2020: Challenging Year Provides Inspiration
2020 was undoubtedly one of the most challenging years to date, yet we agree that it became one of the most inspiring of any of our collective years in health care.
We were hit with a global pandemic just a few months into the year. Processes and procedures changed by the hour — and sometimes by the minute — during those early weeks, and our Norton Healthcare family rose to the occasion to support innovation, growth and quality service.
We quickly opened a centralized Norton Clinical Command Center composed of an interdisciplinary team of individuals who monitored the situation 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The team addressed and responded to daily challenges and new information through innovative approaches. They focused on supporting caregivers and patients, and providing analytics, daily updates and care guidelines.
Our hospital teams providing direct patient care continued their commitment to compassionate care throughout this unprecedented and uncertain time. They became a support system for one another as well as a family to our patients when visitors were restricted. They quickly adapted to changing care needs and processes to face the pandemic head on.
In an effort to enhance daily updates, we worked with a talented in-house team to create daily videos to keep employees, medical providers and board members up to date on the latest COVID-19 information and numbers. The videos were posted on YouTube for 75 consecutive days between March and May 2020. Transparency was key during that time. In the videos, we provided assurance that our aim was to keep employees whole, avoiding layoffs and keeping pay intact. Because of our sound fiscal management over the years, we were able to do just that. In addition, with help from our food & nutrition teams, foundation team and local restaurants, we provided meals to our employees for three months, so they had one less thing to worry about.
Researchers, led by Stephen Wyatt, DMD, MPH, chief research executive and vice president, research, and supported by Joseph M. Flynn, D.O., MPH, FACP, chief administrative officer, Norton Medical Group, surged to the front lines of innovation to combat the virus and move our community on the road to recovery. We explored treatments and therapies that aligned us with world leaders in research. We were the first in the world to enroll patients in several clinical trials for COVID-19 therapies. We continue to participate in studies to ensure sustainability of the COVID-19 vaccine and community health.
Our Norton Medical Group transformed how we delivered safer care during the early days of the pandemic. In a matter of weeks, the team rapidly accelerated telehealth services, which offered remote care options to patients. Within a month, over 700 providers across 140 locations covering more than 30 specialties had completed at least one telehealth visit. Now, it is a preferred avenue for patients seeking convenient care options.
The Norton Healthcare Prevention & Wellness team stepped up at the start of the pandemic to lead our testing efforts and took charge of our community testing sites. They often serve as our first responders to community health crises, and their courage and resiliency never wavered. Now, they are coming full circle helping to lead our community vaccination clinics.
COVID-19 was not the only test we encountered last year. While the pandemic raged, communities across the country, including our own, were responding to calls for social justice. As with COVID-19, we could not stand idly by. We established five imperatives to address racial and health inequities, which you’ll learn more about in this report. One of these imperatives was to establish the Institute for Health Equity, a Part of Norton Healthcare, which has found its home in the Russell neighborhood. Our five imperatives act as our compass as we navigate the path to long-overdue changes in both our community and country.
2021 continues to challenge us; however, we’ve learned a lot from fighting this virus. We’re working more collaboratively than ever before, and we’ve maintained our focus on providing high-quality, safe care for our community. The past year has made us an even stronger health care system, and we are proud of how we are taking care of our patients, community and one another.
We invite you to view this edition of the Report to Our Community with a sense of accomplishment. Without the strength of the more than 17,000 members of our Norton Healthcare family continually creating great human interactions, we would not have made it to this place of hope. And, without the determination of our community, we would not have been able to persevere during the darkest of days. For that, we thank you.
Stay Safe. Keep The Faith.®