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Thursday, May 30, 2024


These are unprecedented times for America and the world. As we confront the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critically important that we remain diligent and choose our daily activities wisely and prudently.

I wanted to take this opportunity to reassure you that, as it has done since 1952, Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian takes its role as the community’s trusted healthcare partner to heart. It is certain that our nation—Orange County included—will experience more cases of infection in the days and weeks ahead.

A critically important part of keeping ourselves healthy and out of the virus’ grip requires adhering, unequivocally, to the behavioral guidelines and strongly recommended tips that the nation’s healthcare experts have issued.

Handwashing. Social distancing. Isolation and self-quarantining when necessary. Community thinking. These are extremely important, actionable instructions that we all must follow in order to prevent the continued spread of this disease.

For Orange County’s thousands of employers, this may require adjustments for your employees—perhaps for several weeks. With school closures and the steady spread of the virus, Orange County’s working men and women are under tremendous pressure. Right now, more than ever, a healthy dose of understanding, flexibility, compassion, and above all else, patience, is just what the doctor ordered.

For our part, we at Hoag are prepared to protect our patients, physicians, clinical care providers and all employees from the spread of infectious disease. Like many other hospitals, we care for patients with infectious diseases as a matter of course.

As we work to help ensure our patient population is receiving exceptional care, it is essential that we also take measures to keep our valued staff and their families well. One example is that our innovative Food & Nutrition Services team has opened a Micro Market Pop-Up in the cafeteria to sell milk, eggs, toilet paper and produce to our employees who have been unable to access nearby supermarkets. 

Our long history of service on the frontlines of infectious-disease treatment and recovery has prepared our team to provide the best and most appropriate care for these patients while ensuring the safety of our staff, patients and visitors. We have an Infection Prevention team leading our preparedness efforts, which includes education, training and drills so that our clinicians have the tools and communication systems needed to properly screen and isolate patients for infectious conditions.

Our policies and procedures, as well as our strong recommendations and suggestions, all rise from our commitment to do whatever we can to support the community and help reduce the spread of the disease.

While the challenges we face are substantial, working together we will prevail over them—and emerge stronger than ever as neighbors, as a county, and as a nation.

To learn more about ways to protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19, please visit www.hoag.org.

Editor’s Note: Robert Braithwaite is CEO and President of Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian. It ranked the second largest on the Business Journal’s annual list of hospitals, reporting $1.1 billion in annual revenue, 6,315 employees and 518 licensed beds.

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