non-COVID-19 ICU beds available. We needed to close one bed sometime during the day for an ICU patient who needed continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT), requiring 1:1 nursing care. Our bed and staffing capacity is reviewed continuously throughout the day to determine how we can take in more patients. It is an ever-changing puzzle.

Many team members have stepped forward to help in the care of our hospitalized patients, and in supporting our initiatives in the clinics: respiratory clinics, enhanced primary care, COVID-19 testing center, and more. I am indebted to all of you for helping us serve our communities. We need to stay together in this. We together.

Here are today’s updates:
• Visit from Sen. Jerry Moran
• Coronavirus Segment Airing on KSNT
• Nurse Heroes Live! Thursday
• Best in Topeka is at Stormont Vail
• Team Member Health
• COVID-19 Scorecard  English | Spanish

Visit from Sen. Jerry Moran
Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran visited Stormont Vail Health today to meet with leadership and tour some of our COVID-19 patient areas. Following the tour, Sen. Moran also met briefly with media.

Coronavirus Segment Airing on KSNT
“We Together: A Coronavirus Discussion” is airing at 6:30 p.m. Mondays on KSNT, Channel 27. The first segment aired last night. Dr. Sri Donepudi, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Quality Officer, discussed how our healthcare organization has prepared for the pandemic, how the community spread is impacting our staff, and how people can lower their risk as they make plans for Thanksgiving. Future Monday evening segments will feature other Stormont Vail team members updating the community about various COVID-19 initiatives.

The segments will be available at ksnt.com. Last night’s segment is at: https://www.ksnt.com/health/coronavirus/we-together-local-health-and-business-leaders-discuss-covid-19-pandemic-in-kansas/

Nurse Heroes Live! Thursday
Showing appreciation for nurses is the goal behind a Thanksgiving Day all-star concert to honor Nurse Heroes. Nurse Heroes Live! Is hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, with performances by celebrities including Black Eyed Peas, Andre Bocelli, Celine Dion, Josh Groban and Carole King. The concert will be 6 p.m. CT and can be watched on YouTube or Facebook. Funds raised go to Nurse Heroes Foundation for programs and scholarships for nurses and their children. More information is at https://www.nurseheroes.org/

Best in Topeka is at Stormont Vail
We know that we have the best at Stormont Vail, so it’s nice when that’s recognized in the community. We had a number of winners and finalists in the 2020 Best of Topeka Awards program sponsored by The Topeka Capital-Journal. Winners included Ashley Hisel, D.O., in the Best Family Physician category; Stormont Vail Hospital and Trauma Center in Best Medical Facility category; Cotton O’Neil Express Care Clinics in Best Urgent Care Facility category; and Cotton O’Neil Weight Management Center in Best Weight Loss Center category.

Finalists included David Einspahr, M.D., and Mehmood Hashmi, M.D., in the Best Oncologist category; Randall Schumacher, M.D., in the Best Pediatrician category; and Cotton O’Neil Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Best Physical Therapy. Congratulations!

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

  Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 145 112 239
Providers 12 12 18
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

We find ourselves in a different place today with an all-time high of 103 COVID-19 positive inpatients. A number of these patients are at a high acuity level that requires increased staffing and services. This comes at a time when our own team is stretched thin because of illness and exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

This puts immense pressure on us as we care for our region in a full-on pandemic.

Today, because of the situation we are in, we are triaging and stabilizing patients in our Emergency Department but may have to transfer patients needing medical-surgical or COVID-19 beds to other area hospitals. We continue to care for patients needing urgent or emergent surgery, and patients suffering stroke, heart attacks or traumas.

This is a very fluid situation and can change minute by minute. We may come off of this status throughout the day but then may return to it as patient acuity changes and our staffing changes. For our organization, this reflects the mark of reaching a new level in this crisis. As an example of how this is continually changing, when our COVID-19 scorecard was put together this morning at 8:30 a.m., we had 97 positive COVID-19 inpatients, by noon that number had climbed to 103.

We are asking our clinical team for all hands on deck. We need team members with critical care training to take shifts to care for these patients. We need clinical team members to help in our hospital, and in respiratory and testing centers to care for outpatients. We also seek community members with critical care nursing and other clinical skills to join our team.

We are reviewing all of our services and are shifting many to telehealth. We have moved some elective surgeries requiring multiple overnight stays further out on the calendar to open up inpatient beds for current needs.

We strongly encourage community members to continue to reach out to their providers to get the medical services they need, and not delay treatment for any urgent or emergency medical condition.

Based on today’s COVID-19 scorecard, we are seeing a slight decline in the percentage of patients testing positive in Stormont Vail facilities across the region. It is 25.4 percent today. A rate of 5 percent indicates community spread, and 10 percent is uncontrolled spread. This metric does not include pre-procedure testing for people having a procedure or surgery. Pre-procedure positivity is at 5.8 percent today, which is a sample of asymptomatic people who would normally not have reason to suspect they have COVID-19.

Here are today’s updates:

‘Warm and Thankful’ Tonight
Stormont Vail Health’s annual “Warm and Thankful” holiday lighting celebration will be 6:30 p.m. tonight outside the Main Entrance of Stormont Vail Hospital or you can attend virtually on Stormont Vail’s Facebook page. We are collecting donations for the children of our community at bins located outside the Main Entrance today only. Donations may include:
• New or gently used gloves, hats, coats or ear warmers
• Crayons, markers, playdough or earbuds

Please do your part to slow COVID-19 infections in our community.
Wear a facemask. Social distance by six feet. Wash your hands. Avoid gatherings of any size.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Our team continues to work hard to take care of our patients in our hospital and in our urgent and emergency areas and clinics. We have demonstrated our team is adaptable, flexible and creative in the challenges we have faced in the COVID-19 pandemic. Realistically, we may be facing continued high patient volumes in the coming weeks.

I want to share the story of one grateful patient who came to Stormont Vail and how our team came together to help her regain her health and support the medical needs of our region.

Karen Elliott had been ill seven days with COVID-19 when fatigue and shortness of breath hit her hard. She woke early that morning measured her oxygen saturation (blood oxygen) level with a pulse oximeter. It registered 78 percent. A level of 95 percent is considered normal for most healthy individuals.

“I didn’t realize how sick I was until I checked my sat,” said Karen, who had been regularly monitoring herself at home. Many people with COVID-19 have low blood oxygen levels, but not everyone.

Karen convinced herself to go the Emergency Department at Onaga Community Hospital, where she works as an infection control nurse

“The doctor at Onaga said I really needed a higher level of care and I needed to go to Stormont Vail,” Karen relates. She wasn’t sure, but the doctor told her it was the right thing to do. A chest X-ray didn’t look good and her oxygen levels were still low even after receiving steroids.

Karen was admitted to the intensive care unit at Stormont Vail. She then experienced firsthand the partnership between critical access hospitals like the Onaga hospital and Stormont Vail, a regional referral center for COVID-19 patients needing extra care. Stormont Vail providers also consult with providers in the region to help keep patients in those hospitals when possible.

At Stormont Vail, Karen began receiving immediate treatment that included Remdesivir and convalescent plasma. Within eight to 12 hours, she felt much better and was transferred to a COVID-19 medical floor. She was hospitalized five days.

“They really took good care of me. The nurses told me what every med was for,” she said. “Those nurses are awesome.”

Karen calls the virus “sneaky” - before you know it, you are sicker than you thought possible. She says people need to take more precautions to keep themselves and others safe, such as wearing facemasks.

“It’s ironic that the infection control nurse got it,” Karen says, noting that she is vigilant about hand hygiene and wearing a mask.  “It’s a wicked virus. People need to be more careful or at least try until we get a vaccine. You do not want to get this.”

Here are today’s updates:

  • SVH in the News
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

SVH in the News
Stormont Vail Health was mentioned in several media reports this week, including a national Associated Press story that provided an overview about hospitals across the country being overwhelmed with increasing numbers of patients positive with COVID-19. The story discussed how Stormont Vail has converted some non-patient areas into spaces for additional patient beds. Cheyanne Seematter, RN, Critical Care, was also quoted about the frustration of people not wearing masks or staying home to help slow the infection rates.

The Greater Topeka Partnership also shared a video with a message from Dr. Kenagy about the impact of COVID-19 in our community and how to celebrate and shop locally this holiday season.

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health
Today we have 90 hospitalized patients who are positive with COVID-19. The percentage of people tested who are positive is 26.1 percent. These are tests done at Stormont Vail facilities across our system. The percentage showing community spread is 5 percent.

Team Member Health is also included in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 158 111 193
Providers 6 7 18
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We Together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

As I communicated earlier this week, we have expanded into non-traditional areas of the hospital to provide patient care due to higher numbers of patients who are COVID-19 positive or have other medical needs. These expansions are done in an attractive way so patients continue to have privacy and can be comfortable receiving care.

Yesterday, we showed these areas to Topeka Mayor Michelle De La Isla and Shawnee County Commissioner Kevin Cook to provide them with an understanding of how our healthcare team has risen to the challenge of caring for the community during a pandemic.

We created a video to show the amazing work of our team – from our construction team to our medical providers

  • Take a tour through one of our COVID-19 patient rooms with Dr. Salah Najm, Vice President, Acute Care Services.
  • View the alternative patient areas in our Emergency Department with Dr. Brandon Pruitt, Emergency Services.
  • See the conversion of our surgical waiting room into a 12-bay perioperative area for ambulatory surgical patients with Angela Gamber, RN, Administrative Director, Surgical Services, Emergency and Trauma. This change helped us gain 12 overnight beds in the former periop area.
  • Nancy Marston, RN, Periop Nurse, explains the benefits of the new periop area.

In addition to creating alternative inpatient care locations, our team is also doing some phenomenal work to deal with the challenges of the pandemic. They are standing up new ways to care for patients - from telehealth to respiratory clinics to testing centers to enhanced primary care. While many team members are stepping up to take extra shifts and accepting different work assignments, others are expanding testing capabilities, procuring additional supplies and equipment, and providing new, leading treatments for COVID-19 positive patients.

We have 91 inpatients today who are COVID-19 positive. The percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 27 percent. The indicator for community spread is 5 percent. Attached is today’s COVID-19 scorecard: English | Spanish.

Please do your part to help slow the spread of COVID-19 infections in our region. Wear a facemask. Social distance by six feet. Wash your hands. Avoid any gatherings. Stay at home when possible.

 

We Together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

While we are experiencing firsthand the impact of a rampant spread of COVID-19 on our healthcare system, we want to reassure our communities that we are taking many measures to expand care for the influx of patients. These are not normal times.

Today we have 91 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive. Our percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 is 27.7 percent at Stormont Vail testing locations in the region. This does not include pre-procedure tests. This is significantly higher than the 5 percent that indicates community spread. Today's scorecard: English | Spanish

We all need to commit to responsible behaviors to slow this pandemic: wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands, avoid crowds, and stay home when you can. We together.

Get ‘Warm & Thankful’ on Nov. 23

Showing gratitude and thankfulness has never been more important than this year. You are invited to experience the Warm & Thankful annual celebration at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 23, at the Main Entrance of Stormont Vail Hospital.

We will turn on the holiday lights for the hospital at this event. We will also be collecting donations for the children of our community. Donations may include:

  • New or gently used gloves, hats, coats or ear warmers
  • Crayons, markers, playdough or earbuds

Bins will be available near the outside of the Main Entrance all day Nov. 23 for your drop off convenience.

We Together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

The virus spread in the community is uncontrolled. The result is people with acute COVID-19 infections filling many of our hospital beds. We remain essentially full – both for COVID-19 patients and non-COVID-19 patients. Our Emergency Department is seeing a number of patients positive for the virus needing hospital admissions, and we are “boarding” those patients in the Emergency Department until a bed opens in the inpatient environment. The ED has created three additional overflow spaces in waiting rooms and hallways to care for ED patients.

This is situation is extremely concerning and should be cause for alarm in our communities and with our government leaders. We have not even started the usual influenza season that often fills our hospital.

As a regional healthcare provider, we are committed to caring for our communities. This means we must also provide care for those individuals who suffer strokes, heart attacks, cancer, traumas and more. We are also caring for laboring mothers, babies in our nursery and NICU, and pediatric patients. We continue safe elective and emergent surgeries through our main operating room. We have turned our surgical waiting room into a peri-operative unit as of today.

Our practice is to cohort COVID-19 patients in departments separate from the other patient populations. Monday night because of an influx of more COVID-19 patients, we converted an additional medical unit into a COVID unit. This is a difficult thing to do because of the additional staffing, equipment and personal protective equipment needed for these patients. We are constrained in our capacity to expand because we have a number of staff who are out ill or on contact leave because of community exposure to COVID-19.

We are currently converting some waiting rooms within the hospital into patient wards to care for additional surges of ill patients if our communities cannot get this pandemic under control. To slow the spread, all individuals in our communities must follow infection control practices such as wearing facemasks in public, washing hands frequently, social distancing by six feet, staying at home, and avoiding any type of gatherings with people outside of immediate families.

We have hope that with vaccines on the horizon, we can eventually stop living this COVID-19 nightmare. But the next few weeks and months promise to be a continuation if people don’t wake up, realize that we are in a crisis and respond appropriately. Our healthcare team members need the help of everyone – and it starts with recognition that we are in a full-blown pandemic crisis and all of us set aside whatever it is that prompts us to act dangerously and commit to responsible behaviors. They aren’t difficult.  Just do it!  Wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands, avoid crowds and stay home when you can.  Now.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Operation: Keep the Change
  • Community Cares
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

Operation: Keep the Change

Through Operation: Keep the Change, patients, visitors and staff utilizing our cafeterias can round up their purchase totals to the nearest dollar to provide help for others. Applications are now being accepted by the Stormont Vail Foundation for items that will enhance patient or staff experience. One application will be selected and funds collected through Operation: Keep the Change at Starbucks and Sunflower Terrace Cafeteria will be designated for that purpose until we’ve reached the cost of that item. Once the goal is met for that item, another application will be selected.

Community Cares

We received a message from one of our team members who shared that her neighbor told her that she knows how stressful it is for Stormont Vail team members right now. The neighbor and two of her children recently went to the top of the Stormont Vail parking garage where they could see both Topeka hospitals and they prayed for all staff and patients. They also wanted team members to know they are being thought of and are appreciated for their hard work. Thank you for this caring message.

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

Today’s number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 is 91. Percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail facilities is 27.4 percent, which is a slight decline. Other metrics showing high community spread continue, including 758 calls to the Call Before You Go triage number yesterday for those COVID-19 symptoms.

For Team Member Health, the Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 165 114 167
Providers 7 8 16
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

As COVID-19 hospitalizations hit record highs across the country, across the mid-west and across our primary service area, we are implementing plans to enhance our capacity to care for patients in our region – building on what we put into place in the spring when the pandemic first emerged in Kansas.

Hospitalized patients with coronavirus infections need special accommodations, such as negative air flow rooms because of the way the virus is transmitted. In addition, the patients are cohorted separate from other patient populations because of the infectious nature of COVID-19. COVID-19 patients may also need access to specialized medical equipment such as ventilators or other respiratory support.

An essential factor and a current constraint in enhancing capacity is the availability of team members – physicians, advanced providers, nurses, respiratory therapists, laboratory team members and more. It takes all of us together, utilizing our knowledge and skills, to care for these patients, as well as to continue the care and treatment needed for other patients who have suffered traumas, strokes, heart attacks and many more medical conditions.

As a regional health care system, we are here to serve the needs of individuals across our service area. As the transmission of the virus is rampant and uncontrolled throughout our community, we will again emphasize telehealth as a means to meet the needs of those most at risk for severe COVID.  Our clinics are developing other initiatives designed to continue providing care in safe and efficient ways given the level of community spread.

We have learned many lessons thus far in our pandemic journey. We will capitalize on those and utilize the amazing adaptability and flexibility of our team to provide extraordinary service as we face our next challenges. I am utterly and completely proud to be a part of this effort with the Stormont Vail team. “We together” has never been more important than now.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Congratulations to Our 20 Under 40 Honorees
  • Hours to Change on Hospital’s Employee Entrances
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

Congratulations to Our 20 Under 40 Honorees
Congratulations to Chad Yeager, RN, Administrative Director of Performance Improvement and Quality, and Rachel Ault, Nurse Manager, Pediatrics, Pediatric Intensive Care, Young Adult Center and Child Life, who were honored last night at the 11th annual Topeka’s 20 Under 40 virtual banquet. We are proud of the work they do at Stormont Vail and in the community, and to have them recognized as two of the 20 honorees this year.

Hours to Change on Hospital’s Employee Entrances
Beginning Wednesday, Nov. 18, we are reducing the number of access points for team members after 5 p.m. Here is the updated schedule:

Main Entrance: Open 24/7

Outpatient Center (Eastside/Near Cardiac Cath Lab): 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.

South Tower Employee Entrance: 5 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Pozez Entrance: 5 a.m. to 9 a.m.; 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Weekends use the Main Entrance 24/7.

Holidays use the Main Entrance 24/7 or Outpatient Center (Eastside) door 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Team members working the night shift are encouraged to park in the Parking Garage, adjacent to the Main Entrance.

COVID-19 Scorecard and Team Member Health

Today’s scorecard continues to reflect high metrics that indicate broad community spread of COVID-19. We have 71 patients hospitalized for COVID-19. The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 is 29.6%, which includes symptomatic patient testing at Stormont Vail facilities across the region.

Below is information about Team Member Health. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 147 93 154
Providers 6 7 16
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

 

We Together,
Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

We continue to set records on COVID-19 metrics.

  • Today we have 70 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive. We cohort these patients separate from non-positive inpatients. This is a safety measure we have practiced since the first COVID-19 positive patient was admitted in March.
  • The percentage of patients testing positive at Stormont Vail facilities is 30 percent. This positivity rate continues to rise and is reflective of the region where we provide testing to symptomatic individuals. We do not include pre-procedure tests in this metric. Any percentage over 5 percent indicates community spread.
  • Additionally, volumes at our drive-through COVID-19 testing center, respiratory clinics and Call Before You Go (COVID-19) number remain extremely elevated because of the high level of COVID-19 infection across the community. Attached is today’s COVID-19 scorecard: English | Spanish.

Wear a facemask in public. Wash your hands frequently. Social distance by at least six feet. Avoid small and large gatherings.

We Together,
Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

Today is a day of gratitude, a day to pay tribute to all American veterans – living or deceased – who have served our country during war or peacetime. Even though the way we honor veterans today on Veterans Day may be different because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of the day has not changed.

Veterans Day occurs on Nov. 11 each year in the United States in honor of the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918, signaling the end of World War I. Initially known as Armistice Day, President Dwight D. Eisenhower changed the name to Veterans Day in 1954. Ironically, 1918 was the year of the severe worldwide influenza pandemic often compared to the current pandemic we are experiencing.  If you have the opportunity to talk to the veterans in your life today, please thank them for their service.

We need to take every opportunity we can to reach out to others and let them know we care and appreciate them.  We are living in a world that needs connection between people more than ever, but for safety purposes we should be practicing social distancing and isolation to slow the spread of this insidious virus.

We are in a crisis with the virus in our region and throughout our state that is stressing the capacity of our health care system. We continue to have extremely high inpatient volumes for COVID-19 positive patients, high positive rates in testing for the virus, and numerous visits to our respiratory clinics and calls to our Call Before You Go line for symptomatic people.

We can only change the course of the virus if everyone joins in the effort to wear facemasks in all public settings, wash their hands frequently, social distance by at least six feet, and avoid all gatherings, both small and large. Attached is today’s COVID-19 scorecard: English | Spanish.

We Together,
Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard: English | Spanish

* The number of inpatients positive with COVID-19 is at 54 today.

* The percentage of patients testing positive is 26.9 percent today, indicating high community spread.  Community spread is when the percentage is above 5 percent. This metric reflects our region and is not just one county since testing is done across our healthcare system.

Please wear a facemask and encourage others to do the same when in public settings. Social distance by at least six feet. Wash your hands frequently. Avoid social gatherings, both large and small.

This is not the time to relax on prevention guidelines. We need to work together to slow the spread of the virus.

Building Blocks Temporarily Closed

Building Blocks will remain closed through at least Nov. 23. COVID-19 testing done for Building Blocks team members showed 18 out of 44 team members tested positive. All team members were wearing appropriate personal protective equipment and following all safety protocols in place. The majority of this staff were asymptomatic.  Parents should assume that your child has been exposed to COVID-19. The building is being cleaned and sanitized and each team member testing negative will be tested again prior to re-opening.

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

The year 2020 has challenged us – and our team has responded in caring, creative and courageous ways. Consider how our nursing staff on the Spine Center supported a patient who had no nearby family during his lengthy hospital stay. They treated him to Starbucks and snacks during his hospitalization, then on his day of discharge to a rehabilitation facility brought in an ice cream cake for a special send off. Liz Barnes, Nurse Manager of the department, says the patient “truly became a part of our family. We really built a bond with him.”

Those are the kind of caring team members we have. We go above and beyond.

As we enter the eighth month of the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to continue that level of care for our communities, but we also need to check in with ourselves and those close to us to make sure we are doing OK. Our world has changed, our lives have changed. Touching base, connecting, checking in, communicating, being the difference in another person’s life - like the Spine Center team was for our patient - is vitally important. It may have to happen a different way in the COVID-19 environment though.

Noted author Brene’ Brown says it well: “We need to rethink how we’re taking care of ourselves, how we’re taking care of each other, how we’re taking care of our communities – and we’re going to need to rethink how we’re showing up with each other.”

Individuals are often drawn to the healthcare profession because we want to care for others. At times like these, we need to ensure that everyone feels a sense of caring, respect and connection as a team member, as a patient, family member or visitor. That sense of belonging is important.

Let those around you know that you care, that you support each other, and that you are looking out for one another. If you see someone having a bad day, try to lift them up. Be the bright spot. Be the game changer. Send a nice card. Share a positive greeting. Smile, even behind your mask.

If you see someone struggling, please refer them to an appropriate resource: mental health support, chaplain, employee assistance program, school counselor. Topeka has quality community behavioral health facilities, including the Stormont Vail Behavioral Health, Valeo Behavioral Health Care and Family Services & Guidance Center. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800-273-TALK (8255) or text HOME to 74174.

Reach out to others. Follow up with them. We are in this together. Brighter days are ahead.

Here are today’s updates:

  • SV Foundation’s Care Champion Award
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

SV Foundation’s Care Champion Award
Shelly McMaster, Administrative Director, Care Transformation, was recognized with Stormont Vail Foundation’s new Care Champion award. This award goes to team members who have been recognized for their excellent care and courageous service by patients, family and friends in the community with a gift to the Stormont Vail Foundation. Congratulations, Shelly!

Today’s Scorecard; Team Member Health

Today’s scorecard shows an increasing percentage of patients testing positive, which today is 25.7 percent. Any percentage higher than 5 percent is an indication that there is community spread. Our testing metric is for the region as we have testing locations in multiple counties. Pre-procedure testing is excluded.

The number of inpatients who are positive for COVID-19 is at 50. This is the highest we have had since the pandemic arrived in March. Utilization of our “Call Before You Go” number was at an all-time high of 498 calls.  This volume creates a challenge for us to provide the level of service to which you are accustomed and we ask for your patience.

If people are experiencing fever, cough, difficulty breathing, chills, sore throat, headache, sudden loss of smell or taste, intestinal distress or any other COVID-19-like symptoms, use our Call Before You Go line at (785) 354-6000 before visiting Stormont Vail or any Cotton O’Neil facility so we can facilitate the safest care.

We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 70 41 140
Providers 5 6 14
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

The percentage of patients testing positive is 22.9 percent today, indicating increased community spread.  Community spread is indicated by any rate above 5 percent. This metric is reflective of the region and not just one county as it comes from testing across our system.

The percentage is at the highest level we have seen. This is not the time to relax standards. Wear a facemask. Social distance by six feet. Wash your hands. Avoid small and large gatherings.

Attached is today’s COVID-19 scorecard: English | Spanish.

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

We have been improving the accuracy of identifying the pre-procedure tests that are part of the COVID-19 testing administered across the Stormont Vail Health system. Removing the pre-procedure tests when calculating the percentage of patients testing positive gives us a clearer picture of the positivity rate for the region. Our metric is an indication of multiple counties, not one county, since we have testing taking place in in multiple areas.

Today’s scorecard reflects an update we made in improving the accuracy of pre-procedure tests, which has shifted the positivity up by approximately 2 percentage points overall. The percentage of patients testing positive is at 20.9 percent today. The number of positive COVID-19 tests continues to increase, doubling since Oct. 25. Today’s rate is the highest we have seen yet.

This percentage is part of the puzzle in understanding the virus in the community. Any percentage above 5 percent shows that there is community spread occurring.

We have 45 inpatients who are COVID-19 positive. Our region is experiencing increasing new COVID-19 infections and illness. This is concerning, especially as we move into the winter months when other viruses and influenza often cause illness.

Attached is today’s COVID-19 scorecard: English | Spanish.

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

We already know that 2020 has been a year unlike any other. It has changed the way we shop, get our haircut, see our doctor, go to school, get food from a restaurant, and now vote in the general election. Some may have already voted by advance ballot through mail or in person prior to today, Election Day. Others of us will be visiting the polls from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today to cast our ballots in the general election.

Each of us is making a difference by voting. Our vote is our voice on issues such as housing, transportation, education, employment and healthcare. Each voice is important as we determine our future political leaders and work together to bring our communities and our country back to a sense of normalcy, to respond and recover in a systematic way from this pandemic and the impact it has had on so many lives.

I encourage you, if you are voting today, to be vigilant in your safety at the polls. Wear a facemask and take appropriate precautions. We should be engaged in our communities and part of that is participating in elections by voting.

Engagement in our communities is also showing we care about others during the pandemic through our actions. That is what we need to do to slow the spread of the COVID-19 infection. Our team of healthcare workers is a role model to our communities in how to social distance, wear facemasks, avoid small and large gatherings and more until this pandemic is under control. Please do your part.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Thank You Award Donated to SV Foundation
  • Today’s Scorecard; Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

Thank You Award Donated to SV Foundation
In addition to their commitment to excellence, Stormont Vail employees are recognized for their kindness and generosity. It is in this spirit that a grateful member of our team contributed their “thank you” award to the Stormont Vail Foundation. “The gift was a blessing and I would like to pass it on as such to others,” said the donor, who wishes to remain anonymous.

“We are simply humbled by this inspirational gesture,” said Amy Burns, Foundation president. “This gift will help us make a big difference in the lives of our patients and to our team members.”

Employee contributions are an important part of Foundation funding, totaling more than $300,000 in FY2019. For information about making a gift to the Stormont Vail Foundation visit www.stormontvail.org/give/stormont-vail-foundation/

Today’s Scorecard; Team Member Health
We have 40 inpatients in the hospital today who are positive with COVID-19. The percentage of patients testing positive for the virus reached 16.5 percent, which reflects testing done across Stormont Vail facilities in the region. This percentage has been increasing daily. A percentage level above 5 percent indicates community spread. Today’s COVID-19 scorecard also shows that our Call Before You Go line experienced a very high volume yesterday with 523 calls, our respiratory clinics were busy seeing patients, and we had a high number of COVID-19 tests administered.

If people are experiencing fever, cough, difficulty breathing, chills, sore throat, headache, sudden loss of smell or taste, intestinal distress or any other COVID-19-like symptoms, use our Call Before You Go line at (785) 354-6000 before coming to Stormont Vail or any Cotton O’Neil facility so we can facilitate the safest care.

We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 55 27 130
Providers 4 5 13
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

 

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

While COVID-19 has caused many changes to our world, the pandemic has also created a demand for new types of jobs. The role of the door screener resulted out of a need to allow people access to their job sites, health care facilities and schools while also slowing the spread of the virus.

At Stormont Vail Health, we encounter door screeners each day as we walk into one of our facilities. Door screeners are now assigned to the entrances of patient care facilities to review screening criteria and monitor the temperatures of those entering, all while ensuring we are doing our part to mitigate the risk of the virus spreading. In total, we now employ more than 80 people as door screeners across the system.

Stanley Shaffer greets team members with a cheerful “Good morning!” from his screening post at the Pozez Education Center entrance at the north end of the hospital. Stanley starts his day at 5 a.m. and finds that the first hour is a little slow, but then traffic picks up.

“This is a busy spot,” he notes. “I watch the temperatures on the (computer) screen and if it goes red, I have them back up and do it again.” He follows a protocol to check for a temperature of 100.4 degrees or above. If a team member’s temperature is greater than 100.4 on the second check, they are referred to Employee Health and the Call Before You Go Line, and not allowed to report to work. Everyone, team members, patients, visitors, etc., is screened using the same criteria when they enter Stormont Vail buildings (questions about travel, exposure to COVID-19 positive individuals, symptoms).

Many of the door screeners like Stanley and his wife, Sandy Shaffer, who is also a door screener, report to Volunteer Services. That department had to quickly ramp up a structure to support the new role created as part of our strategy to maintain a safe environment. Sarah Elsen, Director of Guest Experience, Volunteers and Auxiliary Liaison, said the department has screeners at 25 areas, which includes the main campus and clinics in Topeka. Two door screener supervisors now help keep the schedule filled and shifts covered when there are last minute absences. “Who would have thought this department would have existed six months ago,” Sarah says.

The door screener’s main function is to screen for COVID-19 criteria and symptoms based on Stormont Vail policies and guidelines, and to enforce the facemask/personal protective equipment policy. The screeners also help with cleaning and disinfecting, and assisting patients and visitors.

With COVID-19 still very present in our world, the role of the screener is going to be around for a while, Sarah says, which she believes has helped attract candidates to open positions. Sarah says the role is a good fit for “anyone who enjoys meeting a variety of people and has good customer service. I call it being empathetic with a backbone.”

Being a door screener has been a good role for Jim Allen. On a recent weekday, Jim was working at the team member entrance on the east side of the hospital.

“I love it. It’s nice to be able to come back,” said Jim, who formerly worked in Security in the Emergency Department. “My wife (Patti) told me they were looking for door screeners and that I should do it. It sounded great to me, so here I am.”

Here are today’s updates:

  • Have a Safe Halloween, then Clocks “Fall Back”
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

Have a Safe Halloween, then Clocks “Fall Back”

Saturday is Halloween. Stay safe this Halloween and follow precautions to avoid exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Wear a mask, stay at least six feet from others, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently.

Here are some Halloween tips:

CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html#halloween

KDHE: https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=34

On Sunday, Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m., when our clocks “fall back” or are turned backward one hour.

Team Member Health

We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 43 20 127
Providers 3 4 13
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

Dr. Clif Jones, Vice President, Sub-Specialty Services and an infectious disease physician at Stormont Vail Health, has been recognized as a 2020 Top Doctor by Ingram’s Magazine. It’s always great when a valued member of our team is recognized, but this honor is especially notable as Dr. Jones has been instrumental the past eight months in guiding our organization’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Jones is a member of our Incident Command team and often weighs in on our discussions and decisions about personal protective equipment, testing, contact leave requirements and more. He is a calm and reasoned voice at the table who brings a vast amount of knowledge from his many years as a physician and lifelong learner.

In the Ingram’s recognition, it notes Dr. Jones started out in college studying biology and then microbiology, but that a career in medicine wasn’t initially on his academic radar. He ultimately applied and was accepted to medical school and studied internal medicine and then on to infectious diseases as a clinical practice. He says he has never regretted the decision.

Dr. Jones now finds himself as an infectious disease physician in the midst of the biggest health crisis in a century. The pandemic has changed so much in our daily routines to our world experiences.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed so many facets in the delivery of health care, to the point where we’re finding great joy in traditional clinical encounters, whether in the clinic or the hospital,” Dr. Jones said in the article. In today’s environment, hallway consultations with other providers have become a rarity as social distancing has become the norm. “When I actually see one of the surgeons or hospitalists in person, for just that instant, it feels like old times,” he says.

We are so appreciative of Dr. Jones, and so proud to have him as a member of the Stormont Vail family. Our community is a better place because of him and for all he has done in providing high level care for our patients and families over the years and today. Thank you, Dr. Jones.

Attached is today’s COVID-19 scorecard: English | Spanish.

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

We continue conducting COVID-19 testing across our health care system for symptomatic outpatients, pre-procedure patients and inpatients. Testing is one way to identify the virus and then take protective steps to prevent others from getting ill.

We have administered more than 41,000 COVID-19 tests since we first began. Initially testing was done at the hospital and our drive-through COVID-19 testing center in Topeka, but we have now expanded to multiple locations throughout the region, testing patients from across eastern Kansas. Our data provides a regional view and is not specific to one county since it reflects care for patients from multiple counties.

The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 today was 9 percent, which does not include pre-procedure patients. That is well above the 5 percent that indicates community spread. Community spread means more people become infected with the virus and more people will likely require hospitalization. We are experiencing an increase in inpatients positive with COVID-19, which today is 32.

We have an amazing team caring for our communities, but I would like to give special kudos to our Lab for all they have been doing on the testing front through this pandemic. They have expanded testing capabilities and provide an invaluable service to our patients and team. We are most grateful for them.

Attached is today’s COVID-19 scorecard: English | Spanish.

 

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

Today’s Stormont Vail COVID-19 scorecard: English | Spanish,  is a continuation of higher volumes for inpatients positive with COVID-19. We have 35 patients today, and have cared for 428 hospitalized COVID-19 positive patients since our first patient was admitted in March.

The percentage of patients testing positive for the virus is 9.2 percent today, well above the 5 percent rate that indicates community spread of the virus. This is for testing done at Stormont Vail facilities across the region and does not include pre-procedure tests. Our lab has been making tremendous strides to increase our testing capacity and we are extremely grateful for their efforts.

Our team is making every effort to care for our region. We need everyone working together to mitigate the spread of the virus.

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

Today’s Stormont Vail COVID-19 scorecard - English | Spanish - is a continuation of higher volumes for inpatients positive with COVID-19. We have 35 patients today, and have cared for 428 hospitalized COVID-19 positive patients since our first patient was admitted in March.

The percentage of patients testing positive for the virus is 9.2 percent today, well above the 5 percent rate that indicates community spread of the virus. This is for testing done at Stormont Vail facilities across the region and does not include pre-procedure tests. Our lab has been making tremendous strides to increase our testing capacity and we are extremely grateful for their efforts.

Our team is making every effort to care for our region. We need everyone working together to mitigate the spread of the virus.

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the work of Stormont Vail’s Employee Health department upside down and “kind of taken over our world,” says Mary Jones, RN, Supervisor.

Employee Health is the department that reviews information about team members who may have been potentially exposed to the virus at work or in the community and then determines the need for contact leave. Employee Health also monitors team members who have a positive COVID-19 test. They help facilitate return to work for all of those individuals when it is appropriate and criteria has been met.

What was a small department of three, primarily tasked with pre-employment and periodic health screenings, employee immunizations and bloodborne pathogen exposure, found itself in the middle of monitoring frontline health care workers in the middle of an emerging pandemic. Initially to keep up with the demand, the department received support from team members who had slowdowns in their regular work areas. Soon, Employee Health will be a team of six, including Mary, three LPNs, one Medical Assistant, and a records abstractor.

Contact leave is determined through tracing all team members who have cared for or been in the physical space of patients or co-workers who were determined to be COVID-19 positive. Infection Prevention and department leadership develop and review the list, then provide it to Employee Health, which considers what personal protective equipment the person was wearing, how close they were to the infected person and for what length of time, and whether an aerosol-generating procedure was performed. Then, using Kansas Department of Health and Environment guidelines, the need for 14 day contact leave is determined.

With Stormont Vail’s new requirement for procedural masks for all team members, patients, visitors and volunteers, the need for contact leave should be reduced, Jones said. Since the masks are medical grade, people are either exposed or not depending, on whether they are wearing their procedural mask.

“Enhanced PPE for everyone will help with the contact leave levels as long as people wear their masks,” she said. “It is important that team members remember to social distance, especially on lunch breaks.”

Mary said the return to work process is also important. All team members returning from a COVID related absence must complete a Return to Work Form through their nurse reviewer or designee and submit it to Employee Health. If there is a delay in completing that, the team member will be counted in the “contact leave” status shown on the daily scorecard.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Visit from HHS Deputy Secretary Hargan and US Representative Roger Marshall
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

Visit from HHS Deputy Secretary Hargan and US Representative Roger Marshall

HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan is visiting Stormont Vail Health today to hear from SVH and leadership from regional hospitals about the following: data reporting challenges, supply issues and needs, and preparations for COVID-19 vaccine administration.  We are grateful for the opportunity to share our experiences during this pandemic with the deputy secretary.

Representative Roger Marshall stopped by unexpectedly and offered his thanks for all the hard work and extraordinary care we delivered to the region.  He also listened as we shared some of the challenges we are facing.

Team Member Health

We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 58 26 112
Providers 6 5 12
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

Fall is definitely here with cooler temperature and changing colors of leaves on the trees. Halloween is just around the corner. Like most holidays in 2020, we’ll need to celebrate Halloween a little differently.

With the community spread of the COVID-19 virus, please consider guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) for your Halloween festivities.

Choose lower risk activities to keep you and your family safe. Don’t let the lure of risky traditions trick you into exposure to the virus. Instead, treat yourself a safe experiences, like a Halloween movie night with only members of your household.

CDC’s Halloween guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html#halloween

KDHE’s Halloween guidance: https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=34

Today’s COVID-19 scorecard: English | Spanish.

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

For Marion Vanderblomen, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic hit home quickly.

In late-March, she was notified a child at her daughter’s daycare was being tested for the virus. Not long after, her husband lost his job as a result of the economic slowdown, while at the same time she saw her hours as a Patient Care Tech at the Spine Center decrease as elective procedures were halted.

Then things started to snowball.

“My husband wasn’t able to find another job right away, so we decided it would be best if he stayed home with our daughter,” she said. Soon, they were behind on ordinary household bills.

“I picked up another job to help make ends meet, but it just wasn’t enough,” she said. “It just felt like we were never going to get caught-up.”

She had heard about the Healthcare Heroes fund, but didn’t initially apply. After co-workers encouraged her to reconsider, she completed the application and was recently approved for a grant. Now, Marion and her family are on the path back to financial security. The grant, coupled with the retention reward Stormont Vail Health is providing, should “put us over the hump,” according to Marion. Plus, with her daughter now in Kindergarten, her husband was able to return to work this fall.

Marion has also been able to pick up more hours at Stormont Vail, which meant she could quit her second job – though she still is PRN for the facility.

Marion says the Healthcare Heroes grant “came at the perfect time” for her family and helped relieve a lot of stress. She is sharing her story in part to encourage others to apply for assistance.

“Healthcare workers are busy, so they tend to overlook these types of opportunities,” she said. “They also are the helpers, so they may not seek assistance even when they are deserving thinking others need it more.”

“By spreading the word, my hope is others will reach out for help,” she said.  “I am very thankful for the support, it really does mean a lot.”

The Stormont Vail Foundation’s Health Care Heroes Fund to provide emergency financial assistance during the pandemic was made possible by generous donors. The fund continues to help our team members who incurred additional expenses as a result of working during the pandemic.

Here are today’s updates:

  • New Notes Access Now in MyChart
  • Kendra Scott Benefit for Angel Fund
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

New Notes Access Now in MyChart

Starting today, Oct. 20, Stormont Vail Health has launched a new feature on MyChart that will allow patients to obtain immediate access to their care notes following their clinical visit. We believe in transparency and open communication to allow you to be a part of your healthcare decisions and to have access to the information you need to take control or your health.  For more information on this feature or to download the MyChart app, visit www.stormontvail.org/mychart.

Kendra Scott Benefit for Angel Fund

This Friday and Saturday, Oct. 23 and 24, jewelry designer Kendra Scott is holding a special shopping event to benefit the Angel Fund at the Stormont Vail Foundation. Go to www.kendrascott.com, pick out some favorites for yourself or the jewelry lover in your life, enter code GIVEBACK-045X when checking out, and Kendra Scott will donate 20% of your total purchase price to help patients who are struggling to cover their basic needs at our Cotton O’Neil Cancer Center. The holidays are right around the corner. Shop now and help others in need.

Team Member Health

We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 75 30 105
Providers 6 5 12
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

Today marks our first day of having all team members, patients, visitors and volunteers change to wearing procedural masks at Stormont Vail locations. It is going very well. Procedural masks are medical grade masks and offer a high level of protection. In addition to wearing masks, we also encourage everyone to physically distance by at least six feet and wash their hands.

We continue to be profoundly grateful to our community when you stepped up to provide us with fabric masks at the beginning of the pandemic at a time there was a shortage of many types of personal protective equipment. Stormont Vail had received nearly 7,300 donated masks by the end of May when we stopped accepting additional mask donations. That was a phenomenal effort by community members.

Facemasks of all kinds continue to be extremely important to wear, especially when individuals are in in community or group settings. Facemasks do help slow the spread of the virus. Please do your part and wear one.

Today’s COVID-19 scorecard: English | Spanish.

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

Taking care of our team members and our communities remains a top priority during this pandemic. An added increment of safety is the context for making changes to require procedural facemasks in our facilities beginning Monday, Oct. 19. This will impact all individuals in our locations: patients, visitors, team members, students, vendors and volunteers.

Beginning Monday, all individuals in a Stormont Vail facility will be required to wear a Stormont Vail issued procedural mask. Cloth facemasks or face coverings will no longer be allowed.

This increased level of protection for those in our facilities will help to decrease the risk of exposure, subsequent quarantines and overall spread of the COVID-19 virus. We are able to procure enough procedural masks to make the change possible and it continues to be important as community spread is at increasing levels across our region.

All patients, visitors and vendors coming to our facilities will be provided with a procedural mask as part of the door screening process. They can switch to the procedural mask or will be asked to put it on over their own mask. Individuals ages two and older must wear a facemask at Stormont Vail facilities. Pediatric masks will also be available.

All non-patient facing Stormont Vail team members and volunteers will need to obtain procedural masks from their departments and wear those procedural masks as they enter the facility and throughout the day. (Team members may not wear a cloth mask into the building and switch out to a procedural mask, so please plan ahead.) For team members in non-patient areas, masks may be worn up to three days, but a new mask is available at any time.

All patient facing team members will need to wear a procedural mask upon entering the building and continue to follow the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) schematic that outlines the appropriate PPE required for their area.

Our change to require procedural masks is a result of many hours of work by our PPE Committee and its evaluation of CDC and KDHE guidance. Procedural masks help provide protection against respiratory droplet spread, and COVID-19, similar to influenza and other respiratory viruses, appears to be transmitted primarily through large respiratory droplets.

It’s important to wear a procedural mask appropriately – covering the nose and mouth – and not pulled down under your nose or chin. The removal of the mask and handling are also important so that there is no contamination. You should perform hand hygiene before and after removing the mask.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Important Reminders About Voting
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

Important Reminders about Voting

Election Day (Nov. 3) is right around the corner. However, there are some important dates and deadlines before then.

Absentee Ballot Deadline

Request: Received by Oct.27
Return by mail: Postmarked by Nov. 3

Early Voting: Oct. 14 – Nov. 2

If you are voting in person, STAY SAFE! The polls will most likely require masks to be worn at all times. In addition, avoid unnecessarily touching objects, keep your distance from others, use hand sanitizer immediately before entering and wash your hands after leaving.

Everything you need to know about voting in Kansas can be found here: https://www.vote.org/state/kansas/

Team Member Health

We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 73 31 100
Providers 6 5 12
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

We are closely watching the percentage of patients testing positive of COVID-19 through the tests completed at Stormont Vail facilities. We have seen an upward trend over the past week and the rate was at 11.3 percent on Wednesday’s scorecard and is 11.4 percent on today’s scorecard: English | Spanish.

Positive results from neighboring counties of Shawnee County are driving this increase.  Over the past week we have seen a significant number of COVID-19 cases from rural counties, which is consistent with what the Kansas Department of Health and Environment has been reporting.

Community transmission activity can be tracked through the percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19. Percent positive rates above 5 percent are predictive of active community transmission.

Please be vigilant about slowing the spread of the virus. Wear a facemask. Social distance. Wash your hands. Avoid crowds.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

We are grateful for the generous donation the Stormont Vail Foundation received Tuesday from Envista Credit Union to be used to update the Intensive Care Unit Family Meeting Room. The room is for families and the care teams to meet in a private space. The $5,000 donation to the foundation will be utilized for improvements to the room such as privacy curtains, installation of a monitor to review scans and diagnostics with families and replace carpet.

The donation is rooted in community betterment and personal experience. Ron Smeltzer, chief executive officer, Envista Credit Union, says “Several months ago, one of my sons suffered a traumatic brain injury. He spent seven weeks in the ICU at Stormont Vail. Thanks to the amazing care and compassion provided by the nurses and other medical professionals that are a part of the ICU team, my son is making outstanding progress toward recovery. It is an honor and a privilege for Envista Credit Union, the Envista Foundation, and for me personally, to be able to provide this gift to the Stormont Vail ICU Department.”

We so appreciate Ron Smeltzer and Envista Credit Union for stepping up to help our community in this way. Stormont Vail is always here 24/7 to take care of you and our community.

Drive-Thru Flu Shot Hours Expand on Thursdays
Our 2020 drive-thru flu clinics continue through October on Wednesdays and Thursdays in the Surgery Parking Garage near S.W. 10th and Garfield.

  • On Wednesdays, we offer flu shots to adult Cotton O’Neil patients from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • On Thursdays, we are expanding hours to offer family-friendly flu shots until 7 p.m. for all Cotton O’Neil patients (all patients - age 6 months and older, who have had a flu shot in the past without complications; all insurance types accepted).

In addition, there are other flu immunization opportunities available to the community through Cotton O’Neil Clinics. For details, go to https://www.stormontvail.org/flu/

Surgery Registration in South Tower to Open Thursday
Beginning Thursday, patients needing to register for surgery may do so at the Surgery Registration Desk in the South Tower. These patients will still enter the hospital at the Main Entrance (North Tower) where they will be directed to go to the registration area at the south end of the building. Those who need wheelchair assistance will be provided that service.

Other patients will continue to register through the North Tower Registration Desk, adjacent to the Main Entrance. This change will assist us with better patient flow in the mornings.

Today’s scorecard: English | Spanish

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Our new medical building, Cotton O’Neil Asbury Drive Clinic, is opening in phases in October as we connect patients and providers in a new setting.

Last week, the primary care providers moved into the upper level. This clinic also has 3D mammography, X-ray and lab services. On Oct. 19, the lower level will open for dermatology and plastic surgery practices, as well as the new Azure Aesthetics Med Spa. The 50,000-square-foot building also has a Mohs dermatology area on the lower level.

The building is located at 2902 S.W. Asbury Drive, which is at the southeast corner of S.W. 29th and Asbury Drive. Asbury Drive is located between Wanamaker and Auburn roads. The main entrance is on the west side of the building, with the entrance to Azure Aesthetics on the south. Stormont Vail purchased the property in 2016.

A ribbon cutting will be held at the new Asbury Drive Clinic at 1 p.m. Thursday. The Stormont Vail campus currently has a mask requirement for everyone and social distancing guidelines will be followed at the event.

Creating a place where we can provide patients a full range of dermatologic, plastic surgery and aesthetic services has been under development for some time and we are excited by the synergies that having these specialties in a shared space will bring to our patients. We are also pleased to be able to provide to our community yet another access point to high quality primary care.

Here are today’s updates:

Taking care of our team is important during these challenging times. Below is a listing of some of the support services and programs available to you and others on our team.

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 66 26 98
Providers 6 3 12
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

We are now seven months into the COVID-19 pandemic in our region without a firm finish line in view. Daily we see signs of pandemic fatigue in ourselves and others. We need to embrace the small moments during the day that can buoy our spirits or provide an uplifting message to those around us to brighten their day.

I challenge each of us to take one action each day this week that is an act of self-care or care or concern for another. It may be as simple as asking how another person’s day is going. It is that connectedness that will get us through the next few months to a brighter tomorrow.

We have 33 inpatients who are positive with COVID-19 today. That is the highest number our hospital has seen since we admitted our first patient with COVID-19 in March. Additional information is available on today’s COVID-19 scorecard: English | Spanish.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Voices of our team resonate the care, the compassion, the satisfaction of helping others. We are there at the bedside for our patients, for our families during this pandemic. What an amazing team you are.

From Corrine Gruber, Charge RRT, Respiratory Therapy:
“Caring for our patients with COVID-19 has been a rewarding experience, and at times, a sad experience. As an RT it has been difficult to watch the devastation this virus has caused to the human body and heartbreaking to know that even though we have done all we can, sometimes it isn't enough. We celebrate with our patients who defeat this virus, and we grieve for the patients who don't. We worry about our loved ones being exposed because of our job, but we come to work every day because we know our patients need us too. We take pride in our role as an RT in this fight and are grateful to provide what comfort we can to our patients and for the ability to serve our community.”

From Dr. Hassan Taha, Physician, Pulmonary and Critical Care:
“It has been heartbreaking, for me and the front line health care workers including ICU nurses, respiratory therapists, and my partners from internal medicine doctors to intensivists, and everyone directly involved in the care of these patients; you are worried about picking this highly transmittable virus and taking it home to your children and spouses; or to your patients."

“One major part is talking to families. We have had a few patients that have lost their lives to this virus, some were young, and healthy with no underlying health conditions, and had young children. Breaking bad news is part of our daily living, however, when you walk to a father or a mother, with their children, and ask them to say goodbye to their loved ones, because this may be the last time they can see them, it is not something that anyone wants to do. You have to keep your composure and hold their hand and at these moments you truly need someone to hold your hand as well...”

From Allissa Dickey, BSN, RN, 7 South:
“In the nursing field, there are times of hardship and times of reward. I have celebrated the steps forward and felt the heartache of the steps backwards with my patients. As a COVID nurse, patients spend a long time hospitalized on our unit. COVID patients, due to isolation, are not advised to have visitors while hospitalized. During this time, we get to know them and their family through various communication outlets. Personally, as a COVID nurse, it has been an honor to represent their family at the bedside for COVID patients.”

Thank you for all that you do.

Here are today’s updates:
• Azure Aesthetics to locate in Asbury Drive Clinic
• Deadline to Register to Vote is Oct. 13
• Team Member Health
• COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

Azure Aesthetics to locate in Asbury Drive Clinic
Elite Esthetics MedSpa, LLC, 1020 S.W. Fairlawn Rd., will join the Stormont Vail organization as Azure Aesthetics. Azure Aesthetics will relocate to the new Cotton O’Neil Asbury Drive Clinic, 2902 S.W. Asbury Drive, and open Oct. 19. The aesthetics staff will become Stormont Vail employees and will work with Stormont Vail plastic surgeon Heather L. Pena, M.D., to offer services such as microdermabrasion, Botox, dermal fillers, advanced laser treatment of skin conditions with the Halo Hybrid Fractional laser, laser hair and vein removal and more. Patients may call (785) 783-3144 to schedule an appointment.

Deadline to Register to Vote is Oct. 13
We’re in the countdown to the 2020 General Election on Nov. 3. The last day to register to vote in Kansas is Oct. 13. You can visit your county election office to register or the Kansas Secretary of State’s office has an online voter registration application: https://www.kdor.ks.gov/apps/voterreg/default.aspx

Once you have completed the application, allow time for processing. Your county election officer will notify you when your voter registration is completed or if further action is needed.

You will have three options to vote safely in the general election. You can vote at your assigned polling place on Election Day, you can vote early in person, or you can vote in advance by mail. Please check your county’s election office information online for details about advance voting for your county.

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

  Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 61 23 96
Providers 5 3 11
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

We had a great team effort Wednesday at our first day of the 2020 drive-thru flu shot clinics. Elizabeth Gerhardt, RN, Director of Cotton O’Neil Medical Specialties, said nearly 1,400 immunizations were given, which was a huge endeavor.

We utilized the Surgery Parking Garage at 10th and Garfield for the drive-thru clinic and had five lanes running for a couple of hours because of the volume. Once we got through the morning rush, we were able to get people through within five to 10 minutes.

The drive-thru clinic continues on Wednesdays in October for eligible adults, and on Thursdays in October for established pediatric patients and eligible family members. There are also other opportunities at Stormont Vail facilities to get a flu shot. Please go to the Stormont Vail website to get more information about flu clinics: https://www.stormontvail.org/flu/

This year it is more important than ever to get a flu shot. We’re facing fall and winter months when both flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will spread. Getting flu immunizations reduces the risk of flu illnesses and hospitalizations.

Thank you to our team members across our organization who are helping with flu immunization efforts. Thanks to each of you who are getting your flu shot to protect not only yourself, but your families and your community.

Attached is today’s COVID-19 scorecard: English | Spanish.

We together,

Dr. K

CLARIFICATION:
If people are experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath or two or more of these COVID-19-like symptoms: headache, fatigue or body aches, loss of taste or smell, nausea or diarrhea, sore throat, chills, congestion or pink eye, use our Call Before You Go line at (785) 354-6000 prior to visiting Stormont Vail or any Cotton O’Neil location to facilitate the safest care.  An auto attendant at that number will provide prompts to help navigate callers to the appropriate services.  Individuals who are feeling ill and have COVID-19-like symptoms will want to select “1” from the main menu and “4” to speak with a nurse who will triage them to determine next steps. Calls are answered in the order they are received.

Dear Community Partners,

Partnering with others in our community is key to making the most of these pandemic times.

Our announcement Monday about the partnership we have forged with the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center is a prime example of a wonderful community collaboration. Stormont Vail will be temporarily leasing the museum building that has been closed since March as a place to provide no-cost child care for the children of Stormont Vail Health team members.

Stormont Vail Health will utilize the building on weekdays beginning Thursday, Oct. 8.to provide care for school aged children of team members while our team is providing care to patients and families.  The child care program is staffed by Stormont Vail team members.

A 4.5 acre outdoor adventure area of the museum remains open to the public for timed, ticketed entry seven days a week. The museum visitors to the outdoor area will not come in contact with the children enrolled in the child care program.

The arrangement is temporary and the museum is actively working towards returning to full operation.

I am so pleased that the team at the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center was open and responsive to this idea. They and the team members at Stormont Vail have been working hard to finalize the details and we are excited to be able to provide this support and benefit to our team.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Flu Shots Available through Stormont Vail
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

Flu Shots Available through Stormont Vail

Opportunities for Cotton O’Neil patients and the public to get flu shots through Stormont Vail facilities include:

  • Drive-thru flu shot clinics are Wednesdays and Thursdays in October, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. beginning Oct. 7. Wednesdays will be for eligible adults only and Thursdays will be for established pediatric patients and their eligible family members, including adults. All drive-thru clinics are for established Cotton O’Neil patients who have previously had a flu shot with no complications. The drive-thru flu shot clinic will take place in the Stormont Vail Surgery parking garage at the corner of 10th St. and Garfield Ave.
  • Public walk-in flu clinics will be held at Cotton O’Neil Express Care-Urish and Cotton O’Neil Express Care-Croco from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and from noon to 3 p.m. weekends.
  • Public flu shot appointments are available at the Stormont Vail Retail Pharmacy, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call (785) 235-8796 to schedule an appointment.
  • Cotton O’Neil Manhattan patients 19 years and older can receive their flu shot at a drive-thru flu shot clinic at the Cotton O’Neil Manhattan office, 1133 College Ave., Manhattan, 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 10 and Oct. 24, weather permitting.
  • Cotton O’Neil Netawaka patients can receive their flu shot at the Cotton O’Neil Netawaka office, 200 Whiteway St., Netawaka, on Wednesdays and Thursdays in October. Flu shots will be available 8 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays, and 1 to 4 p.m. on Thursdays.

Consent forms in English and Spanish are available at stormontvail.org/flu and may be completed and brought to the seasonal flu shot clinic to save time.

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 54 23 91
Providers 2 2 11
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Dr. K

CLARIFICATION:
If people are experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath or two or more of these COVID-19-like symptoms: headache, fatigue or body aches, loss of taste or smell, nausea or diarrhea, sore throat, chills, congestion or pink eye, use our Call Before You Go line at (785) 354-6000 prior to visiting Stormont Vail or any Cotton O’Neil location to facilitate the safest care.  An auto attendant at that number will provide prompts to help navigate callers to the appropriate services.  Individuals who are feeling ill and have COVID-19-like symptoms will want to select “1” from the main menu and “4” to speak with a nurse who will triage them to determine next steps. Calls are answered in the order they are received.

Dear Community Partners,

The giving of life through organ or tissue donation is an immeasurable gift that touches many – from those who knew the donor to the recipients who have renewed hope and health because of the donation.

We are now celebrating that special gift in a very visual way. Please visit the new Gift of Life Memorial Wall in our Pavilion lobby in the Stormont Vail Hospital. There you can see an interactive screen mounted on the wall with a large beautiful photograph of our organ donation fountain. The fountain is in our outdoor courtyard by the North Tower.

The interactive screen shares donor stories and a video of an Honor Walk at Stormont Vail when respect is paid to a patient at the end of life who is donating organs to others. The interactive screen also provides information about becoming a donor or becoming involved in organ donation awareness, as well as recognitions Stormont Vail has received through the Midwest Transplant Network.

One initiative highlighted is Project Mya, which tells how Stormont Vail Respiratory Therapist Erin Young’s young daughter Mya was comforted with a plush pink elephant when she was intubated. Mya passed away in October 2016 and was an organ donor. Erin is now a Midwest Transplant Ambassador and has shared her family’s story of organ donation. Through Project Mya, the family provides plush animals each year on Mya’s birthday, to be given to children in intensive care or having a tough time in the hospital.

Jana Tenbrink, RN, Nurse Manager, Medical Critical Care Unit, Intermediate Care and Rapid Response, said in years past, Stormont Vail has had a Celebration of Life event in which donor and recipient stories were shared and then families viewed a plaque that was updated with the name of their loved one. Using the new electronic screen, donor names can now be displayed indefinitely and the stories behind the names of donors can be shared as an additional way to honor them.

The stories of the organ and tissue donors at Stormont Vail will continue to be added as families provide a photograph and additional information about their loved one to the organization, says Jana.  Families can submit the information through https://www.stormontvail.org/gift-of-life/.

Jana said through her work as liaison with Midwest Transplant Network and her work in Critical Care, she believes in making others aware of organ donation. The Gift of Life Memorial Wall is an extension of that. “I have two family members who were tissue donors and are on the wall and through my work in Critical Care I have been able to help give families a sense of purpose or reason at times they face a traumatic situation,” she says.

Jana was instrumental in the concept and content behind the display, tapping in part into her art background. When it came time to make the project a reality, it was Carol Perry, RN, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, Carol’s husband retired physician Dr. Ray Lumb, and the Stormont Vail Foundation who stepped up to fund the project. Carol serves on the Midwest Transplant Network’s Advisory Board. She and Dr. Lumb feel passionately about organ donation. Dr. Lumb penned the words on the wall: “Greater love hath no family that they will donate their loved one’s organs and tissue to save other lives.”

Here are today’s updates:

  • Appreciating Volunteers
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

Appreciating Volunteers
In lieu of the Volunteer Appreciation Banquet, and to show appreciation for our volunteers, a drive through appreciation event was held Wednesday evening by the hospital’s Main Entrance. Volunteers received a boxed dinner and were greeted by team members holding signs telling them how much they are appreciated for their commitment to Stormont Vail. About 85 dinners were distributed.

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 55 25 86
Providers 1 1 11
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,
Dr. K

CLARIFICATION:
If people are experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath or two or more of these COVID-19-like symptoms: headache, fatigue or body aches, loss of taste or smell, nausea or diarrhea, sore throat, chills, congestion or pink eye, use our Call Before You Go line at (785) 354-6000 prior to visiting Stormont Vail or any Cotton O’Neil location to facilitate the safest care.  An auto attendant at that number will provide prompts to help navigate callers to the appropriate services.  Individuals who are feeling ill and have COVID-19-like symptoms will want to select “1” from the main menu and “4” to speak with a nurse who will triage them to determine next steps. Calls are answered in the order they are received.

Dear Community Partners,

As Kansas sees COVID-19 positive numbers climb, it is important to adhere to safety guidelines to prevent further community spread of the virus.

Please wear facemasks in public settings or appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when working with patients in clinics or hospital and while in work areas with co-workers. This is especially true when shared workspaces do not allow for appropriate social distancing.

This is the time to take extra precautions to protect yourself and others. Wear a facemask. Social distance by six feet. Wash your hands. Avoid crowds.

We together,

Dr. K

September 30, 2020 Scorecards: English | Spanish

CLARIFICATION:
If people are experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath or two or more of these COVID-19-like symptoms: headache, fatigue or body aches, loss of taste or smell, nausea or diarrhea, sore throat, chills, congestion or pink eye, use our Call Before You Go line at (785) 354-6000 prior to visiting Stormont Vail or any Cotton O’Neil location to facilitate the safest care.  An auto attendant at that number will provide prompts to help navigate callers to the appropriate services.  Individuals who are feeling ill and have COVID-19-like symptoms will want to select “1” from the main menu and “4” to speak with a nurse who will triage them to determine next steps. Calls are answered in the order they are received.

Dear Community Partners,

Day in and day out we are focused on caring for our patients and our communities. It’s important to stop occasionally and reflect, to voice our own experiences, to practice self-care. Shared experiences are noteworthy and what better way to share than with our team and our community.

Here are the words of team members who are working directly with our COVID-19 patients. Learn how their experiences have impacted them personally and professionally.

From Randy Chapman, Staff Chaplain, Spiritual Care Department:
“Personally, serving on staff has been a humbling experience. I operate within a worldview that we are all at risk all the time in some way, but in the midst of the pandemic the sense of risk within the hospital and outside the hospital has been heightened many times over. So I have at times felt uneasy. I ask, who in my daily contacts could give me the virus? What if I take the virus to my own household? I have also felt a sense of reassurance seeing patients and families deal with the virus. It is not easy, but then, nowhere in any philosophy or theology is ease foretold.

“Working professionally within the new environment generated by the pandemic, things are not so different on the one hand because human spiritual and emotional needs are essentially the same under any duress. But, on the other hand, there are differences in the way we go about what we do and it seems to be from the effect the pandemic has had on systems. COVID-19 coming to Kansas immediately changed this institution and the institution is changing because of it…The need to attend to our spiritual health is always important everywhere, but especially felt within healthcare. That significance is greatly magnified in the midst of this ongoing crisis. I am humbled to help attend to that spiritual health for patients and families, for staff and for the institution.”

From Erin Golightley, Radiology Technologist, North Fielding Respiratory Clinic:

 “Never did I ever think that I would be alive during a pandemic, let alone working on the front lines as a healthcare professional. Honestly, at times it has been a scary ride. Worrying about bringing this virus home to my family has been my main concern. Finding that balance between protecting myself and my family and serving the community has been challenging, but this has only been able to happen with the amazing help of our medical imaging supervisors and really all of our Stormont team members. There has never been a question of us having the appropriate PPE equipment and we are constantly updated on the ever changing policies. While I know people around the world haven't been so lucky in this area, it is comforting beyond measure to not have to worry about being provided for. It gives you some sense of calm in the middle of this crazy storm.”

Here are today’s updates:

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 49 20 85
Providers 1 1 11
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Dr. K

 

CLARIFICATION:
If people are experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath or two or more of these COVID-19-like symptoms: headache, fatigue or body aches, loss of taste or smell, nausea or diarrhea, sore throat, chills, congestion or pink eye, use our Call Before You Go line at (785) 354-6000 prior to visiting Stormont Vail or any Cotton O’Neil location to facilitate the safest care.  An auto attendant at that number will provide prompts to help navigate callers to the appropriate services.  Individuals who are feeling ill and have COVID-19-like symptoms will want to select “1” from the main menu and “4” to speak with a nurse who will triage them to determine next steps. Calls are answered in the order they are received.

Dear Community Partners,

Our COVID-19 scorecard is reflective of what our organization is experiencing as we care for our patients and communities during this pandemic. It is to provide our team members and our community partners with a barometer of where we are in terms of hospital resources (staff and supplies), hospital and clinic volumes, testing, and team member health.

Our data is an indicator for the region we serve. We have providers and clinics who serve patients in a 23-county region in eastern Kansas.

For instance, when looking at the counties of residence for patients who have had COVID-19 tests performed at a Stormont Vail facility, there are 19 counties represented. These include Atchison, Clay, Dickinson, Geary, Jefferson, Lyon, Morris, Osage, Riley, Wabaunsee, Brown, Coffey, Douglas, Jackson, Johnson, Marshall, Nemaha, Pottawatomie and Shawnee. In addition, there is an “other” category for patients who do not live in one of those counties.

We are working closely with public health officials in many Kansas counties and at the state level as we endeavor to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Please do your part: Wear a facemask. Social distance by six feet. Wash your hands. Avoid crowds.

We together,

Dr. K

Today's scorecards: English | Spanish

CLARIFICATION:
If people are experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath or two or more of these COVID-19-like symptoms: headache, fatigue or body aches, loss of taste or smell, nausea or diarrhea, sore throat, chills, congestion or pink eye, use our Call Before You Go line at (785) 354-6000 prior to visiting Stormont Vail or any Cotton O’Neil location to facilitate the safest care.  An auto attendant at that number will provide prompts to help navigate callers to the appropriate services.  Individuals who are feeling ill and have COVID-19-like symptoms will want to select “1” from the main menu and “4” to speak with a nurse who will triage them to determine next steps. Calls are answered in the order they are received.

Dear Community Partners,

Fall is the time to prepare for winter – clearing our yards of fallen leaves, winterizing pipes and equipment, bringing in plants that won’t tolerate the cold weather of Kansas.

This year, the change in seasons means a potential surge in COVID-19. Public health experts have expressed concern that the virus will gain momentum with cooler temperatures, when outdoor socializing ends. Winter also brings traditional holidays when extended families gather indoors.

The New York Times reported earlier this week that the surge appears to have begun. Just as autumn arrived, the number of new daily confirmed cases across the country jumped more than 15 percent in 10 days, the sharpest increase since late spring.

The Stormont Vail Health team has been planning and preparing as we position for the future care for our communities. We have experienced heightened demand for our services both in the hospital and clinics through the summer months. Here’s a look at some of the preparations underway for winter:

  • Roll out of a COVID-19 critical staffing incentive program to address staffing shortages and gaps in critical areas. The program offers existing team members the opportunity to commit and work additional shifts for a limited timeframe. Positions currently eligible are RNs and LPNs in acute care and clinic settings, as well as other eligible roles that can float to fulfil one of those positions. The program will be monitored and can be shifted to other high need areas in the future.
  • Acquisition of additional patient care equipment for acute care setting. This includes infusion pump modules, beds and stretchers, and other equipment.
  • Continual review of our personal protective equipment protocols. Acquisition of 90-day supply of personal protective equipment for team members, in addition to days on hand for par levels.
  • Expansion of respiratory clinics throughout the region. These are now in place in Cotton O’Neil North, 4505 N.W. Fielding Road, and at Cotton O’Neil Clinics in Manhattan, Wamego, Osage City and Oskaloosa.
  • Continual review of our testing practices. Planned expansion of point of care COVID-19 testing to the region, in addition to drive-through COVID-19 testing for symptomatic community members and pre-procedure.

To help us better deliver care to our patients, team members are part of initiatives in many patient care areas – both in the ambulatory and hospital settings. Some examples:

  • We continue to refine and expand telehealth to have safe access to providers.
  • We have streamlined access to acute mental health services.
  • We have expanded our drive-thru influenza vaccination clinic to eight days this year – Wednesdays and Thursdays through October, as well as provided other access for the community. For more details, go to https://www.stormontvail.org/flu/

The COVID-19 pandemic, along with seasonal influenza, will place additional strain on health care organizations during the winter months. For that reason, individuals this year are highly encouraged to get a flu shot.

Here are today’s updates:

Your Vote Counts
Each of us can plan now for how we will exercise our right to vote in this election year. There is information available at the Kansas Secretary of State’s website at https://sos.ks.gov/elections/voter-information.html or you can call toll-free at 1-800-262-VOTE (8683) to have your questions answered.

Here are key dates:

Oct. 13: Last day to register to vote for General Election

Oct. 14: Advance voting in person and by mail may begin

Oct. 27: Deadline for voters to apply for advance ballots by mail for General Election

Nov. 3: General Election

Nov. 6: Deadline for receipt of advance ballots postmarked on/before Election Day

We together,

Dr. K

CLARIFICATION:
If people are experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath or two or more of these COVID-19-like symptoms: headache, fatigue or body aches, loss of taste or smell, nausea or diarrhea, sore throat, chills, congestion or pink eye, use our Call Before You Go line at (785) 354-6000 prior to visiting Stormont Vail or any Cotton O’Neil location to facilitate the safest care.  An auto attendant at that number will provide prompts to help navigate callers to the appropriate services.  Individuals who are feeling ill and have COVID-19-like symptoms will want to select “1” from the main menu and “4” to speak with a nurse who will triage them to determine next steps. Calls are answered in the order they are received.

Dear Community Partners,

For the second day in a row the percent of patients testing positive for COVID-19 is greater than 10 percent.  This is concerning as “percent positive” rates above 5 percent are predictive of active community transmission. The positivity rate is part of the puzzle in understanding virus transmission.

Today's scorecards: English | Spanish

Please continue to be vigilant in practice to slow the spread of the virus. Wear a mask. Social distance. Wash your hands. Avoid crowds.

We together,

Dr. K

CLARIFICATION:
If people are experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath or two or more of these COVID-19-like symptoms: headache, fatigue or body aches, loss of taste or smell, nausea or diarrhea, sore throat, chills, congestion or pink eye, use our Call Before You Go line at (785) 354-6000 prior to visiting Stormont Vail or any Cotton O’Neil location to facilitate the safest care.  An auto attendant at that number will provide prompts to help navigate callers to the appropriate services.  Individuals who are feeling ill and have COVID-19-like symptoms will want to select “1” from the main menu and “4” to speak with a nurse who will triage them to determine next steps. Calls are answered in the order they are received.

Dear Community Partners,

Here’s a look at today’s COVID-19 scorecard: English | Spanish

  • Telehealth had a strong day with 197 appointments Tuesday.
  • Hospitalized patients with COVID-19 decreased to 16.
  • Calls to “Call Before You Go” Line reached 224. The day before was 271.

If people are experiencing fever, cough, difficulty breathing, chills, sore throat, headache, sudden loss of smell or taste, intestinal distress or any other COVID-19-like symptoms, use our Call Before You Go line at (785) 354-6000 before coming to Stormont Vail or any Cotton O’Neil facility so we can facilitate the safest care.

Wear a facemask. Social distance by six feet. Wash your hands. Avoid crowds.

We together,

Dr. K

CLARIFICATION:
If people are experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath or two or more of these COVID-19-like symptoms: headache, fatigue or body aches, loss of taste or smell, nausea or diarrhea, sore throat, chills, congestion or pink eye, use our Call Before You Go line at (785) 354-6000 prior to visiting Stormont Vail or any Cotton O’Neil location to facilitate the safest care.  An auto attendant at that number will provide prompts to help navigate callers to the appropriate services.  Individuals who are feeling ill and have COVID-19-like symptoms will want to select “1” from the main menu and “4” to speak with a nurse who will triage them to determine next steps. Calls are answered in the order they are received.

Dear Community Partners,

Words are powerful. Listening to the voices of our patient facing team members is heartfelt and inspiring. Our team is providing our patients with the very best in care at a time when our world is struggling and weary from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please read their words. Hear their voices. I plan to share our team’s perspectives periodically in future communications. These are the voices of our team members who have been in the midst of caring for our COVID-19 patients. Learn how that experience has affected them personally and professionally.

Each of us is a part of this team. We support each other and our organization. We support our communities. We together.

From Dr. Harsha Moole, Hospitalist:
“It is an honor to be on the front lines of this pandemic and tend to the COVID-19 patients in our community. Yes, it is a challenging task – to ensure that patient’s families are constantly updated; to keep track of the new developments in treatment strategies; and to process the pain and suffering caused by this pandemic. We have a great support system - in the form of nurses, leadership staff, and administrative staff who are all working tirelessly to ensure hospitalists like myself are able to deliver cutting edge patient care to COVID-19 patients.”

From Katherine Dorsey, RN, Emergency Department:
“Throughout the pandemic, I have found myself reflecting on my capacities and capabilities as a nurse. Because of the virility of the virus, it has helped solidify the importance of simple safe practices (wearing proper PPE, proper hand hygiene, etc.) and has helped me appreciate the resources we often have that are now slim. I find myself stretched to the limit emotionally, physically and mentally as I care for patients who are even sicker than before (even those that don't come in for COVID symptoms) and it allows me to also reflect on the importance of my own self-care as I try to recover on my days off for another round of shifts. I often think about the preventable spread of this virus vs. maintaining a ‘normal’ life and keeping my baseline anxieties in check. There are moments when I find myself spiraling out wondering if what I did was enough.

“Despite all of this, I know I am promoting my own personal growth in mental strength, compassion and grit the longer and deeper we get into this pandemic. I take some pride in my ability to rise to the occasion and provide the best care I have to those that have been brought to their scariest moments. As I reflect on the hospital throughout this, too - I think we all need to take a step back, take a breath and realize we are all fighting this together and we all need to offer each other a little bit of grace. Every department that I go to is getting slammed with 50 things coming their direction at the same time and we are all doing the best we can.”

Here are today’s updates:

  • Partnership with Washburn, Washburn Tech
  • Mask Requirement for Those 2 and Older
  • Nominations Sought for Extraordinary Care Award
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English and Spanish

Partnership with Washburn, Washburn Tech
On Monday, Stormont Vail Health and Stormont Vail Foundation announced a new partnership with Washburn University and Washburn Tech to increase access to health care education and career fields. As part of the partnership, Stormont Vail and Stormont Vail Foundation will provide financial and scholarship support to local students who are fulfilling their education to enter a health care career. In exchange for the support, students will sign a work commitment with Stormont Vail.

The partnership creates opportunities for students enrolled in the health care programs at Washburn Tech and in the School of Nursing and School of Applied Studies at Washburn University. Areas included in the scholarship program are nursing, surgical technology, health care technology, respiratory therapy and physical therapy, just to name a few.

Mask Requirement for Those 2 and Older
All patients/visitors who have passed their 2nd birthday entering the hospital and clinics will be required to appropriately wear a mask at all times to protect staff, patients and other visitors, as the absence of such poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others.

Nominations Sought for Extraordinary Care Award
Nominations are now being accepted for the Extraordinary Care Award. Deadline is Oct. 9. This award is the highest recognition of Small Moments and honors a team or individual who has made a significant impact toward Stormont Vail Health’s mission and embodies the spirit of Stormont Vail values and the Small Moments Culture.

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 45 16 80
Providers 4 4 7
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Dr. K

CLARIFICATION:
If people are experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath or two or more of these COVID-19-like symptoms: headache, fatigue or body aches, loss of taste or smell, nausea or diarrhea, sore throat, chills, congestion or pink eye, use our Call Before You Go line at (785) 354-6000 prior to visiting Stormont Vail or any Cotton O’Neil location to facilitate the safest care.  An auto attendant at that number will provide prompts to help navigate callers to the appropriate services.  Individuals who are feeling ill and have COVID-19-like symptoms will want to select “1” from the main menu and “4” to speak with a nurse who will triage them to determine next steps. Calls are answered in the order they are received.

Dear Community Partners,

Today’s COVID-19 scorecard keeps us informed about our organization and our community:

* The number of patients hospitalized who are positive for COVID-19 is 24 today.

* The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail testing facilities has ranged from 6.3 to 6.9 percent the past several days. That is moving to a lower range than we have seen in recent weeks. Percent positive rates above 5 percent are predictive of active community transmission.

* The Call Before You Go number remains at an active level with 197 calls yesterday. Individuals with COVID-19 symptoms should call (785) 354-6000 for triage before going to any Stormont Vail facility.

Together we can slow the spread of the virus. Wear a facemask. Social distance by six feet. Wash your hands. Avoid crowds.

We together,

Dr. K

CLARIFICATION:
If people are experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath or two or more of these COVID-19-like symptoms: headache, fatigue or body aches, loss of taste or smell, nausea or diarrhea, sore throat, chills, congestion or pink eye, use our Call Before You Go line at (785) 354-6000 prior to visiting Stormont Vail or any Cotton O’Neil location to facilitate the safest care.  An auto attendant at that number will provide prompts to help navigate callers to the appropriate services.  Individuals who are feeling ill and have COVID-19-like symptoms will want to select “1” from the main menu and “4” to speak with a nurse who will triage them to determine next steps. Calls are answered in the order they are received.

Dear Community Partners,

Great teamwork is evident across our system. It’s important to point out these team efforts and to recognize that together we can accomplish much more than alone. As a team, we need to take care of each other and our patients.

We recently received a letter from a grateful customer of the Stormont Vail Retail Pharmacy who wanted to make sure we knew of the great service being provided by our team members who the writer described as a “small, but mighty pharmacy.”

“Of all my dealings with local retail in our community, this particular pharmacy exceeds any other I’ve known,” the customer wrote. Many examples of great work by this team were noted. Here are two that were cited:

  • “I often observed the pharmacist counseling people who were starting new medications. Teaching takes time. It means you care. It also relieves anxiety and promotes better health care outcomes.”
  • “They demonstrate a uniquely, friendly customer service, even with a limited contact by window. Before the need for masks, we could see those wonderful smiles. Now I listen for that smile in their voice…”

The team at the Stormont Vail Retail Pharmacy, which is located at 2252 S.W. 10th Ave., has undergone a tremendous amount of change over the past several months. Their walk-in lobby was closed so prescriptions had to be distributed through the drive-through window or delivery.  This was a part of many COVID-19 workflow adjustments.

“Closing the lobby to minimize COVID-19 exposure risk has been a sacrifice not only for our patrons, but for our staff as well,” says Christy Rooks, RPh, BCCCP, BCPS, Pharmacy Supervisor Ambulatory Services, who currently supervises the retail pharmacy team. ”They have worked tirelessly through adversity together, always keeping in mind that Stormont Vail Retail Pharmacy is essential to the community, and that our patients are relying on us.”

Dima Awad, PharmD, MS, Administrative Director, Pharmacy Services, adds “Through it all and knowing that more change is coming, they managed to keep an amazingly positive and resilient attitude. It is an empathetic team that cares deeply and mostly about serving the community.”

Christy and Dima said the retail pharmacy has also been more fully integrated with specialty pharmacy and into the Ambulatory team under a new Pharmacy structure.  Christy outlines those changes include:

  • Implementation of the Kansas Statewide Protocol for Administration of Vaccines by Pharmacists, which allows the retail pharmacists to provide for the immunization needs within our community, and to implement interventions that will promote disease prevention and public health.
  • Expansion of Medication Therapy Management (MTM) services to the 2252 S.W. 10th Ave. location. This is an awesome service for our patients aimed at improving outcomes by helping people better understand their health conditions and the medications used to manage them.

The space in the building that was formerly occupied by Healthwise has been re-purposed for use for the immunization and MTM appointments with pharmacists providing those services.

The retail pharmacy team includes four pharmacists, four PRN pharmacists who help when needed, six full-time pharmacy technicians, three part-time delivery drivers and one office supervisor. About half of the staff has been with the organization for 10 or more years, and all total the group has 164 years of experience with Stormont Vail. Christy is new to her pharmacy leadership role and is managing the retail pharmacy on an interim basis until a new manager for retail and specialty pharmacy joins the team in October. “She is going above and beyond and doing a fantastic job at it,” Dima says. “She is talented, dedicated and truly a joy to work with.”

Here are today’s updates:

 

Team Member Health

We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 28 15 77
Providers 2 2 7
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Dr. K

CLARIFICATION:
If people are experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath or two or more of these COVID-19-like symptoms: headache, fatigue or body aches, loss of taste or smell, nausea or diarrhea, sore throat, chills, congestion or pink eye, use our Call Before You Go line at (785) 354-6000 prior to visiting Stormont Vail or any Cotton O’Neil location to facilitate the safest care.  An auto attendant at that number will provide prompts to help navigate callers to the appropriate services.  Individuals who are feeling ill and have COVID-19-like symptoms will want to select “1” from the main menu and “4” to speak with a nurse who will triage them to determine next steps. Calls are answered in the order they are received.

Dear Community Partners,

09/11/01.

Most of us remember where we were when first learning of the events that day. Fear, uncertainty, anger, heroism, solidarity, patriotism, all swirling within and amongst us. I remember leaving a senior leadership meeting to watch the events unfold and thinking how the world had changed.

Today my mind goes to those who left for work that morning, those who worked in the towers or Pentagon, those who caught a plane to somewhere, those who put on the uniform of a firefighter, police or first responder, all those who were never again.

Their last actions, the “have a good day,” the “I love you,” the note tucked into a lunch bag, the last small moments they shared now memories for those who were close.

These days I sometimes think of those who fall ill with COVID-19 and quickly decompensate to respiratory failure, unconsciousness, critically ill, often alone and not allowed to have visitors, without opportunity to say goodbye. Life can change in the blink of an eye.

 

Life is good, but fragile and changes can

happen fast and without warning.

A learning from 9/11 and from our

COVID-19 experience, the small moments

may become cherished memories, sacred moments.

 

Today marks the 19th anniversary of 09/11/01.

Take a moment to remember, remember the

heroism, solidarity, patriotism.

Here are today’s updates:

Team Member Health

We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

  Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 28 17 74
Providers 2 2 6
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Dr. K

CLARIFICATION:
If people are experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath or two or more of these COVID-19-like symptoms: headache, fatigue or body aches, loss of taste or smell, nausea or diarrhea, sore throat, chills, congestion or pink eye, use our Call Before You Go line at (785) 354-6000 prior to visiting Stormont Vail or any Cotton O’Neil location to facilitate the safest care.  An auto attendant at that number will provide prompts to help navigate callers to the appropriate services.  Individuals who are feeling ill and have COVID-19-like symptoms will want to select “1” from the main menu and “4” to speak with a nurse who will triage them to determine next steps. Calls are answered in the order they are received.

Dear Community Partners,

A snapshot from the COVID-19 scorecard today:

  • Current number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19: 23
  • Positivity percentage of patients being tested for COVID-18: 8.8%
  • “Call Before You Go” Calls: 193
  • Respiratory Clinic visits: 39

These are all indicators of COVID-19 activity in our region. These numbers trended down from the previous day though they are still higher than in previous weeks.

Help stop the spread of the virus. Wear a facemask. Social distance by six feet. Wash your hands. Avoid crowds.

We together,

CLARIFICATION:
If people are experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath or two or more of these COVID-19-like symptoms: headache, fatigue or body aches, loss of taste or smell, nausea or diarrhea, sore throat, chills, congestion or pink eye, use our Call Before You Go line at (785) 354-6000 prior to visiting Stormont Vail or any Cotton O’Neil location to facilitate the safest care.  An auto attendant at that number will provide prompts to help navigate callers to the appropriate services.  Individuals who are feeling ill and have COVID-19-like symptoms will want to select “1” from the main menu and “4” to speak with a nurse who will triage them to determine next steps. Calls are answered in the order they are received.

Dear Community Partners,

We have required all team members, patients and visitors who enter a Stormont Vail Health facility, including Cotton O’Neil Clinics, to wear facemasks for five months - since April 7. We knew then, and have learned more through research since then, that wearing a facemask can lower the risk of COVID-19 infection for individuals wearing masks and those in the immediate vicinity.

In addition at Stormont Vail, team members working directly with patients are equipped with personal protective equipment, such as surgical-grade masks and face shields.

Wearing a facemask stops two entry points the virus can enter our bodies – our nose and mouth. Studies have indicated the nasal airway is a location where COVID-19 may gain a foothold in the body. This is possibly the reason why the virus can alter an infected person’s ability to smell. Other research tells us that droplets spewed while talking, singing or yelling can spread the virus from an infected person to others. That knowledge validates the importance of wearing your mask appropriately, covering your nose and mouth.

We have learned through contact tracing that when team members wear their facemasks it can reduce risk to themselves and others if there is an exposure. When team members take a break for lunch or dinner and remove their mask, they need to ensure they are social distancing from their teammates. It’s important to be as cautious around our own team as we are with patients and visitors – or in public.

Please do your part and always mask up while at work or in any public setting. Social distance by at least six feet. Wash your hands frequently. Avoid crowds. Do not share tables or adjacent workspace during breaks for meals or refreshments.

Here are today’s updates:

We together,

Dr. K

CLARIFICATION:
If people are experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath or two or more of these COVID-19-like symptoms: headache, fatigue or body aches, loss of taste or smell, nausea or diarrhea, sore throat, chills, congestion or pink eye, use our Call Before You Go line at (785) 354-6000 prior to visiting Stormont Vail or any Cotton O’Neil location to facilitate the safest care.  An auto attendant at that number will provide prompts to help navigate callers to the appropriate services.  Individuals who are feeling ill and have COVID-19-like symptoms will want to select “1” from the main menu and “4” to speak with a nurse who will triage them to determine next steps. Calls are answered in the order they are received.

Dear Community Partners,

We know that convalescent plasma has been a treatment that has helped some of our patients who are positive with COVID-19. That plasma is coming from individuals who have been ill themselves and since recovered. We have team members who have stepped up to be convalescent plasma donors – and to them we want to express our gratitude.

One donor is Travis Smith, Clinic Nurse Manager, Surgeons’ Office.

“For me, it was real easy. Having my plasma used to help somebody else and help our situation with COVID was what I wanted to do,” says Travis. “There was not a doubt in my mind that this was something I was excited about and looking forward to doing.”

Travis has been able to donate convalescent plasma three times.

“I am hoping it goes to a good cause, to research, to science and to help patients improve their situation,” Travis continues. “From my experience with having COVID, it was a no brainer. I wanted to do my part to help in this crisis and get us past this as quickly as possible.”

Travis says it takes about an hour to an hour-and-a-half to donate. He says he has always made it a point to donate blood when Stormont Vail sponsors employee blood drives and donating plasma was not much different.

“I’m so fortunate to be well and able to be in the position to donate plasma,” Travis says. “I had a pretty speedy recovery and I was blessed for that. Once I was eligible to give plasma, I was thankful to do so.”

Thank you, Travis, for the special ways you take care of our patients and our communities. Thank you to all of the other team members who have had the opportunity to donate plasma or have made the attempt to do so.

Patients who have recovered from COVID-19, whether hospitalized or with less severe symptoms, can potentially donate plasma and are encouraged to contact the Community Blood Center of Kansas at (816) 968-4081 or visit savealifenow.org.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Sunflower Terrace and Espresso South Gift Cards Offered
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English and Spanish

Sunflower Terrace and Espresso South Gift Cards Offered
Sunflower Terrace and Espresso South gift cards are now available for purchase. With just a phone call someone from across the country can purchase meals for their family members who are staying with or visiting a loved one in the hospital. You may purchase a reloadable gift card by visiting the Sunflower Terrace Cafeteria or Espresso South or calling (785) 354-6012.

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 29 16 69
Providers 3 3 5
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

COVID-19 Scorecard
The number of hospitalized patients positive with COVID-19 is now at the highest level we have seen. We currently have 27 inpatients who have tested positive. Today, we saw a slight decline in the percentage of patients testing positive at Stormont Vail facilities. Today’s positivity percentage is 9.8%.

Note about testing percentages: On or around Aug 27, test results from one of our reference labs stopped flowing into reports used to generate the percentage calculations. This issue has been fixed. As a result, testing percentages were generally elevated about 2-3% over the previous week. This coincided with a real increase in testing positivity, masking the problem. The new percentage numbers reported on the scorecard reflect corrected results and are no longer delayed by four days. They show an increase of test positivity since Aug 26 from 8.2% to values over 12% a few days ago.  These have been our highest percentages to date with the previous peak occurring early July at 11.5%.

We together,

Dr. K

CLARIFICATION:
If people are experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath or two or more of these COVID-19-like symptoms: headache, fatigue or body aches, loss of taste or smell, nausea or diarrhea, sore throat, chills, congestion or pink eye, use our Call Before You Go line at (785) 354-6000 prior to visiting Stormont Vail or any Cotton O’Neil location to facilitate the safest care.  An auto attendant at that number will provide prompts to help navigate callers to the appropriate services.  Individuals who are feeling ill and have COVID-19-like symptoms will want to select “1” from the main menu and “4” to speak with a nurse who will triage them to determine next steps. Calls are answered in the order they are received.

Dear Community Partners,

Labor Day is a day set aside to honor and celebrate the works and contributions of laborers and to recognize the American labor movement which brought many advances in the safety, dignity and compensation for American workers. We celebrate this holiday on the first Monday of September. Given this timing, it has also come to be celebrated as the end of summer and beginning of autumn, a transition to focus on the return to school, fall sports, political campaigns and the many rituals of this season.

This year, most of the same transitions are occurring, but all are shadowed by COVID-19. All of our traditions and rituals must accommodate our individual efforts to protect each other and our collective commitment to slow the spread of the virus. I hope you are able to set aside time to celebrate this weekend in ways that honor our commitment to each other.

September is also the last month of our fiscal year, the increment of time over which we measure our financial and clinical performance. We started the year with a strong and ambitious plan, and our performance measured against this plan was “hitting it out of the park.” The first six months of the fiscal year, through March, were challenging in all the ways to which we are accustomed, and we were meeting those challenges well. Then came the COVID-19 effect, the cessation of non-urgent care and a complete disruption of our operations. As a team, we made difficult decisions and rose to the many challenges that seemed to change daily.

Through the often times heroic and always professional efforts of our team, along with tremendous support from our community and from local, state and federal government and agencies, we have begun to gain back our operations and a more normal cadence to our work. It is impossible to list all of the many sources of support we have received, and equally impossible to quantify the many ways we’ve cared for our communities, for our patients and for each other.

Through my regular communications to our team and the community, I have tried to share the many ways our team has risen to the challenges as well as express my gratitude for the support received from individuals and community partners. Today’s communication marks the 100th one I have written since Incident Command began meeting March 17.  Timely and informative updates about where we are as an organization have been important during this pandemic. We also added a COVID-19 scorecard to provide additional details about our daily operations and capacity.

We began this journey with an emphasis on “We Together” – the closing I began adding to my communications just days after I started writing to you. At that time in mid-March we were facing uncertainties on many fronts – understanding of the virus itself and the appropriate clinical response, economic disruption, fears of the unknown. We didn’t know then how we would be tested or how important “we together” would become.

This fiscal year has been one for the history books. On behalf of our Board of Directors and the Operating Committee, I want to convey our thanks to all of our team members for their individual contributions and our collective successes as we’ve worked to improve the health of our communities. I look forward to sharing with team members soon the details of a significant recognition for their work in the form of a retention award.

Our extraordinary teamwork will ensure our ability to meet the challenges in our future. We together will continue to face the challenges brought by COVID-19. This pandemic will still impact our mission and our lives for many months to come. I am confident that with a team like we have at Stormont Vail, along with our supportive community, we are poised to meet the challenges ahead. Our teamwork is having an impact as we care for each other and for our communities. Stay connected. Support one another. We together.

Here are today’s updates:

  • More on Masks
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English and Spanish

 

More on Masks

We require that everyone over the age of two – which includes patients, visitors and team members – wear a facemask when they are inside any Stormont Vail or Cotton O’Neil facility. Patients will be provided a mask if they do not have one. Mask types not allowed are N95 vented masks, fabric masks with vent, and now additionally bandanas or gaiter masks.

Team Member Health

We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 31 16 68
Providers 3 2 5
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

 

Have a safe and healthy Labor Day weekend. Wear a mask. Social distance. Wash your hands. Avoid crowds.

We together,

Dr. K

CLARIFICATION:
If people are experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath or two or more of these COVID-19-like symptoms: headache, fatigue or body aches, loss of taste or smell, nausea or diarrhea, sore throat, chills, congestion or pink eye, use our Call Before You Go line at (785) 354-6000 prior to visiting Stormont Vail or any Cotton O’Neil location to facilitate the safest care.  An auto attendant at that number will provide prompts to help navigate callers to the appropriate services.  Individuals who are feeling ill and have COVID-19-like symptoms will want to select “1” from the main menu and “4” to speak with a nurse who will triage them to determine next steps. Calls are answered in the order they are received.

Dear Community Partners,

Convalescent plasma is the most promising treatment available now for hospitalized patients with COVID-19, says Dr. Hassan Taha, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Taha was instrumental in getting Stormont Vail involved in the Mayo Clinic’s COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Expanded Access Program.

“I feel like we are on the right track providing such a promising treatment to our community in Kansas,” says Dr. Taha.

Stormont Vail recently enrolled our 56th hospitalized patient with COVID-19 in the Mayo COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Expanded Access Program (EAP). In the past week, Mayo Clinic announced its intention to discontinue enrollment in the EAP as the Food and Drug Administration authorized an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of convalescent plasma. What that means for our patients who are ill with COVID-19, is that convalescent plasma, if appropriate, continues to be a treatment option.

The FDA has authority to issue Emergency Use Authorizations in response to public health threats from chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense and can allow unapproved medical products to be used to treat serious or life-threatening diseases such as COVID-19.  Convalescent plasma continues to be evaluated in traditional clinical trials, but it is now more widely available to patients in parallel with the research process.

“Fifty-six is a great number. However, I hope we use this resource available to us more frequently and provide this promising treatment to those with life threatening disease or those at risk for life threatening disease,” Dr. Taha said. Our patients who received the treatment reported few adverse reactions, and those who received it early experienced fast and quick recoveries, he added.

A retrospective analysis released by the Mayo Clinic, provided to the FDA prior to the change to Emergency Use Authorization, indicated convalescent plasma signals of efficacy are associated with reduced COVID-19 mortality. It has been linked to reduced seven-day mortality for patients infused within three days of COVID-19 diagnosis. Similar trends were reported at 30-day mortality. This analysis included 35,000 patients. Dr. Taha said our patients are included in this analysis.

Dr. Taha says that the criteria for hospitalized patients to receive convalescent plasma is simple.

  • Those at risk of developing severe disease, based on age and underlying comorbid conditions.
  • Those with severe life threatening disease.

He said the current data and literature indicates that most benefit is when plasma is transfused within three days of diagnosis. He notes those at Stormont Vail who improved and responded the best were patients who received the treatment early in their illness.

Several of our first patients hospitalized for COVID-19 who received the convalescent plasma treatment later donated plasma after their recovery, Dr. Taha said.  Patients who have recovered from COVID-19, whether hospitalized or with less severe symptoms, can potentially donate plasma and are encouraged to contact the Community Blood Center of Kansas at (816) 968-4081 or visit savealifenow.org.

Here are today’s updates:

 

Team Member Health

We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 32 17 65
Providers 4 1 5
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

 

We together,

Dr. K

CLARIFICATION:
If people are experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath or two or more of these COVID-19-like symptoms: headache, fatigue or body aches, loss of taste or smell, nausea or diarrhea, sore throat, chills, congestion or pink eye, use our Call Before You Go line at (785) 354-6000 prior to visiting Stormont Vail or any Cotton O’Neil location to facilitate the safest care.  An auto attendant at that number will provide prompts to help navigate callers to the appropriate services.  Individuals who are feeling ill and have COVID-19-like symptoms will want to select “1” from the main menu and “4” to speak with a nurse who will triage them to determine next steps. Calls are answered in the order they are received.

Dear Community Partners,

Bringing health care services closer to home has long been a practice of Stormont Vail Health. Over the years, we have developed a network of primary care clinics across our region to serve patients in their own communities. We also have many specialists who provide care through those clinics and other regional locations as well.

With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting the region, an initiative to create respiratory clinics for communities outside of Topeka was a natural move, says Dr. Mark Thomas, Interim Vice President, Primary Care.

“This is being done for patient convenience,” says Dr. Thomas. “Patients can now get testing and evaluation closer to home without the need to drive to Topeka. We are also setting up these respiratory clinics in anticipation of more people needing testing in the fall and winter months and as the schools reopen.”

The respiratory clinics are for patients who are exhibiting respiratory or COVID-19-like symptoms. They keep those patients separate from non-respiratory patients as a way to reduce the risk of exposing other patients and team members.

“We can isolate and thus protect non-respiratory patients from exposure,” says Dr. Thomas. “We are able to get the respiratory patients in quickly because there are dedicated spots on the schedule each day to be used for these types of visits.”

Our respiratory clinics collect specimens for COVID-19 testing. Soon these clinics will be equipped with point-of-care testing. This means that the tests will be run at the clinic with the results available during the timeframe of the visit.

The first respiratory clinic opened by Stormont Vail is at Cotton O’Neil North, 4505 N.W. Fielding Road. We have also opened respiratory clinics in Manhattan, Wamego and Osage City. In addition, there are plans to develop a Topeka clinic dedicated to pediatric patients, and expand adult respiratory clinic capacity later, if needed.

The respiratory clinics are appointment only. Individuals who are feeling ill and have COVID-19-like symptoms can utilize Stormont Vail’s Call Before You Go line at (785) 354-6000. They should select “1” from the main menu then “4” to speak with a nurse who will assist them in determining the next steps.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Honors for Stormont Vail Team Members
  • Door Screeners Needed
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

 

Honors for Stormont Vail Team Members

Two of our team members are being recognized as Topeka’s 20 Under 40 2020 honorees.

Chad Yeager, RN, Administrative Director of Performance Improvement and Quality, and Rachel Ault, Nurse Manager, Pediatrics, Pediatric Intensive Care, Young Adult Center and Child Life, were notified Thursday that they will be recognized at the 11th annual 20 Under 40 banquet Nov. 12. We are extremely proud of both of these team members.

Chad helps Stormont Vail deliver care in the most effective and efficient ways possible to create a healthier community. He leads improvement efforts across the system, including a redesign of primary care models to place focus on preventative care and addressing social determinants of health. He has been very involved in our organization’s response to COVID-19. Chad is co-founder of The Fuse Foundation, an organization that provides opportunities for social networking, support and education for young adults with neuromuscular diseases. Chad serves on the Marian Dental Clinic board.

Rachel impacts the health of children in the region by advocating for their needs as inpatients. She works on initiatives to support families facing medical challenges. She is a member of the Society of Pediatric Nurses, a Pediatric Advanced Life Support Instructor, and chairs the Stormont Vail Research & Evidence Based Practice Council. She led the effort to help Stormont Vail become a Certified Safe Sleep Hospital. Rachel is co-coordinator of the Safe Kids Shawnee County coalition, serves on the Healthy Babies workgroup for Heartland Healthy Neighborhoods and is a certified child passenger safety technician.

Door Screeners Needed

There several opportunities for team members to have approved overtime to fill vacancies in the door screener role at the hospital or clinic. If you interested, please contact Sarah Elsen at (785) 354-6084 or sarah.elsen@stormontvail.org.

Team Member Health

We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 40 18 61
Providers 1 1 5
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

 

We together,

Dr. K

CLARIFICATION:
If people are experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath or two or more of these COVID-19-like symptoms: headache, fatigue or body aches, loss of taste or smell, nausea or diarrhea, sore throat, chills, congestion or pink eye, use our Call Before You Go line at (785) 354-6000 prior to visiting Stormont Vail or any Cotton O’Neil location to facilitate the safest care.  An auto attendant at that number will provide prompts to help navigate callers to the appropriate services.  Individuals who are feeling ill and have COVID-19-like symptoms will want to select “1” from the main menu and “4” to speak with a nurse who will triage them to determine next steps. Calls are answered in the order they are received.

Dear Community Partners,

Soon after the pandemic reached our region in March, we launched an aggressive telehealth program to facilitate new ways for patients to connect with their primary care and specialty providers. This is accomplished through online and telephone appointments.

We continue to refine these methods to provide safe and convenient connections for our patients and our team. Over the past several weeks, we have seen steady increases in the use of telehealth.  The scorecard indicates we had 960 telehealth visits last week. That compares to 896 and 886 visits during the two weeks prior.  Monday through Wednesday this week we have had 605 telehealth appointments – a good sign that we are transforming the way we provide healthcare in appropriate situations.

Here is today’s COVID-19 scorecard: English | Spanish.

We together,

Dr. K

CLARIFICATION:
If people are experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath or two or more of these COVID-19-like symptoms: headache, fatigue or body aches, loss of taste or smell, nausea or diarrhea, sore throat, chills, congestion or pink eye, use our Call Before You Go line at (785) 354-6000 prior to visiting Stormont Vail or any Cotton O’Neil location to facilitate the safest care.  An auto attendant at that number will provide prompts to help navigate callers to the appropriate services.  Individuals who are feeling ill and have COVID-19-like symptoms will want to select “1” from the main menu and “4” to speak with a nurse who will triage them to determine next steps. Calls are answered in the order they are received.

Dear Community Partners,

With community spread of the COVID-19 virus in our region, it’s important to practice measures to keep you and others from getting infected. Wear a facemask in public, wash your hands frequently, social distance by at least six feet, and avoid crowded situations.

If people are experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath or two or more of these COVID-19-like symptoms: headache, fatigue or body aches, loss of taste or smell, nausea or diarrhea, sore throat, chills, congestion or pink eye, use our Call Before You Go line at (785) 354-6000 prior to visiting Stormont Vail or any Cotton O’Neil location to facilitate the safest care.  An auto attendant at that number will provide prompts to help navigate callers to the appropriate services.  Individuals who are experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms will want to press “3” and stay on the line. Calls will be answered in the order they are received.

Here is today’s COVID-19 scorecard: English | Spanish.

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

Keeping a finger on the pulse of our organization’s culture is a group of team members called the Cultural Ambassadors. This group meets monthly to discuss how we can create and maintain an environment that upholds our Small Moments culture and supports our team members in their work.

Alison Wilson, Administrative Director of our Mother and Child Services, has been a Cultural Ambassador since the committee was started. This year she is serving as chair. “Our goal is to stay in touch with our team members and to encourage the embodiment of our Small Moments culture,” Alison says.

For most of us, living and working in a pandemic has been challenging. Maintaining a supportive culture for our team members and following the tenets that define our culture has also been challenging.

Alison says the Cultural Ambassadors are exploring ways to better connect and communicate with all team members, especially as more team members are working remotely. She said remote work has its unique challenges. “We want to make sure that communication is appropriate and timely,” she said.

Cultural Ambassadors are also working to address anxieties that impact the team members in the workplace, such as those who are trying to balance remote learning or a new school situation for their children, while they, the parent, go to work.

“During the pandemic we have had to focus more on our basic needs,” Alison says, noting that the temporary shutdown of schools and businesses early on, as well as shortages of certain products and services in the community touched a lot of team members. “We want to make sure that all team members feel like they are safe at work and feel safe when they go home and take care of their families,” she says.

Cultural Ambassadors serve four-year terms. Alison says the committee brings together individuals from across the organization and gives them an opportunity to brainstorm and find ways to build our team and support each other.  There will be openings for two physician members when Dr. Mehmood Hashmi and Dr. Babak Marefat will complete their terms at the end of this fiscal year.

 

Our Tenets:

  • Together we treat e​very patient, visitor, and team member with compassion and dignity.
  • Together we are aware of our surroundings and will purposefully connect by guiding others to their destination, making eye contact and greeting everyone with a smile.
  • Together we own patient safety and the patient experience. We provide safe, high-quality care with a kind and generous spirit.
  • Together we are sensitive to privacy and confidentiality in our conversations and use of technology.
  • Together we honor our heritage, embrace diversity, and work every day to improve the health of our community.​

Current Cultural Ambassadors are:

Kelly Baker, Marketing                                                     Kim Brown, Learning & Talent Development

Tyler Dieker, Cancer Center                                            Blake Edwards, Heart Center

Tara Harding, RN, Internal Medicine                           Mehmood Hashmi, M.D., Cancer Center

Austin Jackson, Planning                                                Kari Kelly, Employee Relations/Health & Compensation

Rob Kenagy, M.D., CEO                                                   Jackie Koch, RN, 3 /4 Pavilion

Marcy Lechner, Provider Rec & Support Svs              Babak Marefat, M.D., Ophthalmology

Shelly McMaster, RN, Care Transformation               Enedina Patch, RN, Infection Prevention

Carol Perry, RN, Administration                                   Alex Rojas, Nutritional Services

Paula Sanders, RN, Rheumatology                               Heather Schimmel, Revenue Cycle

Darlene Stone, Administration                                      Kirwin Watson, Information Systems

Julia Wiebler, PCMH                                                       Alison Wilson, Mother-Child Services, chair

Renea Wilson, RN, Patient Experience

 

Here are today’s updates:

  • Team Member Health

 

Team Member Health

We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

  Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 39 18 60
Providers 0 0 5
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

Back to school is usually full of excitement as the door opens to a new academic year. It is a fresh start to learning. Children, especially the younger ones, are excited to find out who will be their teacher.

This year with the pandemic, everything is changed. School as we have known it is gone. Children may be doing online school, home schooling, in-person classes modified with safety features, or a hybrid style. Teaching may be virtual, managed by family members or friends, through extended day care programs, or teachers in school buildings. Each family has to decide what is best for their circumstances.

We should support our children – kindergarten to college – who are starting school in this unusual environment. Learning and providing knowledge about all the fascinating topics in the world is important in the development of our children. They are the adults of tomorrow. They are our future.

When I was in fourth grade, my teacher Mrs. Hamler encouraged a small group of us to read more advanced books, many with science and mystery focus. This experience contributed to my lifelong love of reading, and these genres.

Those who work in my area at Stormont Vail recently shared our favorite teacher memories. I was struck by how many people mentioned teachers because of their “encouragement” or “investment” in them as individuals. “Mr. See listened and shaped my view on science.”  “Mrs. Kinnan found a way to encourage each of us in our own way.”

Teachers have a special way of making their students feel special. They are so influential to young minds and can be the impetus to career choices and to the love of lifelong pursuits, such as reading or writing. Just as for our children, this will be a different kind of school year for all of the teachers as well. We need to support them, support our parents and our educational organizations in having a safe, healthy and successful school year.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Stormont Vail Sponsoring Suicide Prevention Virtual 5K
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

 

Stormont Vail Sponsoring Suicide Prevention Virtual 5K

Stormont Vail Health is the proud sponsor of the 8th annual Shawnee County Suicide Prevention 5K Run/Walk. The event will be virtual and will be Sept. 6-12. With the current stresses upon us, suicide prevention is more critical than ever. SVH has several representatives involved with the coalition. Most all of the donations raised by the coalition goes to provide education on suicide prevention in our community.

With a virtual 5K, participants are encouraged to complete the 5K (or preferred distance) at a location of their choice, alone, with family or within their current social circle. For information, go to Shawnee County Suicide Prevention Coalition’s Facebook page. Registration for $35 or donation only option is available at: https://register.chronotrack.com/r/58826

Even if you can’t financially contribute, you are encouraged to think of one or two people in your life you can reach out to check on. Ask them how they are doing and take some time to genuinely listen. Even though we can’t be physically together now, it is critical that we watch out for each other.

Team Member Health

We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 28 11 59
Providers 1 1 4
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

 

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

Here is today’s COVID-19 scorecard: English | Spanish. We continue to see metrics reflective of community spread of the virus.

If people are experiencing fever, cough, difficulty breathing, chills, sore throat, headache, sudden loss of smell or taste, intestinal distress or any other COVID-19-like symptoms, call our Call Before You Go line at (785) 354-6000 before coming to Stormont Vail or any Cotton O’Neil facility so we can facilitate the safest care.

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

Trauma didn’t shut down with the arrival of the pandemic. Nor has it taken a summer vacation.

When many community services slowed in the early months of the COVID-19 virus in our region, our number of trauma activations remained steady. In June and July, as communities re-opened and summer activities began, we have seen our trauma volumes hit record level.

As an American College of Surgeons verified Level II Trauma Center, the Stormont Vail Trauma Team response is reserved for those with severe injuries likely to require emergent bedside procedures, advanced airway management, blood transfusion, or damage control surgery.  When called to action, the Trauma Response Team is at the bedside within minutes to provide these life-saving interventions. This response team is a part of the overall trauma team that come from multiple disciplines.

Brinton Baker, PA-C, Director of Trauma Services, said this past July we cared for 192 total trauma patients. That compares to Julys of past years: 183 in 2019, 159 in 2018, and 150 in 2017.

Brinton said, “Elderly falls have consistently been the most common injury mechanism cared for at our trauma center, with motor vehicle crashes in the number two spot.  However for the first time in our trauma center’s history we are now treating more injuries from violence than from motor vehicle crashes.”

Pandemic-related stress and social isolation may be contributing to the uptick in injuries.  “People were cooped up, and now with warm weather here, we’re seeing that added stress translate into more injuries,” Brinton says. “The pandemic is affecting mental wellness. We’re seeing more suicides, abuse, assaults, shootings and stabbings. That’s in addition to an already steady volume of motor vehicle, boating and ATV accidents that typically come in the summer months.”

A game changer for our trauma program is we now have two fellowship trained orthopedic traumatologists on staff: Dr. Shaun Steeby, who has been with Stormont Vail since 2015, and Dr. Michael Tilley, who joined the staff in April. Together they have arranged for 24/7 orthopedic trauma coverage, with the continued support of the general orthopedic surgeons. That ensures the region that a specialist in complex fracture management is always available.

In addition, Dr. Wade Stinson, a critical care and trauma surgeon, joined Stormont Vail this week and will provide new resources in caring for our trauma patients in the acute care environment. Dr. Stinson begins seeing patients in September. As our partners in the region become familiar with this expanded coverage, Brinton believes volumes will grow. Our mix of providers also now helps us expand our care to those with pediatric orthopedic injuries.

Another service enhancement has been the development of a trauma follow-up clinic serving our hospitalized trauma patients once they are discharged. The clinic supports patients to ensure they are progressing with their physical healing. Brinton said ultimately the clinic will provide emotional and behavioral health support services in addition to case management/social work assistance.

Injury prevention is also an important aspect of our trauma program. The department has a robust education and injury prevention program with fall prevention initiatives, bicycle helmet education and giveaways, and suicide and violence prevention efforts. The social distancing of the pandemic has paused some of those efforts, but they are being retooled and we are hoping to resume our innovative and safe ways to reach the community to keep injury prevention and awareness at the forefront. Teresa Taylor, RN, the Trauma Prevention Coordinator and Outreach Educator, says a gunlock giveaway event with community partners is planned for Oct. 10, and plans are being made for a drive-through bicycle helmet distribution event this fall.

No one wants to experience the trauma of injury. Thankfully, the Stormont Vail Trauma Team is serving our community around the clock when every second counts.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Stormont Vail Recognized by U.S. News & World Report
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

Stormont Vail Recognized by U.S. News & World Report
For the fifth consecutive year, Stormont Vail Health has been recognized among the best hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Stormont Vail is ranked second in Kansas and achieved the highest rating possible in five procedures or conditions: abnormal aortic aneurysm repair, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart failure, hip replacement and knee replacement. This is great validation of our tremendous team and the exceptional care you provide our patients and families. Thank you.

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 23 11 57
Providers 2 2 3
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

We have experienced a significant increase in our number of COVID-19 positive inpatients over the past week. We went from a low of three inpatients with COVID-19 last Tuesday, Aug. 11, up to 14 this morning.

Dr. Clif Jones, an infectious disease specialist and Vice President of Subspecialty Care, said it’s likely we’ll continue to see fluctuations and increased COVID-19 positive inpatient numbers because of ongoing community transmission.

Community transmission activity can be tracked through the percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19. For individuals being tested through Stormont Vail testing facilities, we’re seeing positivity in the 8 to 9 percent range. The rate was 8.9 percent today. Percent positive rates above 5 percent are predictive of active community transmission.

Our testing positivity rate indicates continued community transmission, and after a few days or weeks some of those positive patients will need hospitalization, notes Dr. Jones. The positivity rate is part of the puzzle in understanding virus transmission. Access to testing is also an important factor in getting people tested, then isolating them if they are positive so they don’t infect others.

Dr. Jones says the pandemic is not behind us and we need to be vigilant in following precautions to slow the spread the infection. This is especially important as schools and universities begin reopening.

  • Wear a facemask.
  • Social distance by six feet.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Avoid crowds.

Here is today’s COVID-19 scorecard: English | Espanol.

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

Supporting patients, families and team members with spiritual care is intertwined in the Stormont Vail Health story. One of our founders was an Episcopal bishop. Through the years, Stormont Vail has encouraged clergy and spiritual providers from many faith groups to tend to the needs of our patients, families and team members.

Today, we provide assistance to people of all faiths and spiritual beliefs as well as those who have no religious or spiritual background. Spirituality may be expressed through beliefs, values, traditions, and practices. Spiritual needs are interwoven with the physical, mental and emotional aspects of each individual.

Explains Chaplain Regan Saoirse: “The Spiritual Care Department works with and has been open to multiple faith traditions. However, we want to demonstrate to the community our commitment to these efforts. By being more open about our acceptance and inclusion of many faiths, we invite those who may feel excluded to be a part of our Stormont Vail community and we emulate our Stormont Vail values that we hold dear. We together.”

The Spiritual Care team at Stormont Vail has re-tooled and expanded how they reach those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. The team can be reached from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and is on call weekends and holidays. Prayer requests may be submitted on the Spiritual Care department. They also provide Care for the Caregiver one-on-one visits or group visits, either in-person or via Skype.

The Chapel on the first floor of the South Tower is an interfaith chapel inclusive of all religions, according to Renea Wilson, Director of Patient Experience and Spiritual Care. A Sacred Space has been created just to the south (or left) of the chapel.  Weekly meditations take place there from noon to 12:30 p.m. each Wednesday. Muslim Prayer is in the Sacred Space from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Fridays.

Outpatient consults are now available from Spiritual Care. These consults most often are one to three visits, 15 to 20 minutes long and can be in person, by video or by phone. Families can also request a Spiritual Care consult.

We very much appreciate our Spiritual Care team. They are integral to the care we provide to our patients and families each day, and help meet the spiritual needs of our team members.

 

Here are today’s updates:

  • Stormont Vail Showcased in Mayo Clinic Care Network Booklet
  • Wanted: Teachers or Elementary Ed Students
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

Stormont Vail Showcased in Mayo Clinic Care Network Booklet

A collaboration between Stormont Vail Health and the Mayo Clinic Care Network team to assess our cardiothoracic surgery program was showcased as a success story in a recent booklet published by Mayo Clinic. Stormont Vail has been a member of the network for six years.

Four Mayo Clinic surgical subject matter experts joined the Stormont Vail team last year to do a thorough analysis and review of our cardiothoracic surgical services.  Recommendations were made following the assessment. Dr. Kevin Dishman, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, was quoted in the article as saying the collaboration with Mayo “set the stage for a successful transformation” and we are moving forward on some of the recommendations.

 

Wanted: Teachers or Elementary Ed Students

We are seeking school teachers or elementary education students who may be interested in paid full-time or part-time opportunities to support our school age program at Building Blocks Child Care Center. Building Blocks is owned by Stormont Vail and is open Monday through Friday. If you are interested, please contact Building Blocks at (785) 232-0441.

Team Member Health

We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 7 6 57
Providers 1 1 3
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

The guidance to slow COVID-19 transmission sometimes feels like a scene from the movie Groundhog Day when the TV weatherman played by Bill Murray finds himself living the same day over and over.

Ways to prevent the spread of the virus remain the same and the repetition should be practiced every day until we are through this pandemic:

Wear your facemask.

Social distance.

Wash your hands.

Avoid crowded areas.

 

Here is today’s COVID-19 scorecard: English | Espanol.

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

You’ve heard the phrase about “finding a needle in a haystack” when you’re searching for something that’s difficult to locate. Our Supply Chain Department has had that experience over the past months as team members worked to get us the proper personal protective equipment to safely provide care during this pandemic.

When the COVID-19 virus first entered our region, it was already spreading on both coasts. Supply companies were struggling to keep up with the demand and some placed customers on limited allocations. The characteristics of the virus were still being identified at the time and recommendations for PPE were continually changing. This variation made it difficult to stay stocked with the appropriate gowns, masks and other supplies. Adding to the difficult situation, many of these supplies came from China where manufacturing was shut down because of the pandemic.

Kirt Leyda, Director of Supply Chain for Stormont Vail, said that because we had a strong relationship with our distributor, we were able to get access to most supplies and maintain many of our allocations. During this process, we also created a lengthier list of substitute products and added new vendors to help us source needed products.

We began tracking our critical PPE supplies daily using a seven day rolling usage average, which we continue to monitor. Critical supplies include medical rated facemasks, gowns, gloves, face shields, goggles and N95 respirators. Prior to the pandemic we maintained a seven to 10 day supply of critical supplies. We now stock a 90-day supply of critical PPE. Kirt says that the 90-day stock also includes 20 percent growth, which mathematically means we are stocking 108 days of supplies.

What are supply lessons learned from this pandemic experience?

  • We need to continue work on the diversification of supply sources.
  • We need to continue identifying substitute products.
  • We have tremendous community support. The many donations of cloth masks and N95s given by members of the community early on helped us when we were unable to obtain those supplies to keep our team members and patients safe.

Our Supply Chain team stand amongst the vast number of extraordinary team members who have together worked to overcome the challenges presented to us by the pandemic. They work side by side with our PPE Committee to determine the appropriate supplies for each situation. They have provided expertise to secure the appropriate supplies. They are tenacious in their search for supplies and new vendor sources. Thank you to this part of our team for their many vital contributions.

Our gratitude for the community also remains strong today as we look back and recall how many individuals and groups stepped up with donations when they were most needed. We together.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Wamego Respiratory Clinic Opens
  • Valet Service at East Door of 901 Garfield
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English and Spanish

Wamego Respiratory Clinic Opens

On Monday, we opened a respiratory clinic in a separate space of the Cotton O’Neil Wamego clinic. This is the third respiratory clinic in our system. The others are at Cotton O’Neil Manhattan and Cotton O’Neil North at 4505 N.W. Fielding Road.

We created these clinics specifically to see patients with any respiratory symptoms or COVID-19 like symptoms (fever, shortness of breath, respiratory issues, etc.) and to keep them separated from other patients as a way to reduce the spread of viruses. The Call Before You Go line is (785) 354-6000.

Valet Service at East Door of 901 Garfield

We began offering valet services for patients at the East Door of the Cotton O’Neil Clinic at 901 S.W. Garfield on Monday. Please let your patients and families know about this new service, available 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday (excluding holidays). In addition to this location, valet service is available at the hospital’s Main Entrance, the Robert O’Neil Building at 823 S.W. Mulvane, and the Cotton O’Neil Heart Center.

Team Member Health

We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 8 4 56
Providers 1 1 3
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

 

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

You’ve probably heard of pandemic gardening trend taking root. This started early in the COVID-19 pandemic when shutdowns were occurring in many communities. With limited access to grocery stores, people took up gardening in containers or in their yards.

From a healthy lifestyles perspective, interest in gardening is a benefit of the pandemic. Gardening is known to have a positive impact on mental health and moods, encourages movement and physical fitness, promotes healthier food choices and provides a sense of pride and pleasure.

Personally, I find the time I spend in my garden very regenerative. It is grounding and provides time to reflect. It makes me appreciate our Kansas ancestors who sustained themselves on what they grew.  Kansans are fortunate to experience four seasons and live in a region that gives us ample space to grow gardens and crops.

The idea of gardening in tough times isn’t new. During World War I and II, people were encouraged to grow victory gardens of fruits and vegetables in their own yards and public areas. While life in a pandemic is different, our priorities in trying times often shift to the basics. Growing your own food is basic.

I appreciate this quote from the English poet Alfred Austin: “The glory of gardening; hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.”

It’s not too late to put in a fall garden in Kansas. Consider some “cool season” vegetables like lettuces, spinach, carrots or radishes. Visit a farmer’s market this weekend and support your local produce growers. We can all use some nourishment at this time – for body and soul. We together.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Stormont Vail Recognized for Newborn Screening
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English and Spanish

Stormont Vail Recognized for Newborn Screening
Stormont Vail Health has been recognized as a “Best of the Best in Metabolic and Genetic Newborn Screening” for 2019 by the Kansas Hospital Association, Kansas Midwives Alliance and the Kansas Newborn Screening Program. This is a new recognition program for hospitals, facilities and midwives who provide newborn screening services.

This is a wonderful recognition of our team, from the phlebotomist and others in our Laboratory to our team members in Maternal Child areas who help with newborn screening: Birthplace, Breastfeeding Clinic and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Thank you for taking such great care of our littlest patients!

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 10 8 52
Providers 1 0 3
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

 

We together,
Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

Regardless of what type of school option is selected for the coming year, there’s no doubt the school year will be a challenge for many families. The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting all areas of our lives.

The Mayo Clinic provides these back-to-school recommendations:

  • Practice safe distancing. Stay at least six feet apart, even when wearing a facemask. When eating in the cafeteria without a mask, social distancing is even more important.
  • Wear a mask. Also have a clean backup mask. Label masks with your child’s name. Teach children to never share or trade masks.
  • Clean your hands frequently. Use soap and water or hand sanitizer.
  • Disinfect surfaces routinely, especially frequently touched areas like light switches, door handles, faucets and keyboards.
  • Perform symptom self-checks. Stay home if you are sick.

 

Here is today’s COVID-19 scorecard: english | espanol​. The percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 was at 6.6 percent, which is continuing a downward trend. This metric is a seven day average with four-day waiting period built into it to ensure the capture of all results. That compares to a high of 11.5 percent on July 11.

We together,

Dr. K

 

 

Dear Community Partners,

Our hearts are heavy today as we see the devastation in Beirut from the massive explosion that rocked Lebanon’s capital city. Please let your teammates who have family and friends in Lebanon know that they are in our thoughts.

The year 2020 has been a year of challenges – all layered on a global pandemic. It has also been a year of small (and large) acts of kindness, and showing respect and care for others. Take time to savor the small moments. Share virtual hugs.

Here is today’s COVID-19 scorecard.
English / Espanol

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

When the COVID-19 virus first entered our region, we experienced a dramatic slowdown in patients seeking emergent care in our Emergency Department. Many EDs across the region and country also reported the same trend, as noted in an article published Monday in the JAMA Internal Medicine. Some people appeared to stay home and not seek medical care because of their fear of contracting the virus. That was very concerning.

We have learned much about the virus since that time and have put into place many safety initiatives in our Emergency Department. In June and July, we returned to 83% of our regular patient volumes.

However, we are now caring for ED patients with a much higher acuity, meaning they are more critically ill. ED patients are needing more care and procedures for their conditions. We are admitting an average of 29% of our ED patients, and on some days as many as 40%. That compares to about 23% of ED patients being admitted prior to COVID-19.

There are a couple of scenarios about why this may be occurring. First, it may be people are seeking out the appropriate level of care. They may be receiving medical services from our urgent care and acute respiratory care clinics instead of emergency care. Second, there still may be people in the community who fear coming to the hospital for emergent conditions and hold off until their condition worsens.

Knowing what to do in a medical situation is sometimes hard to determine. If you are unsure of what level of care you need, you can call our nurse information line, Health Connections, at (785) 354-5225, contact your primary care provider or visit one of our three urgent care locations.  Cotton O’Neil Express Care offers services with extended hours. Express Care provides care for minor illnesses or injuries that can’t be immediately treated by one’s own doctor or are not severe enough for an emergency room visit.

Our Emergency Department is open 24/7 to care for emergent situations. If you believe you’re having a life-threatening medical emergency - such as chest pain, stroke, shortness of breath, loss of consciousness or a severe injury – call 911 or go to the emergency room.

Our Emergency Department has made many changes to ensure that patients and team members are safe and that care is always available. Our emergency team has done an amazing job through these past few months and is to be commended for the high level of care they provide our community.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Jana Tenbrink Honored
  • SVH Partnership with the 190th Air Refueling Wing
  • Make Your Vote Count!
  • Panda Express Supports Children’s Miracle Network
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English and Spanish

Jana Tenbrink Honored
Jana Tenbrink, BSN, RN, Nurse Manager, Pavilion Critical Care Unit and Intermediate Care, will be honored along with 31 other women as part of the YWCA Northeast Kansas’ 32nd Annual Woman of Excellence Awards. A virtual ceremony will be 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16. In addition to her work in the high acuity patient care departments, Jana manages the Rapid Response Team nurses in the Patient Flow Department and she is the key contact for Midwest Transplant Network. In 2018, she advocated to senior leadership and the Board of Directors to move forward in creating a recognition for all organ donors with an “Honor Walk.” Jana most recently has been involved in initiatives to help us provide care for patients who are COVID-19 positive.

SVH Partnership with the 190th Air Refueling wing
Stormont Vail recently signed an agreement of partnership with the 190th Air Refueling Wing of the Kansas Air National Guard. This continues a relationship between the two organizations in sharing training and educational resources. Twenty-eight individuals from the 190th are conducting their annual training at Stormont Vail, beginning Monday and concluding Aug. 12. There is didactic training the first week and concurrently will include bedside patient care in the intensive care units, Emergency Department and Surgery. The group will also visit IV Therapy, Respiratory Therapy and Rapid Response. These types of bedside experiences will continue under our agreement with the 190th.

Make Your Vote Count!
Today is the primary election in Kansas. Please exercise your right to vote. The polls are open until 7 p.m.

Panda Express Supports Children’s Miracle Network
On Saturday, Aug. 8, Panda Express will donate 28% of online sales to children’s health charities, including Children’s Miracle Network at Stormont Vail. Half of the donation goes to the Children’s Miracle Network and the other half goes to their foundation that supports other children’s charities.

Supporters need to use promo code PandaCaresDay to have Panda Express make the donation. Proceeds from the online sales in Topeka, Emporia and both Manhattan Panda Express restaurants benefit pediatric patients at Stormont Vail Health.

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 12 12 47
Providers 1 1
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

In this tumultuous year of the pandemic, civil unrest, and the uncertainty of what tomorrow will bring, it’s important to find time for reflection.

The past week has been filled with stories and tributes about the late Congressman John Lewis. He was known as a person who fought for freedom, equality and human rights throughout his 80 years. He has an amazing legacy of civil rights leadership. I encourage you to reflect on how he impacted our world and to learn more about him.

John Lewis had humble beginnings. He was the son of a sharecroppers, the third of 10 children. As a child, he experienced racism and segregation when he and his family went to town from their Pike County, Ala., farm.

In 1961, Lewis became one of the 13 original Freedom Riders, challenging segregation on public transportation. The non-violent Freedom Riders were beaten, arrested and taken to jail at times. Lewis was also one of the leaders to organize the 1963 March on Washington when Dr. Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. In 1965, Lewis led marches from Selma, Ala.to Montgomery, Ala.  to demonstrate the need for equal voting rights.

Elected to Congress in 1986 from Georgia’s 5th District, Lewis served 17 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. He has been described as the “conscience of Congress.”

John Lewis has been lauded and honored for the many ways he worked to protect human rights and secure civil liberties. Among his honors are two with Kansas connections. He received the 2007 Dole Leadership Prize from the Dole Institute of Politics in Lawrence for his courageous leadership in the Civil Rights movement and commitment to creating positive change through the political system.

In 2017, Lewis’s book, “March: Book Three,” received the Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature. The late Mike Printz, for whom the award is named, was a beloved librarian at Topeka West High School known for discovering and promoting quality books for young adults. The award is sponsored by Booklist, a publication of the American Library Association.

Lewis’s “March” trilogy is an autobiographical account. It has been reported that Lewis created the trilogy as a way to help young people understand the history of the Civil Rights Movement through his eyes. All of us should try viewing the world through a different lens to gain greater understanding of all people and their experiences. We together.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Exercise Your Right to Vote
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English and Spanish

Exercise Your Right to Vote
Elections matter, even in times of chaos created by COVID-19. The outcome of every election, whether it local, state or federal, affects everything in our lives from the taxes we pay, to the food we eat, to whether funding is available to take care of our communities during the current pandemic. Please consider exercising your right to vote during the primary election on Aug. 4.

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 17 16 43
Providers 0 0 2
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,
Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

Do your part.
Mask up.

Wash your hands.
Social distance six feet from others.
Avoid crowds.

Attached is today’s COVID-19 scorecards for english and spanish.

We together,
Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

Taking precautions and monitoring of symptoms is extremely important to our organization and to our community in these pandemic times. Stormont Vail Health has made numerous changes in the past several months to ensure that our patients, visitors and team members are in a safe environment to receive and provide care.

We are now embarking on another safety initiative that we believe will efficiently screen our team members for temperature and symptoms of illness prior to starting their work day. Beginning this week, equipment is being installed at key entrances and a “soft roll out” will begin Aug. 3.

We will use thermal graphic cameras in high volume work areas so team members can move through the process expediently. In lower traffic work areas, there will be a different process with individual temperature checks.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, any team member with a temperature above 100.4 degrees or having COVID-19-like symptoms is required to stay at home and not report to work. This protocol has been in place since the virus entered our region.

We strive to keep patients, visitors and team members safe and to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Everyone in our facilities must wear a facemask, and we strongly encourage social distancing and frequent handwashing.

Here are today’s updates:

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 19 18 41
Providers 0 0 2
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

Just as the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the world, it has also impacted our daily routines. For some that means a struggle to eat healthy, maintain physical activity and keep stress in check. The result: The Quarantine 15. Weight gain.

“The Quarantine 15 is real because there’s so much out of our control. Food is the one thing that we can control,” says Stephanie Sisk, APRN, WHNP-BC, CSOWM, Program Manager and Bariatric Surgery Coordinator at the Cotton O’Neil Weight Management Center.

During the early months of the pandemic as people isolated and businesses closed, people stocked up on non-perishable, higher carbohydrate foods - junk food for the kids at home.

“They had access to all this food, were stuck at home and had the added stress of what’s going on in the world? Food became a source of comfort to us,” she says.

The Weight Management Center has stayed connected to patients through these pandemic months, converting to telehealth appointments when in-person clinic wasn’t feasible. All of the center’s education has been converted to online modules to support patients, making it accessible and convenient for people who may be dealing with schedule changes and children at home.

“We have had more people reaching out for our services,” says Stephanie. In part, she believes people have more time to focus on getting healthier. They have also learned that certain health conditions, such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes, can place people at higher risk for complications from COVID-19.

Stephanie says some people have seen weight gains of five to 30 pounds over the past several months. “All of that impacts your health. It’s time to hit pause and get back to those healthy habits.” Some tips:

  • Drink 64 ounces of water a day.
  • Eat three servings of vegetables a day, and one serving of fruit.
  • Do something active for 30 minutes a day.

On a related note, this is a great time to acknowledge the hard work of our interdisciplinary team that supports our bariatric surgery program – the bariatric surgeons, Weight Management Center, Endocrinology and dietitians. Last week we completed our 100th bariatric surgery. We started the program in June 2018. This is a tremendous milestone and one that serves the needs of the community. Thank you.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Myths About Masks
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English and Spanish

Myths About Masks
Ever think there that myths about facemasks might be why people shy away from wearing them? Stormont Vail’s Chief Medical Quality Officer, Dr. Sridevi Donepudi, recently did an interview with KSNT to bust some of those myths and tell the community how mask wearing can help slow the spread of COVID-19. Here’s a link to the interview:

https://mms.tveyes.com/MediaCenterPlayer.aspx?u=aHR0cDovL21lZGlhY2VudGVyLnR2ZXllcy5jb20vZG93bmxvYWRnYXRld2F5LmFzcHg%2FVXNlcklEPTgyNTQ3OCZNRElEPTEzNTExNDc4Jk1EU2VlZD00MzM4JlR5cGU9TWVkaWE%3D

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 21 16 40
Providers 0 0 2
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

 

Here is today’s COVID-19 scorecard. We continue to see evidence of community spread of the virus. This includes increased volumes to our Call Before You Go phone line. If people are experiencing fever, cough or shortness of breath, they should call (785)354-6000 before coming to the Stormont Vail Emergency Department or any Cotton O’Neil clinic.

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

To help our schools open safely for our students and teachers, we all need to make a concerted effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and state.

There is still time to work toward a safe school year if all of us take the precautions seriously – wearing a facemask, practicing social distancing, washing our hands, avoiding crowds. These are what we know can limit the spread of the virus.

School is going to look different this year. Our educators and school leaders are developing many plans to meet the needs of their students and families. That may be in-person learning, online learning or a hybrid of both. There is no one way that is right as each family must determine what is best for their child(ren) and their situation.

We do know that not having any in-person learning creates a big inconvenience for families with school age children. In addition to giving children the opportunity to gain academic improvement, school is often a place of basic support and safety for youngsters.

I understand the importance of education. I come from a family of teachers. My mother, my wife and my daughter all were, or are, currently professional educators. Teachers make a huge difference in the lives of students. They serve as role models. They open the eyes and minds of their students to the larger world and to lifelong learning. Likewise, spending time with peers is an important part of social development. Beyond academics, schools serve as a support to our children in numerous ways, including providing nutrition, safe space and emotional support.

I like to hope that each of us will do our part to help in this massive undertaking of getting our communities back to school – in whatever fashion is best for students, families and teachers. We need to strongly encourage others to be responsible as well and follow the advice of our public health and infectious disease experts. Each person’s action is twofold – it protects them and it protects others. In this case, we need to do it for our children.  They need the opportunity to have a safe and important educational experience with their peers and teachers. Our kids are counting on us.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Respiratory Clinic and COVID-19 Testing in Manhattan
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English and Spanish

Respiratory Clinic and COVID-19 Testing in Manhattan
We opened a respiratory clinic that provides COVID-19 testing at our Manhattan Clinic, 1133 College Ave., Suite E-110. This new clinic opened Monday. Cotton O’Neil Manhattan is a primary and specialty care clinic. The clinic offers lab, ultrasound, bone density, mammography, CT and nuclear medicine services, as well as adult neurology and cardiology.

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 31 17 35
Providers 0 0 2
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

Sharing today’s COVID-19 scorecard to keep you updated on the metrics of how the COVID-19 virus is impacting our community and healthcare system.

COVID-19 Scorecard: English and Spanish

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

Kevin Sundbye, M.D., has long been an advocate for the vulnerable residents of Kansas Neurological Institute. In the face of a recent COVID-19 outbreak among staff and residents at the facility, Dr. Sundbye has unfailingly supported the KNI staff in mitigating further spread of the virus.

"I have never seen a physician who was more caring and compassionate or more devoted to the care of those with physical disabilities or mental health challenges,” says retired Stormont Vail physician Dr. Ray Lumb. “He (Dr. Sundbye) is an unwavering advocate for their care. He is also truly gifted in his care of the elderly in long term care and demonstrates that exceptional skill at all times including nights and weekends when he is routinely available."

Dr. Sundbye has served as medical director of KNI for about 10 years. He is also the sole physician in the Post-Acute Care department at Stormont Vail Health, working with seven advanced practice registered nurses.

KNI has been in existence since 1960 and is a federally certified and partially federally funded intermediate care facility for individuals with intellectual disability. It is operated by the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services. The adults who live at KNI need 24-hour intensive support from direct support professionals.

In mid-June, it was reported that at least 12 people connected to KNI had tested positive for COVID-19. That included five staff members and seven residents. Health officials at the state and local level responded to help the organization contain the outbreak, and Dr. Sundbye consulted with KNI medical staff as well as local public health officials to develop plans for appropriate care.

Dr. Sundbye is quick to credit Dan Keck, the full-time ARNP at KNI, who he says does a fantastic job and is his partner in the care of KNI residents. “I could not do what I do without him,” says Dr. Sundbye.

Dr. Sundbye has been at the forefront of advocating for the care of KNI residents for years. In 2011, Gov. Sam Brownback proposed closing KNI for budget purposes. At the time, KNI was home to 168 developmentally disabled residents. Dr. Sundbye testified before the Kansas Legislature that moving KNI residents into the community would actually cost the state much more because they would end up in the hospital. He estimated that 75 percent of the residents couldn’t be placed in a skilled nursing or independent living environment because of the level of care needed. The plan to close KNI was ultimately defeated.

One of Stormont Vail’s five tenants is: “Together we honor our heritage, embrace diversity, and work every day to improve the health of our community.” Dr. Sundbye epitomizes this tenant in the steadfast way he has worked to maintain and improve the health of our community members living at KNI, both now and in the past.

Here are today’s updates:

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers. Beginning today, we have refined the COVID Positive categories to show current active cases and recovered cases since April 3.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive Active COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 34 17 34
Providers 0 0 2
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

For today’s communication to the community, I want to share the message that I sent to our Stormont Vail team. As you may have seen in the news, the community spread of the COVID-19 virus is also affecting our staff with exposures that may result in illness and quarantines. We continue to work through the staffing issues this presents – and urge everyone to practice precautions to slow the virus.

As our region and the state of Kansas continue to see increases in COVID-19 positive cases, it’s important to make sure we are taking care of ourselves and our team members. Early on in the pandemic, I encouraged Stormont Vail Health leadership to do a daily “check in” with their team members. It’s important that we communicate regularly, reinforcing the importance of our individual contributions and remind each other to be safe.

Leaders, please continue to check on your teams, and I also encourage each of you to reach out to your peers. It’s important to give each other support. That can be touching base on a regular basis to making sure everyone understands our processes (which have rapidly changed as the COVID-19 pandemic evolved). We don’t have to get through this alone. We are together.

There are many resources available for self-care – some provided by our own team members such as the professional assistance line through Stormont Vail Behavioral Health. I encourage you to seek out resources for support. A listing is available at https://www.stormontvail.org/resource-center/.

The Joint Commission recently provided insights on the importance of promoting psychosocial well-being of health care teams during a crisis. The Commission stated that predominant stressors reported by health care workers during the pandemic have been insufficient resources and lack of personal protective equipment (PPE); fears of infection; feelings of isolation from family; and harassment from the community for enforcing protective measures to reduce the spread of virus.

The Commission also notes that it’s not just those on the front lines who are impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Other team members such as those in environmental services, nutritional services, imaging, respiratory therapy, pharmacy, physical and occupational therapy, security, social work, chaplains and more are also affected.

I urge you to think about our tenant: “Together we treat every patient, visitor and team member with compassion and dignity.” Make a point this week to be considerate of your team members – in your own work area and across the system. Make eye contact and say hello as you pass in the hallway.  Check in with those you haven’t seen for a while by sending an email or making a quick call. Please reach out to other team members and let them know you care and want only the best as we continue to navigate this unusual journey. We together.

Here are today’s updates:

  • What the Metrics Tell Us
  • KSNT Town Hall on Coronavirus this Thursday
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

What the Metrics Tell Us
The increases we saw last week in the number of hospitalizations due to the virus and the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests continue this week. As of this morning, we are caring for 22 COVID-19 positive inpatients, the most we have had since the pandemic reached our region. We have additional inpatients who are “persons under investigation” with COVID-19 tests pending. The numbers indicate a definite trend up in the spread of the virus in our communities.

The rate of positive COVID-19 tests is based on a seven day average of the tests performed during that timeframe. The percentage of positive tests was 10% as of Monday. This does not include tests that are performed on patients prior to procedures. Patients being tested by our team come from 19 Kansas counties, with 73% of them residing in Shawnee County.

As public health officials have stated, and as the metrics indicate, there is community spread of COVID-19 virus in our area. This means we must work together to slow the spread.

  • Wear masks in public areas.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Social distance by at least six feet.
  • Avoid crowds.

KSNT Town Hall on Coronavirus this Thursday

Dr. Kenagy will be participating in a live “Town Hall” on coronavirus on KSNT, Channel 27, from 7 to 8 p.m. this Thursday. Dr. Kenagy will join a panel to provide information about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our community and state. Others participating will be Gov. Laura Kelly, Dr. Gianfranco Pezzino, Shawnee County Health Officer, Mark Tallman, Kansas Association of School Boards, and Matt Pivarnik, Greater Topeka Partnership and who is recovered from COVID-19.

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive2 COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 36 50 31
Providers 0 2 2
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Dear Community Partners,

We are experiencing increases in hospitalized patients for COVID-19 and higher rates of positive test results in our region. Now is the time as individuals and our organization can further step up our stance on precautions to slow the virus.

We are in the business of caring for people. The safety measures we practice protect us, our families and our patients.

Here are precautions you can take in this pandemic:

-Think twice before you travel, particularly to areas that are potential COVID-19 hotspots.

-Always wear a facemask at work and in public settings.

-Avoid crowded locations. Use your good sense. Social distance by at least 6 feet.

 

We know there is community spread of the virus. We have seen a near doubling of the positive rate of COVID-19 tests we have run over the past three weeks. This is very, very concerning. Three weeks ago on June 17, we were at about a 6% positive rate of tests and today we are at 11.1% positive. This is a good metric to monitor: the percentage of tests that are positive (excluding our testing of patients that have no symptoms for pre-procedure clearance) collected by Stormont Vail. This is a seven day moving average. I encourage you to track this on our Stormont Vail COVID-19 scorecard under the COVID-19 Testing area.

This week, we hit our highest daily number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients yet at 15. We also reached the 100 mark of total hospitalized patients with COVID-19 at Stormont Vail since the pandemic entered our region in March. Our COVID-19 drive-through testing clinic, acute respiratory clinic and Call Before You Go line are experiencing their highest volumes to date.

Our organization is busier and caring for higher volumes of patients. We have made huge enhancements in creating safe environments to care for patients and part of that is maintaining a healthy workforce. We are implementing protocol and policy changes to ensure we maintain critical staffing levels and a safe care environment.

Here are today’s updates:

  • All Patients Must Wear Masks
  • A Call for Blood Donations
  • Supporting a Patient and Family
  • Community Resources Online
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English and Spanish

 

All Patients Must Wear Masks

Masks are to be worn by all patients – both in clinic and hospital settings - with very few medical exceptions. For inpatient areas, this is required when there is another person (team member, physician, guest, food services, lab, etc.) in the room. Inpatients should be given a hospital mask for this purpose. Our team members are encouraged to support the adoption of this practice and remind patients and families to wear a mask to for the safety of the patient and others.

A Call for Blood Donations

Community Blood Center (CBC) is the primary supplier of blood products in northeast Kansas and provides Stormont Vail with blood products for our patients. Because of COVID-19, community blood drives were cancelled in April and blood collection occurred only through CBC donor centers, one of which is in Topeka. This resulted in a huge drop in blood donations. As we have reopened our clinics and procedure areas, our need for products from CBC has increased. We are also participating in the convalescent plasma program with CBC. That program encourages recovered COVID-19 patients to donate plasma and provides convalescent plasma therapy to current hospitalized patients.

Blood products donated to CBC stays in our community to benefit our patients. Please consider donating. You may schedule an appointment at www.savealifenow.org. Local businesses and organizations are also encouraged to contact Community Blood Center to host a blood drive. Future blood drive dates for Stormont Vail team members are Sept. 9 and Nov. 25.

 

Supporting a Patient and Family

Please take a few minutes to view a heartwarming story about how our team recently cared for a patient who discovered he had a brain tumor. Team members coordinated a special time for his children to visit him as he prepared for surgery, which was performed by Dr. Kelli Crabtree-Wilson. See the Keatley Family Head Shaving video on our “Now Playing” page:

https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/now-playing/

 

Community Resources Online

A listing of community resources from food pantries to mental health assistance and meditation apps is available on SVnet and Stormont Vail’s external website. This information will be updated regularly as new resources become available to the community and our team members.

https://www.stormontvail.org/resource-center/

Team Member Health

We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

 

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive2 COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 38 47 27
Providers 0 2 2
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

 

Please be vigilant in protecting yourself and others. Individually we must be responsible and consider others’ health as well as our own, collectively we have the power to slow the spread.

Wear your facemask.

Social distance by at least six feet.

Wash your hands.

Avoid crowds.

 

Early on in the pandemic, we together demonstrated our ability to slow the spread and protect each other. While working to facilitate the opening of businesses, supporting those preparing to open schools safely, we must exhibit the best of what it means to be a Kansan. Work together, support each other, set aside all of the politicized nonsense, and do what we know works, individually and collectively. Our economy, our schools, our health are the stakes.

We together,

 

 

Dear Community Partners,

Even in a pandemic, life goes on. For some families that is literal, with a new baby being born. Or two babies. Or three.

At Stormont Vail Health we have recently been experiencing a baby boom of multiples. “Every so often, we have a baby boom like this and we’re lucky enough to have one of those now,” says Alison Wilson, Administrative Director of Maternal-Child Services.

In the past week, we had eight sets of multiples being cared for in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit – one set of triplets and seven sets of twins. That’s 17 babies if you do the math. They numbered ten boys and seven girls.

Our average census for the NICU is 25 babies. Over the past few days, our census has been in the 35 to 36 baby range. Since many of those are siblings to one another, they are able to share a room.

Our team members across the Maternal Child departments often help one another out. In this case, nurses from the Pediatrics, Pediatrics Intensive Care Unit and Birthplace have been shifting to the NICU to take care of these little patients. This teamwork is important as patient volumes fluctuate between the departments.

“It gives the patients and families more continuity because we try to have the same nurse take care of both babies, so they really get to form relationships. The nurses get to be closer to the babies and families,” Alison said.

All of the Maternal Child departments are practicing enhanced safety precautions to keep team members and patients safe in the COVID-19 world. Team members also advise new parents on staying safe once they are discharged, such as increased handwashing, avoiding crowds and staying at home with their newborns. Virtual breastfeeding assistance through the Stormont Vail Breastfeeding Clinic is also available to new moms who want breastfeeding guidance while at home.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Team Member Meditation on Skype
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

Team Member Meditation on Skype
Spiritual Care will be providing meditation for team members from noon to 12:30 p.m. each Wednesday via Skype. Team members and volunteers participating will be led through a series of brief moments of meditation. Chaplains will guide them through three 5-minute guided meditations and three 5-minute quiet meditations with nature sounds. Team members may come and go as able. Whether on a brief break or lunch break, this will provide a pause in the work day to get team members rejuvenated.

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive2 COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 32 40 23
Providers 1 2 2
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

As we near the 4th of July, the federal holiday that commemorates the Declaration of Independence of the United States, we are experiencing enormous change and historic times in our country. This is a time to reflect on our country’s rich history, both the great things we have done and the times we have failed to live up to our ideals.  This is a time to learn from others who have different experiences than ours.  A time to openness to diversity and diverse perspectives.  A time to come together and learn from each other. Communication. Understanding. We together.

In the past, the July 4th holiday has been a day of parades, cookouts, fireworks, and family and friends. This year is different with the COVID-19 pandemic and new epicenters emerging. Counties, regions and states are reporting record numbers of infections. Traditions have been put on hold. Parades are cancelled or modified to reduce large gatherings of people. Social distancing six feet from others helps prevent further spread of the virus.

I encourage all of us to use this day to reflect. Reflect on how we can do our part to curb further spread of the virus. Reflect on how we can truly make a difference for those in our lives, our families, our team members, our patients. Reflect on how we can reach out to others who may have a different perspective or path in life than we have.

This is a time to be together even though we are physically distancing. Be safe.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Future Communications from Dr. Kenagy
  • Parking Garage and Lot Safety
  • Facemask Policy
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

Future Communications from Dr. Kenagy

Beginning the week of July 6, this communication will be provided twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays. This will coincide with the days that the Stormont Vail Incident Command meets to review COVID-19 issues. The next communication will be distributed Tuesday, July 7.

Parking Garage and Lot Safety

Please make sure that you lock your vehicle and don’t leave any valuables in your car. We have seen a recent uptick in incidents in the parking garage and parking lots.

Facemask Policy
Stormont Vail Health is committed to the requirement that all team members, patients and visitors are wearing facemasks when they are in Stormont Vail facilities. Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly issued a statewide order earlier this week that requires Kansans to wear facemasks in public spaces. The governor’s requirement takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday.

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive2 COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 23 33 22
Providers 2 2 1
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

As much as we may be feeling weary of COVID-19 precautions and guidelines – this is not the time to let down your guard. The virus is spreading in our communities, our region and our state. That means safety precautions should now be followed more than ever.

Dr. Clif Jones, our infectious disease specialist and Vice President of Subspecialty Services who has been a key advisor on COVID-19, told our team members: “Be vigilant and set a positive example not only at work but in public settings. We are all responsible for protecting each other and our patients and visitors in the hospital. This also requires us to protect ourselves and our families when we are in the community. Wearing face masks and maintaining social distance have been proven to be effective in decreasing the risk of transmission.”

By following precautions you are showing others that you care about them. You are a role model for practicing safe guidelines in the midst of a pandemic. You are making our community a safer place.

At Stormont Vail Health, our team members working in areas that require personal protective equipment are trained to use it appropriately. That lets our patients know we care about them and we are committed to providing a safe place to receive care.

We are also practicing social distancing. We hold some meetings virtually. If we do meet in person, we use social distancing at six feet apart. Need some help with knowing what six feet really is? Get a visual for yourself. Six feet is two shopping carts end to end, it’s the width of a car, two Golden Retrievers standing nose to tail, a bicycle, a kayak or a pool noodle. We ask our team to hold others accountable when they see them getting too close – it’s for everyone’s protection. Help educate others.

The Stormont Vail team is more than 5,000-strong. We strive to be the example of following safety precautions both at work and in the community. Take care of each other.  We together.

  • Wear a mask whenever you are in a public setting.
  • Social distance from others by at least six feet.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes.

Here are today’s updates:

Team Member Health

We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive2 COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 9 29 21
Providers 1 1 1
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

The month of June is LGBTQ Pride Month, a time to celebrate and recognize the influence that the LGBTQ population has in our communities and in the world. This is a time to recognize the performance and contributions of these individuals and community in spite of the struggles and biases of others they have endured.

Under our umbrella of “We Together” at Stormont Vail, we stand strong and support our team members, each of us, each individual.

Each person brings a unique perspective and experience to our whole. Together we seek to appreciate and involve diverse voices. We gain a fuller understanding and better serve our community as our together perspective is more inclusive and diverse.

I recently learned that the rainbow flag that signifies support for LGBTQ equality and pride was created by a Kansan. Gilbert Baker was born in Chanute and grew up in Parsons. Soon after high school graduation, Baker left Kansas because he didn’t feel accepted.

It was in 1978 that Baker, a visual artist and social justice activist living in San Francisco, was asked to create a symbol for the growing gay rights movement. He created the rainbow flag. He never dreamed it would become what it did. The rainbow flag is now flown all over the world as a symbol of LGBTQ diversity and inclusiveness. The colors of the rainbow flag have illuminated landmarks from the White House to the Eiffel Tower. Gilbert Baker died at his New York City home in 2017, at the age of 65.

As the world celebrates LGBTQ Pride Month, we also celebrate the LGBTQ community closer to home. We can also celebrate a Kansan who created the rainbow flag as a universal symbol for inclusion.

Here are today’s updates:

  • What the Data Shows
  • Hospital Visitor Hours Expanding
  • Gift Shop Has Weekend Hours
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

What the Data Shows
We’ve experienced a significant increase in hospitalized COVID-19 patients over the past week. On Thursday, we were caring for 11 inpatients who tested positive for COVID-19, our highest census since early April when we had 13 positive inpatients. Today, we have 10 inpatients who have tested positive for the virus.

The number of calls to our “Call Before You Go” COVID-19 line have been increasing since early May.  Each day this week, calls have surpassed the 200 mark, with 297 calls on Tuesday. That’s the highest number of calls we’ve had in a single day since we started tracking at the first of April.

Tests collected by Stormont Vail staff, excluding those for elective pre-procedures, are indicating 5.9% positive for the week of June 14. The weekly positive rate has fluctuated since mid-March, but since May has been in the five percent range. During that time, we have also increased the number of tests we are performing. As of Thursday, we have tested 11,730 patients through inpatient, the drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic and our Acute Respiratory Clinic at North Fielding.

To track data and trends we developed a COVID-19 scorecard early on and share it with team members and the community. The scorecard is produced daily by Brian van Doren, our Manager of Data Science. Brian has made enhancements to the scorecard to help monitor and trend COVID-19’s impact. He is well suited to the job from his past work in particle physics modeling and predictive analytics.

Hospital Visitor Hours Expanding
Beginning today, visitor hours at the hospital are expanding to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Gift Shop Has Weekend Hours
The hospital Gift Shop will be open this weekend and will continue to be open every other weekend going forward. The hours are 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays.

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive2 COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 6 26 21
Providers 1 1 1
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Stormont Vail Health entered into a unique partnership six years ago becoming a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. This partnership, that focuses on sharing knowledge and expertise to enhance the care of our patients and community has been instrumental, especially in the COVID-19 environment.

Examples of timely access we have had to expertise and services include:

  • As a Mayo Clinic Care Network member, we have access to COVID-19 resources from Mayo Clinic. This includes COVID-19 information within AskMayoExpert which provides Mayo Clinic vetted answers to clinical questions. We also have access to tools that Mayo has developed for internal use – from policies, procedures to scripts - that can serve as templates.
  • Stormont Vail providers have participated in COVID-19 webinars with Mayo Clinic physicians to receive updates about the latest treatment approaches, vaccine development, infection control and other topics. Additional webinars that our staff have participated in cover patient and staff experience, personal protective equipment planning, patient and staff safety guidelines, surge planning, and community assessment and triage.
  • We signed on as an early participant in the Mayo-led convalescent plasma program that encourages recovered COVID-19 patients to donate plasma and provides convalescent plasma therapy to current hospitalized patients.
  • We are utilizing the Mayo Clinic Laboratories as a reference laboratory for COVID-19 diagnostic and serologic (antibody) tests collected at Stormont Vail.
  • We have access to other health care organizations who are part of the Mayo Clinic Care Network to learn about their best practices for nursing, communications and other areas.

COVID-19 is nothing like any of us has ever faced in our personal or professional lives. Our valued relationship with an organization like Mayo Clinic has given us a broader team, a place to find timely and relevant resources, a place to share with other health care professionals.

Here are today’s updates:

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive2 COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 4 24 21
Providers 1 1 1
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

As COVID-19 infections are increasing primarily in the South and West, we are seeing some states issuing mandatory mask-wearing to stop virus outbreaks. California, cities in Arizona and several locations in the South are now requiring face coverings for certain public settings.

Closer to home, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment provides strong guidance that people should wear a cloth facemask when in public. Local governmental units have instituted varied guidance and requirements. In Shawnee County, facemasks are required for employees in restaurants and barbershops because those business sectors are considered at high risk of transmission. Retail employees initially were required to wear masks, but the Shawnee County Board of Health last week changed that on the advice of the county health officer from a “requirement” to a “recommendation.”

All of those guidelines and requirements can be confusing. When you cross a county line, it might change. The simple and safest solution: Wear a facemask whenever you are in public.

At Stormont Vail Health, we have the requirement that all team members, patients and visitors wear a facemask in our facilities. This is to keep all of us safe. Wearing a mask appropriate for your work area has mitigated risk for team members and kept them safe and from having to quarantine in exposures.

The science behind wearing a facemask has evolved since the virus began its damaging spread and now points to mask wearing as a way to protect you and those around you. Simultaneously we now know that people who are COVID-19 positive, who are not showing visible symptoms, can spread the illness. Research is telling us that masks can help reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

The combination of wearing a mask, social distancing and frequent handwashing is the best approach to keeping the virus at bay. These prevention practices are currently recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Please do your part and wear a facemask in public. Encourage others to do the same. Social distance. Wash your hands. We together.

Here are today’s updates:

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive2 COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 4 23 21
Providers 1 1 1
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

It’s June 19th.

It’s Juneteenth, a holiday of emancipation, a day to celebrate the order of emancipation finally reaching Galveston, Texas some 2 ½ years after the emancipation proclamation and after the end of the Civil War. This is a day for us all to celebrate and look forward to when we can all be free from the aftermath of the scourge of slavery and its underpinning, racism. Aftermath, the math points with undeniable clarity to systemic racism that has produced inequities in health, employment and justice. Is this who we are?

We are witnesses and feel deeply the vacancy of humanity.

There is an energy, unrestrained by accumulation of injustice and emboldened by our witness, loose amongst us. Pulling us, driving us, forming us.

We are: created equal, endowed with unalienable rights, humans striving together for better lives.

Black lives matter.

At Stormont Vail our cultural tenets include our commitment to treat all with compassion and dignity, be aware of our surroundings so that we can purposely connect with others and to embrace diversity. Each tenet begins with “Together we.” We Together, is our opportunity, our way forward, our imperative. All of us, together. Black lives matter.

Below is shared from the John T. Milliken Department of Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. It is instructive.  https://internalmedicine.wustl.edu/becoming-anti-racist/

Our IDEA Committee (Inclusion, Diversity, Equitability and Access) will soon lead us to opportunities for personal action, for we together action.

Today June 19, please take a moment to appreciate and celebrate Juneteenth and let us commit ourselves to become who we are.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Supreme Court Ruling
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

Supreme Court Ruling
Stormont Vail Health supports the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday that employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is prohibited under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The federal act prohibits discrimination in the workplace on the basis of race, religion, national origin and sex.

Stormont Vail’s Equal Employment Opportunity Policy states that the organization is an “ equal opportunity employer and adheres to the philosophy and practice of providing equal opportunities for all employees and prospective employees, without regard to the following classifications: race, color, sex (including sexual orientation), religion, national origin, age, marital status, uniformed service, disability or genetic information.”

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive2 COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 4 23 21
Providers 1 1 1
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

This week our organization experienced a virtual All Employee Meeting showcasing the amazing work of our team the past several months. Our leadership is grateful for the team’s efforts as the organization adapted and changed during the stressful weeks that COVID-19 moved into Kansas. There are amazing stories about how our team members came together to make a difference for our patients and communities.

It is important to reflect on what we’ve been through, noting our accomplishments and lessons learned. There are many team members who provided expertise in their bedside roles, remote roles and everything in between, to help us address COVID-19 issues, services and initiatives. These team efforts included every department in the organization. This teamwork continues as we navigate through reopening phases and future stages of the pandemic.

Just as when this journey began, we continue to communicate openly and candidly. We have provided these regular CEO communications to the team and community, our COVID-19 information pages on both our internal and external online sites, and updates through the virtual All Employee Meeting. Leadership is engaged and wants to hear from our team members and community. This is our time to make a difference together.

Here are today’s updates:

  • COVID-19 Drive Up Testing Clinic Relocates
  • Mayo Clinic Care Network Presentation
  • Visitor Hours Update
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

COVID-19 Drive Up Testing Clinic Relocates
The COVID-19 testing clinic at 920 S.W. Washburn will become Cotton O’Neil Drive Up Testing and will open Thursday, June 18, in the Surgery Parking Garage. This is the same location where the annual drive thru flu shot takes place.

The 920 S.W. Washburn location will close at 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 17 and will reopen at 9 a.m. Thursday, June 18 in the Surgery Parking Garage. Access to the drive up testing clinic in the Surgery Parking Garage is off of S.W. Garfield, just north of S.W. 10th. The lower level elevator entrance in the Surgery Garage will no longer be available for staff or patients to access the hospital.

Stormont Vail Health was the first to open a COVID-19 drive through clinic on March 17 followed by the Cotton O’Neil Acute Respiratory Clinic located at 4505 N.W. Fielding Road. These clinics have completed over 8,000 COVID-19 tests since March and has become a vital resource for our community. Moving the testing clinic to the new location will ensure that team members can continue providing this resource in a safe and secure location.

The Cotton O’Neil Drive Up Testing is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. All COVID-19 tests must be ordered by a physician and tests are administered at Cotton O’Neil Drive Up Testing by appointment only. Patients can schedule an appointment by calling the Call Before You Go line at (785) 354-6000.

Mayo Clinic Care Network Presentation
Stormont Vail Health participated in the Mayo Clinic Care Network’s Marketing and Communications Affinity Group chat this week to discuss our focus on communications about COVID-19 preparations to allay fears and keep our team and community informed. Amy McCarter, Vice President, Marketing and Communications, shared that one of the top priorities was being transparent with each other, the team, media and community. During March and April, we developed a cadence of daily communications to team members and the community and weekly media briefings, as well as expanding other social media and communication efforts. These efforts gave us the opportunity to tell many stories about how the Stormont Vail team came together to prepare for the pandemic.

Visitor Hours Update
Visitor hours in the hospital have expanded to 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily with one designated visitor still allowed for each patient. All visitors must enter the building through the Main Entrance for screening and wear a facemask.

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive2 COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 5 22 20
Providers 0 1 1
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Some describe it as “tickling your brain.” There may be a burning sensation. Your eyes might water.  It could cause you to cough. Getting the COVID-19 test is uncomfortable, but it’s done very fast.

At Stormont Vail, the specimen is collected through a nasopharyngeal swab. The swab looks similar to a long Q-tip. Depending on whether the patient is an adult or child, different sizes of swabs are used. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends use of nasopharyngeal swabs because for most people, the nasopharynx or the space above the soft palate at the back of the nose, is where the highest concentration of the virus seems to collect. To know where that is, think about when you were a kid drinking a carbonated drink and you laughed so hard it fizzed up through your nose. That’s where the nasopharynx is located.  Children ages 12 and under in an outpatient setting have an oropharyngeal specimen collected from the back of the throat.

This COVID-19 test is a diagnostic molecular test and is based on the genetic sequence of COVID-19. It differs from the antibody test that detects past exposure to COVID-19. The sensitivity of the diagnostic test varies depending on the timing and the way the sample is collected. That’s why it is important to collect a good sample.

Korri Phillips, M.D., Medical Director of Express Care, said the nursing staff performing the collection at Stormont Vail’s COVID-19 testing location and the Acute Care Respiratory Clinic at North Fielding watched YouTube videos to learn how to correctly perform a nasopharyngeal swab, then practiced on Dr. Phillips. “I’ve had it done to me 12 or 14 times,” Dr. Phillips said.  The staff also uses two mannequin heads to practice on. “It goes back further than what any of them was used to. There’s one place you think it stops, but that’s not far enough and you need to go farther to the pharyngeal cavity.”

Erica Castillo, LPN, said she tells patients having a test to “relax as much as you can.” Stacey Lamantia, LPN, said she asks the patient to sit on their hands so they don’t reactively try to grab the swab. Team members collect tests from six people through open vehicle windows every 15 minutes. Once the specimen is collected it is sent to the lab to determine if the virus is present.

That team has now trained others in the organization to ensure the process is standardized and performed correctly. Emergency Department and PACU team members have received training and soon a team of inpatient nurses who will handle most of the collection on patient floors will receive training as well.

Dr.  Phillips said the COVID-19 testing location at 920 S.W. Washburn will be moving this week to the Surgery Parking Garage. It’s the same location where we have the annual drive-through flu blitz. Testing begins there the morning of Thursday, June 18. All COVID-19 tests must be ordered by a physician. The testing location is open seven days a week by appointment. Appointments are made through the “Call Before You Go” number at (785) 354-6000.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Community Resources Listing
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

Community Resources Listing
Community resources providing programs and services to improve and empower your health are now available on Stormont Vail Health’s external website. Resources include assistance programs that can help with financial matters, mental health, “on the go” mental health and healthy living.

Resources on stormontvail.org: https://www.stormontvail.org/resource-center/

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive2 COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 12 22 20
Providers 0 1 1
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic will have a lasting impact on us and our psyches. Never in our lifetimes have we seen such a widespread practice of quarantines, isolation and social distancing. Fear, risk and uncertainty have spread like the virus. That can’t help but take a toll on our emotional well-being.

As a healthcare organization, we help people with both physical and mental health issues. Many times the two are intertwined. When we see a patient, we assess and treat the whole person to the best of our ability.

We have seen an uptick in our adult behavioral health patient volumes the past several weeks. The pandemic, resultant economic struggles and other unrest and turbulence in the world contributes to an increase in mental health concerns. The pandemic has placed new and unexpected pressures on each of us. Our support systems may be taxed as well.

Our team at the Stormont Vail Behavioral Health Center is ready and willing to help. If someone is in need of help, they just need to call, says Angie Mendez, Director, Behavioral Health. Access to inpatient or outpatient care is available through the admissions number at (785) 270-4646, which is staffed 24/7.

We have recently streamlined the process for patients referred from Valeo, Family Service and Guidance Center and our Emergency Department, as well as walk-ins, to provide people with the help they need in a timely manner. Therapists are available for urgent needs. Help for healthcare professionals needing mental health services working in the COVID-19 environment can also be accessed through the admissions line.

Here are today’s updates:

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive2 COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 16 22 19
Providers 0 1 1
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

Just as we promote personal safety guidelines during the pandemic to lower our risks and protect those around us by wearing masks, social distancing and washing our hands, we also want to encourage other practices of self-care.

Find balance in your life.
Stay informed, but don’t overdo media exposure.
Be kind to yourself.
Stay connected.
Get plenty of sleep and exercise.
Look for positives in each day.
Listen to music.
Seek help if needed.

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

We are grateful for those who have experienced COVID-19 and are now helping others by donating convalescent plasma. The plasma is an experimental treatment being used to boost the ability of people with severe COVID-19 infections to fight the virus.

Our own team member, Mark Davis, Director of Surgical Services, is one of those donating plasma. Mark first donated May 18. He plans to donate again next week, eventually donating up to five times.

“As soon as I recovered, I knew I wanted to give plasma,” Mark says. “Hundreds of thousands of people are struggling to get through this illness and I knew when I was eligible I wanted to donate.”

Mark first learned about convalescent plasma while he was quarantined at home for 25 days after being diagnosed with COVID-19. He watched news coverage about the virus spreading across the country and learned convalescent plasma was being used to help those ill with the virus. The plasma comes from people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have developed antibodies to the disease in their blood.

During his quarantine, Mark also received a text from Mary Martell, Director of Clinical Research, telling him that Stormont Vail Health, a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, was going to be one of the first sites to sign up for the Mayo Clinic's convalescent plasma program.

That program was launched in early April. Dr. Hassan Taha has been instrumental in getting Stormont involved in the Mayo study. A Stormont Vail patient was eventually the first in the region and the 50th in the nation to receive a plasma treatment. Stormont Vail has now had 12 patients enrolled to receive plasma through the program, with 11 of those having been transfused with at least one unit of COVID-19 convalescent plasma, said Carrie Easley, Laboratory Manager.

For Mark, the day he returned to work after recovery was also the day he contacted the Community Blood Center, the convalescent plasma collection site in the Topeka and Kansas City area. Mark was the third person to donate through Community Blood Center. The center has now had 62 donors, which has resulted in 186 products available to ill patients. Each donation provides three products.

Mark said he wants to raise awareness and encourage others who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate as well. “The antibodies we develop should help other patients who are struggling,” he said. After giving his donation, Mark posted a photo of himself on Facebook, saying “Today I was blessed with the privilege of donating convalescent plasma.”

He credits his family and his work family with giving him needed support through his illness and recovery. While Mark went into isolation, he said his wife, Valerie, a nurse in the Clinical Research Department, was on her own caring for their children and making sure Mark had meals, while she worked remotely for Stormont Vail. Ironically, her regular duties shifted to taking calls on the COVID-19 hotline. “It was really a team effort,” Mark said.

To learn more about donating convalescent plasma or blood, please visit the Community Blood Center’s website at https://www.savealifenow.org/.

Here are today’s updates:

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive2 COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 21 21 19
Providers 0 1 1
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Robert Kenagy, MD

Dear Community Partners,

Today we moved to Phase 3 of the Guide to Re-Opening Shawnee County, Kansas Under Ad Astra. The guidance to the re-opening phases comes from our local and state public health officials.

Phase 3 provides that all businesses may open with some restrictions. The mass gathering size or groups of people increases from 15 to 45 with social distancing of six feet. I encourage you to seek out information about what Phase 3 permits. It is available on the Shawnee County Health Department’s website.

Guidelines the plan provides:

  • Mask wear is highly encouraged by everyone, but is required for some employees and industries.
  • Social distancing rules apply in every location.
  • Hygiene and facility cleaning practices should be consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

The guide also strongly encourages individuals to seek medical services when needed.

Each time we move to a new phase, it takes four to six weeks to realize the full effects of the transition on virus transmission levels. That means we are currently in the impact period for what was allowed in Phase 1 which started May 3.

Each of us is responsible to follow safe practices to mitigate risk of the virus spreading to ourselves, our families and our communities. Adhering to personal hygiene guidelines (washing our hands, wearing a facemask, disinfecting surfaces), social distancing of at least six feet and staying home when we are sick remains extremely important.

As a health care organization we need to be the example. We individually and collectively practicing and promoting safe practices to slow the spread of the virus. Together we can do this.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Kudos from the Kudoboard
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

Kudos from the Kudoboard
The kudos to our team just keep coming. Here’s one from the Kudoboard at https://www.kudoboard.com/boards/4C1GQFrm

“I want to give a shout out to all my coworkers at the North Fielding Drive Up Respiratory Clinic. Working with all of you has made this crazy time bearable. I am also thankful I have gotten the opportunity to meet some of our other coworkers from different departments.”

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive2 COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 26 21 18
Providers 0 1 1
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

While adults have been wrestling with a world turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic, sometimes when we turn to the children in our lives they pull us back to what is important.

Consider a recent conversation that Dr. Sridevi Donepudi, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Quality Officer, had with a group of youngsters at Building Blocks Child Care Center.

“Can nurses get the virus?” asked one young girl during the discussion. Dr. Donepudi replied that because nurses are people, too, they can get the virus if they are not protected from the droplets. That’s why nurses caring for patients wear a lot of protective equipment to keep them safe.

The little girl shares her mom is a nurse. “My mom can’t give hugs until after she takes a shower and then she can give us hugs.”

Hugs are important. So is knowing how to stay safe from the virus and understanding how the novel coronavirus spread to our communities.

It’s important to talk to young people and reassure them that we will get through this pandemic. Please take a few moments to view the thoughtful discussion between the children and Dr. Donepudi: https://vimeo.com/stormontvailhealth/review/424177855/87640d353e

While hugs are good, virtual hugs and elbow bumps are also options during these times of enhanced safety measures.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Volunteers to Return
  • Social Distancing Remains
  • Team Member Health<
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

Volunteers to Return
We are excited that Monday we will see the return of our volunteers who help us in many areas of the hospital and across the organization. Volunteers will wear facemasks at all times, following the same safety guidelines as our team members. We consider our volunteers as an extension of our team and appreciate all that they do to help us serve patients and the community.

Social Distancing Remains
The COVID-19 virus hasn’t gone away – and neither has the guidance that individuals need to practice social distancing of at least six feet. This is important to prevent the spread of the virus. As much as possible, we want to keep patients, visitors and team members safe and socially distanced as patients register for appointments, wait in waiting rooms, etc., while in our facilities. It’s important to also practice social distancing in your off hours as you go to the grocery store or visit with neighbors. Each of us has a part in keeping our community healthy.

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive2 COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 31 21 18
Providers 0 1 1
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,
Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

As we navigate through these pandemic times it’s important to step back and listen. Listen to our patients. Listen to our team members. Listen to our community. We learn from their perspectives, ideas and feedback to help us fulfill our mission of caring for others.

While we have a number of ways through which we listen – patient surveys, patient advocacy program and touching base with our patients, team and community, we also have an organizational forum that provides us insights: the Stormont Vail Health Patient and Family Partnership Council.

The council was formed in 2016 to help us improve health care quality, safety and the patient experience. This group meets monthly for discussion of a myriad of topics, from registration practices to nurse communication in critical care.

The past two months, the council has given us invaluable information about community perceptions. How safe do people feel coming to our clinics and hospital? What are their biggest health concerns in a COVID-19 world? How can Stormont Vail support our communities as reopening begins?

The thirteen council members are community and Stormont Vail representatives who come from different walks of life and are willing to give of their time to help others. They are articulate and passionate, and serve as a valued sounding board.

Some of the takeaways from a recent council discussion:

  • They appreciate that Stormont Vail is taking safety precautions and requiring all team members wear facemasks.
  • They liked the MyChart messages and calls before appointments to review new processes and safety procedures so that patients know what to expect for both in-person and telehealth visits.
  • They believe that we should continue to communicate about our safety initiatives so that people who need urgent or emergent medical attention will not delay their care.
  • Transparent communication – at all levels of the organization – is a good thing.

Listening to the patient voice is important today, and as we move forward to our new norm. Patients become engaged when they are part of the discussion about their own health and about their healthcare organization. The COVID-19 pandemic has been an isolating experience for many of us. Now is the time to take the time to ask questions and listen intently as we prepare for a new day.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Kudos from the Kudoboard
  • Guidelines to Know
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

Kudos from the Kudoboard
The kudos to our team just keep coming. Here’s one from the Kudoboard at https://www.kudoboard.com/boards/4C1GQFrm

“I would like to thank the dedicated, caring, and compassionate team of clinic social workers who are reaching out to Cotton O'Neil patients struggling through these new and uncertain times. The ability to hold space for a person and listen to such heartbreaking and difficult patient stories takes a special strength and heart.”

Guidelines to Know
For visits to a Stormont Vail facility, here’s what you need to know:

  • All patients and visitors (one per patient) are required to wear a facemask.
  • Everyone entering will be screened – temperature check and questions concerning risk.
  • Waiting rooms have been rearranged to accommodate social distancing.
  • MyChart patient portal app offers E-Check in from your smartphone.

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive2 COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 45 21 18
Providers 1 1 1
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,

Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

As a team and a community we mourn the senseless loss of life that results from all forms of violence. The events of the past week with the killing of George Floyd, who was in custody while a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck, is tragic and a sad reminder of the ongoing racism in our country.

To have this occurring at the same time of the COVID-19 pandemic, further highlights the deep disparities and inequities that communities of color experience. We must resolve to do more.

We together, shaken and sorrowful

Yet again, senseless and wanton loss of life.

We together convulsed, with anger and disgust,

Yet again, repulsed by the vacancy of humanity.

We together acknowledge the extra,

dedication to community

measure of courage

strength to persist.

Required daily for some of us.

We together,

Dedicate ourselves to principles of equity,

non-discrimination and anti-racism.

Will stand in solidarity; meaningfully and peacefully.

Will seek to console those traumatized and especially

our black family, friends, team members and communities.

We together,

Will come together to make a difference.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Clinic Schedules Open More
  • Philips a Community Hero
  • Acute Respiratory Clinic to Move Inside
  • Health Heroes
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

Clinic Schedules Open More
Today we opened clinic schedules to 100% of pre-COVID volumes, but are handling an increasing number of those appointments through telehealth. We also are adhering to social distancing in waiting rooms and will be doing regular monitoring to ensure that is happening. If waiting rooms are at capacity, patients will need to wait in their cars until it is safe to enter within the guidelines.

As we continue to reopen our services and clinics, we want to reassure our patients and communities that we are following safety processes and protocols to protect them and our team members. Many of these are based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and our local and state health departments.

Dr. Phillips a Community Hero
Dr. Korri Phillips has been named as Magic 107.7 Hero. Each morning, the radio station names one person who has been nominated for its Hero Highlight, and tells why that person is a hero during these unprecedented times. Dr. Phillips has been instrumental in leading our efforts to set up drive-through COVID-19 testing center and acute respiratory care clinic. Thank you, Dr. Phillips!

Acute Respiratory Clinic to Move Inside
Beginning Wednesday, the Acute Respiratory Clinic at 4505 N.W. Fielding Road will be moving from outdoor tents into the Express Care building. Patients who have respiratory symptoms or COVID-19 symptoms should use the Call Before You Go process at (785) 354-6000 to be evaluated for appropriate care.

Health Heroes
A big shout out to the Drive Thru Crew. These are our team members who spent their weekend planning a drive-through COVID-19 testing location at 920 S.W. Washburn, then opened it practically the next day. They are the latest team members to be featured in our Health Heroes video tributes. The team includes physicians and nurses, and representatives from facilities, IT, Lab, PEX and dietary services. Because of this crew, our drive-through clinic has provided tests for thousands of patients and has had a big impact in protecting our patients, team and community from the spread of COVID-19.

Watch the tribute to the Drive Thru Crew on our Now Playing page:

https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/now-playing/

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers. Additional team members and a provider were placed on contact leave due to exposure to patients. The leaves extend through June 12.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive2 COVID Positive Recovered2
Employees 52 19 17
Providers 4 1 1
1. Daily Total of employees and providers on leave for potential contact with COVID positive patient or coworker
2. Total since April 3

We together,
Dr. K

Dear Community Partners,

This has been a week of change and revision for our organization as we position for a future that sustains our mission: caring for our communities. The pandemic has left an indelible mark on us personally and as an organization. It continues to impact us in recovery.

This week, as we move to a core staffing structure, we have had a small group of team members begin to transition to new roles or leave the organization through severance. We thank them for their service, commitment and partnership in serving the health needs of our communities. This has been difficult for everyone involved, and especially hard for those leaving the Stormont Vail family.

None of us has ever experienced a crisis of this magnitude. It has been disruptive and chaotic. It has been scary and emotional. It has been felt by us individually and collectively.

As Kansans, we have faced tornadoes, floods and blizzards. We have seen the devastation of crops and encountered tragedies of many kinds. But those often have a defined ending. The COVID-19 pandemic is longer term and brings continued uncertainty. It will likely flare with new infections. It will confound us with new manifestations.

The virus has changed our reality.
Together we are rebuilding our services and our connections to our communities. We are developing solutions and innovations to ensure our patients and communities have access to health care services. We are delivering safe and timely care. This is our mission.

In partnership with our team and our community, we are molding and shaping Stormont Vail Health into its future state.  Together we are creating our future. We together.

Here are today’s updates:

  • Thank you, Jim Parrish and Ramada
  • Now Playing
  • Team Member Health
  • COVID-19 Scorecard: English | Spanish

Thank you, Jim Parrish and Ramada
We want to say “thank you” to the generosity of Jim Parrish and the Ramada Hotel and Convention Center for providing no cost lodging to some of our team the past few months. This helped team members stay close to the hospital and keep their families safe while they worked on the frontlines of COVID-19. The offer has concluded now that the community has moved into reopening phases.  We appreciate this wonderful support to help us serve the community.

Now Playing
A new page has been added to our external website, stormontvail.org, to house many of the videos celebrating our incredible team. It is at https://www.stormontvail.org/covid19/now-playing/

Team Member Health
We provide regular updates about Team Member Health in this communication and on the scorecard. Additional team members were placed on contact leave due to exposure to a patient who was in our care and later tested positive. The Providers category includes physicians and advanced practice providers.

Contact Leave1 COVID Positive2 COVID Positive Recovered2