Let me begin by saying thank you, again, for your extraordinary work during Winter Storm Stella. March certainly came in like a lion! From the team in the Incident Command Center, to our employees and medical staff throughout the hospitals, to those who helped in the parking lots and outpatient areas and those who provided home care services, you did a wonderful job under difficult circumstances providing patient/resident care as well as caring for each other. There are so many amazing stories. One came in a letter I received last week. It was from a gentleman who was coming to the St. Luke’s Campus with his son for outpatient care. He wrote about the kindness and care of our team when he had fallen in the parking lot. Several people came to his rescue, one employee removing her scarf and coat to cover him. He and his son ended up spending the night because of the storm. We found them beds, fed them and even helped dig out their car the next day. He stated he will never forget the kindness of our staff; he was so appreciative. You are a great team doing important work every day … especially on the days when the snow falls at 4 inches an hour and the roads close. Thank you!
We are still waiting to hear from the New York State Department of Health about our application for the $300 million grant to help us build a new hospital. I am hopeful that we will receive good news sometime in April and we can begin moving forward with the project. It was an extensive grant application. I have heard from several individuals familiar with the grant that the staff reviewing it felt our application was exceptional! I know our team put much thought and consideration into developing the concept of a new healthcare facility designed to meet the many needs of our community. It would be incredible to be able to make those plans a reality.
In the past few months we have seen tremendous activity in our Emergency Departments (ED) and on our inpatient units. The ED is our front door and that team has been meeting challenge after challenge caring for a large volume of patients.
It’s important that all of us support the ED in any capacity we can and support our inpatient units as they are increasingly busy as well. We all play a role in supporting the patient experience.
During the month of February, the Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) saw an operating loss in revenue greater than what we budgeted. While inpatient admissions, ED and Urgent Care visits were up we had a decline in outpatient surgery, endoscopy, cath lab and primary care visits. However, year-to-date through February, MVHS has an operating loss of $1.1 million compared to a budgeted loss of $1.2 million. March will be an interesting month because of the repercussions of the storm. We will continue to monitor our trends as we head into the warmer months of spring.
My thanks to those of you who participated in and supported American’s Greatest Heart Run and Walk event. It was a cold Saturday morning for runners and walkers but this community does not disappoint and thousands turned out to support a very worthy cause. Thank you.
We also hosted our Stomp Out Cancer Telethon raising more than $92,000 for MVHS Cancer Services. My thanks to the Foundation Team for their work in organizing the event as well as our donors, employees, medical staff and patients for their support. Everyone helps us to make a difference and provide for patients and families who are facing a very difficult life challenge – the diagnosis of cancer.
I’m sure, like me, you’re looking forward to spring. Hopefully April is bringing with it sunshine and no more snow!
Scott H. Perra, FACHE