CEO Update | Our present realities and hope for the future
I want to begin this update by sharing gratitude.
Each one of you is a valued member of this organization and the community. You provide a noble and essential service.
I recognize we all have been asked to do more this year. You have made sacrifices and given extraordinary care, for which I am very grateful.
We are facing our challenges together, as one Cleveland Clinic.
There is encouraging news to share about COVID-19 therapies and vaccine development.
We continue to get better at managing this disease. As therapies are released, we combine them with improved clinical practices, which results in better care of patients.
Pfizer announced this week that its vaccine is more than 90 percent effective. This is much more effective than we expected and another reason for optimism.
Yet we must balance our hope for the near future with an understanding of our present realities.
As of this Monday, we have more patients with COVID-19 in our hospitals than at any point during this pandemic.
- More than 300 patients in Ohio
- Nearly 60 patients in Florida
Please know that we have capacity in our system to care for patients, and enough protective equipment for caregivers.
With that said, we need to do everything in our power to slow down or reverse this trend.
If the number of cases rise without interruption, it may impact our ability to care for other patients. We simply cannot allow our communities to suffer worsening health.
Likewise, more of our fellow caregivers are ill and unable to care for themselves, their loved ones, or our patients.
So I am asking you to keep your spirits up. I know we are all tired and frustrated by the behavior change. But a practical vaccine is in sight.
If we surrender now to pandemic fatigue, it will result in tragic and unnecessary loss of life. Therefore, we must persist.
Please stay vigilant and help one another. Our culture of safety guides us to have each other’s backs and always do the right thing. The same applies to this pandemic.
- Double down on safe, proactive measures.
- Ask your families to adhere to those same measures responsibly.
- Serve as an ambassador for the best practices that we know can keep ourselves and others safe.
- If you are sick, please stay home and call our caregiver hotline to discuss your symptoms.
We have done a remarkable job keeping each other safe and informed throughout this pandemic. Unfortunately, none of us is able to say when it will end.
What we do know is that we will get through this together.
Thank you for your understanding and support.
Tom Mihaljevic, MD
CEO and President
Cleveland Clinic, State of Ohio collaborate on safety tips for families with college students
Beyond our responsibilities to keep patients and fellow caregivers safe are our efforts to maintain safe environments in our homes.
Considering the rising number of COVID-19 infections across the U.S., protecting your loved ones could be more challenging during the approaching holidays, when families may decide to gather together to celebrate. For some, these gatherings may include students who are returning home from their college campuses.
Cleveland Clinic and the State of Ohio recently developed safety tips for college students and their families to consider when students plan on returning home for the holidays. Review the recommendations below and share them with your loved ones.
Safety tips for college students
Before you travel:
- Start to decrease your social contacts 7 to 14 days before coming home.
- Monitor for any COVID-19 symptoms like fever, cough, body aches, etc.
- If your school offers voluntary testing, get tested a few days before traveling home.
While you travel:
- Wear a face mask when you are within 6 feet of another person.
- Control your environment by keeping your distance from others when possible.
- Use hand sanitizer or wash your hands often, especially after touching high-contact surfaces.
After you get home:
- If possible, sleep in a separate rooms and use a separate bathroom from others.
- Do not share drinking glasses, dishes, or eating utensils with others unless they have been washed.
- In your home, wear a mask when around elderly or immune compromised individuals.
- When in public, continue to wear your mask, wash your hands and social distance.
View recommendations specific to college students who test positive for COVID-19, those who test negative, and those who do not have access to testing prior to returning home.
Following public health recommendations and leading others by example can help improve the situations we’re experiencing as consequences of the pandemic. All of us can contribute to these safe practices to ensure more of our loved ones are with us to celebrate when COVID-19 is no longer part of our lives.