Our state, along with the rest of the world, is experiencing an unprecedented public health emergency from the COVID-19 pandemic.  It’s not something we had a great deal of time to prepare or plan for, and we have seen healthcare facilities in some areas being stretched to their limits of capacity. As a safety measure, and  to safeguard our ability to care for our patients and to conserve adequate staff and supplies, especially personal protective equipment (PPE),  as well as to limit the areas of activity and potential viral spread,  SMH-CVHC made the decision in March to close the outlying medical clinics, postpone elective surgeries and other non-essential/non-emergent services, and  to implement  broad screening and testing measures that would allow us to keep our staff, patients, and communities  as safe as possible.  Additionally, as soon as more testing supplies became available, SMH-CVHC expanded COVID-19 testing in order to test as many patients as possible who exhibited any symptoms, and that effort continues to demonstrate that the low number of confirmed cases seems to be holding steady with all of the safety measures everyone is following.

Beyond Covid-19, however, are a myriad of other health issues that need to be managed, and one of the greatest areas of concern during this time has been to find solutions to continue to meet our patients’ medical needs so that we don’t create a different kind of healthcare crisis with unmanaged health issues.  We moved to quickly implement tele-health services so that you could visit your provider from the safety and comfort of your own home and we also added COVID-19 screening measures should you need to be seen in one of our facilities.  As states and local businesses begin to stabilize and re-open,  we believe it is important to restart care that is currently being postponed, such as surgeries and other procedures, chronic disease care, and, ultimately, preventative care.

“St. Mary’s and Clearwater Valley Hospitals & Clinics have re-opened all clinics, including Craigmont, Nezperce and Elk City,” said Lenne Bonner, President and CEO. “Additionally, elective surgeries and other procedures will now be scheduled according to priority.  If you have something that was postponed during the past several weeks, please call to discuss your options to reschedule. We will continue to maintain our vigilant screening of all patients, limit visitors, and require face masks for all staff and patients”, continued Ms. Bonner.  “If you have your own personal mask, we ask that you wear it to help us manage our very limited PPE supplies.”

“St. Mary’s and Clearwater Valley Hospitals and Clinics are adhering to all CDC guidelines for safely and securely opening back up.  We have dedicated ourselves during this time to ensuring our staff and our facilities are safe, and we will continue to take all steps necessary to keep our communities healthy.  By continuing to work together by following responsible safety measures, we can “crush the curve.”