Time to serve your community: Healthcare workers, volunteers needed (Opinion) | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Time to serve your community: Healthcare workers, volunteers needed (Opinion)

Dr. Kandra Yee

The coronavirus is here in South Lake Tahoe. Though the disease is currently at a manageable level for our health care system, experts anticipate the number of coronavirus COVID-19 cases will rise over the next few weeks. Even a small increase in severe cases could overwhelm Barton Memorial Hospital and its other care facilities.

South Shore is our community and we are actively preparing to do all we can to protect it. Barton is working closely with El Dorado County Public Health to coordinate a regional response to the pandemic. We are preparing additional capacity across our health system to serve a potential influx of patients due to COVID-19.

Surge plans are underway to more than double bed capacity in secure and safe locations throughout the health system to accommodate patients who may be infected by the virus.

To better serve our patients and all of their medical needs, we are asking for your help. If you are a retired or available physician, nurse, EMT, or other medical professional with clinical expertise, please consider joining the Barton Medical Corps as we prepare to treat a potential influx of patients.

Other clinical backgrounds are welcomed and could contribute as well. This includes private practice physicians, pharmacists, dentists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, behavioral health professionals, respiratory therapists, paramedics, medical assistants, and select clinical students.

It truly takes a village and your action is greatly appreciated. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that California will cover payments and malpractice insurance fees for those with qualified clinical backgrounds. The California Medical Services Authority launched the California Health Corps Registration where licensed and credentialed medical professionals can register and be ready to serve at a moment’s notice.

The registry expedites the activation process and ensures your credentials are current and up to date. Interested candidates will complete an application and then select an Organization. In the organization field you choose both COVID-19 Response and El Dorado County.

There are many ways you can serve others in need. Even if you are not a medical or clinical professional, we still need your help. Extra support is needed to fill non-clinical duties throughout the hospital.

These volunteer opportunities are a significant way to help patients and make a difference in our community.

We all play a part in the war against COVID-19. If you have other professional or personal demands and are unable to help at the hospital, please continue to shelter-in-place and honor the local, state, and federal COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. A huge thank you to the many South Shore residents who continue to stay at home and avoid social contact.

Together, we can fight this pandemic, slow down the spread of the coronavirus, and lessen its impact on our community.

Dr. Kandra Yee is the Chief of COVID Emergency Operations, Chief of Staff, Medical Director of the Emergency Department, and a practicing Emergency Medicine Physician at Barton Memorial Hospital in South Lake Tahoe, California. For more information on how to join the Barton Medical Corps, please visit bartonhealth.org/medcorps and send questions about working or volunteering to bartonhr@bartonhealth.org.

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