Community Update - August 6, 2021

From Todd Ahrens, President and CEO Hannibal Regional Healthcare System

Hannibal Regional is always here for you. When you need healthcare services, when you are rushed to the ER with a heart attack, when you need surgery, when your little one has strep throat… we are here. We will continue to be here, we will continue doing everything we possibly can to serve all your healthcare needs. But you have to do your part too. We are facing a crisis in Missouri and throughout our nation. If COVID-19 numbers continue to spiral upward, continue to strain our healthcare system, continue beyond last year’s pandemic peak…our ability to serve you will be severely tested.

Our team is exhausted - they have been working nonstop for you and your families and we need your help. This vicious cycle of COVID-19 can be stopped, we have the playbook for steps to greatly reduce the transmission of the virus. As of today, we have nearly 40 people in our COVID unit, in addition to the almost 60 more in our hospital. We have seen a trend of nearly a 25% increase in hospitalized cases week after week since June. This trend simply cannot continue. So, let’s all step up, understand the plan, and take actions that will help you, help your family, and our whole community.

While this plan sounds easy, I know many of you question it. Question the science, question the motives, and question the reality. But I can guarantee you that the family who just lost their 50-year old otherwise healthy father to COVID, the nurse who is working 70-80 hours a week to care for COVID patients, and the doctors that have spent their lifetime serving the healthcare needs of our community, don’t question it. They will say… this plan is simple, it is easy to do, and it just might save your life.

I encourage you all: get vaccinated, social distance, wear a mask when you can’t social distance, and wash your hands! If everyone will do this, within weeks we should see a decline in cases. Do you have questions regarding the vaccine? First, I will tell you don’t rely on social media “experts” to guide you through this pandemic, instead we ask you to trust the medical experts who are offering science based information. Have questions? Call us, we will take the time to answer them, all of them. We will give you the facts. The facts that show that states with high vaccination rates are seeing far less cases of COVID and studies continue to prove vaccines greatly reduce your chance of getting the virus, and more importantly they are the best protection against hospitalization and death. We care for our community, we care about our team’s ability to fully serve you, and we care enough to ask you all… help us now in the fight against COVID, do your part so that tomorrow can be a better day.

Sincerely,

Todd Ahrens
President and CEO, Hannibal Regional Healthcare System