On behalf of our entire team of 1,500 providers, nurses and staff at Westmed Medical Group, I want to thank you for trusting us with being your partner in lifelong care. Your trust and loyalty is what continues to inspire us during this anxious and uncertain time. I write you today to reassure you that your health and safety is, and always will be, our top priority here at Westmed. Every visit. Every patient. Every day. This priority is built into the core values that define Westmed, and we will not waver from this mission in the face of any challenge, including concerns posed by coronavirus (COVID-19).
On Monday, we communicated with you about one Westmed provider from our White Plains office who tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), and shared that this exposure is likely tied to the original case which occurred in New Rochelle. At this time, this is still the only confirmed positive case of coronavirus from a Westmed team member. We are happy to report that this provider is recovering well at home, and remains under quarantine.
Since January, our pandemic response team has been working around the clock with local and state government agencies, as well as our own infectious disease experts, and our primary care providers, to develop coordinated response strategies to address the continued concerns surrounding COVID-19. While coronavirus is still actively spreading within the community, I want to personally inform you of the extra measures our team is taking to reduce any potential exposures to coronavirus for our patients:
- Our Facilities. We have always taken great pride in the cleanliness of our medical offices and procedure areas, and our team understands that this is more important than ever right now. We have doubled the frequency of our already rigorous cleaning protocols at all of our facilities. This means more time is being spent sanitizing exam rooms, waiting areas, check-in desks and all other surfaces. It is also prudent to remember that regular handwashing is one of the most important preventive measures we all can take.
- Your Office Visits & Procedures. Westmed is rescheduling some non-urgent office visits, and has added enhanced pre-screening and arrival protocols. In keeping with our promise of transparency, I want to inform you of the reasons for this decision. The limited availability of gloves, masks and gowns across the nation is a challenge we are managing by ensuring that our supplies are preserved and available for all patients who require the protective equipment during in-person visits, along with our staff who are providing their care. Again our mission remains the safety of every patient and care provider in our spaces.
- Your Visit via Telemedicine. Many of our traditionally in-person visits are now being converted to virtual visits through our telemedicine platforms. This offers you the option of Virtual Urgent Care Visits and in some instances, Virtual Primary and Specialty Care Visits. We remain committed to providing access to you in a manner that meets your specific needs. At this time, our offices remain open to those who need care, but we are glad to also offer patients the alternative of telemedicine.
- If You Suspect You May Have Coronavirus. In this instance, Westmed does not offer testing in our offices, but we can help you navigate where and how to be tested. We are working in close partnership with local community hospitals, and together with guidance from our Director of Population Health, your Primary Care Provider and the Department of Health, we can create a plan for you to be tested if needed. Remember: It is important to call your Primary Care Provider before coming into the office or going to the Emergency Room, if you believe you have been exposed to coronavirus.
We, at Westmed, never take for granted your continued trust and confidence in our team; it is this that inspires us to be our best in times like these. Our promise to you is to remain your source for information and care as each day brings new developments.
Wishing you continued good health,
Editor’s Note: This message was sent to patients on March 12, 2020.
Other Resources: We have a number of resources available to our patients, to help navigate any confusion they may face, including a Public Health Informational Hotline (914-831-4149), our website and our social media pages (including our Facebook page).