CHRISTUS Health will certify all of its Texas facilities to resume elective care, and CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System is preparing to resume elective procedures and surgeries on April 22, consistent with the provisions of the Governor Greg Abbot’s original order on April 17.
Our facilities have secured the personal protective equipment (PPE) and excess capacity necessary to safely care for the full spectrum of medical conditions and patient needs that we have worked so hard to address in our communities for more than 150 years.
We are working with physicians now to reschedule their patients for medical and surgical procedures they were forced to postpone due to the initial order. While we all understand the reason that these procedures had to be postponed, waiting has imposed a hardship on many of these patients, as many can no longer delay care for heart disease, cancer, pain, vision problems and other conditions. We are working to avoid a surge in illness and suffering as a result of deferred and delayed care.
CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System is expanding its surgery scheduling to include evening and weekend availability for patients’ convenience and to ensure it is ready to provide care that has been delayed.
“The procedures that have been delayed or deferred are often issues related to quality of life,” said Todd Hancock, President and Chief Executive Officer, CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System. “In some cases, these procedures will even help patients live longer. That’s why we have to get them back to our operating rooms when medically necessary as quickly as possible. But just as we’ve always done with our surgeries and other procedures, we must also ensure our patients, Associates and physicians are safe. That’s what we’ve done at CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System for so many years,” Hancock said.
CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System practices infection prevention every day. In addition, the system recently announced that is leading the Northeast Texas community, and the country, by offering antibody testing for some patients, Associates and physicians. This new screening tool allows the hospital to test these groups for antibodies related to the COVID-19 virus, helping it to identify how each patient should receive care and how to keep its caregivers safe.
Not only that, but CHRISTUS Good Shepherd has been steadily working and planning to continue providing necessary, non-COVID care to keep people safe and healthy. To keep all who enter our facilities safe, CHRISTUS Good Shepherd continues to have these following precautions in place:
- Limiting visitors;
- Screening everyone who comes through our doors;
- Isolating COVID-19 patients to one area of the facility;
- Random temperature checks for Associates;
- Requiring everyone on our campuses to wear masks;
- Using telemedicine to treat active COVID-19 patients, so their caregivers and support staff limit the number of times they enter their rooms.
This may be an unprecedented time, but we have experienced many of these since CHRISTUS was founded 154 years ago. In fact, the first three Sisters who started the CHRISTUS ministry in Galveston faced an epidemic of Yellow Fever within the first six months of opening the very first hospital. Epidemics and tragedies have been part of CHRISTUS’ history, and so too has the resolve, after each of those challenges, to move on in love and service to those in need.
“CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System is answering the call to help our community – today and tomorrow. In all that we do, we are devoted to keeping patients, their families, our caregivers and our Associates safe. And we are here when you need care. We are ready,” Hancock said.