As the leaders of St. James Healthcare, we hope you know that we have been working tirelessly to ensure our associates feel safe and supported as they provide care to our patients and community.
We always look forward to spending time with family and friends during the holidays, as we are sure most of you do as well. This year, however, it is not quite the same. A sense of uncertainty quickly follows the anticipation of spending time with loved ones; are we putting the health of those who are most important to us at risk? It weighs heavily on our minds. There are some recommendations we will undoubtedly follow, and we urge you to do so, as well.
Gatherings — We do not recommend in-person gatherings, as positive COVID-19 cases continue to rise in our region. But we understand during the holidays you will want to spend time with family and friends.
Think about creative ways to celebrate, such as virtual options or other ways that allow you to spend time together, but apart, to protect your health and the health of others. Here are a couple of ideas:
●Consider preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others
●Having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family If you are planning to attend in-person holiday gatherings, please screen guests/hosts for symptoms the day of the gathering and if anyone is symptomatic, they should not attend. We suggest you avoid serving food family-style to prevent multiple individuals from using the same serving utensils. It is important that you maintain social distancing from those who live outside of your home. Of course, please wash your hands before and after the meal and avoid hugging and kissing.
Travel — If you do decide to travel, the safest way to go is by car because you can minimize your exposure. Try to pack food and make limited stops if you can. Check the virus transmission rates at your destination, as well as at home. If they are high, you may want to consider alternate plans.
Behaviors — Wear a mask, wash hands, stay 6 feet apart, and gather outdoors when possible. Ask your friends and family to do the same.
We know this sounds like a lot — and it is a lot. However, your health and the collective health of our community is imperative. When making your own choices, please use your best judgment, call upon the best practices we have all come to know, set a good example, and be safe.
Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday,
St. James Healthcare’s Leadership Team
Jay Doyle, President
Nancy Hoyt, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Officer
Dr. Jennifer, Davenport, Chief Medical Officer
Pam Palagi, VP Financial Services
Kevin Dennehy, VP Business Development
Tracy Neary, VP Mission Integration
Jesse Laslovich, VP Network Development
Trish Palmer, Senior Director, Human Resources