CMH Lifts Restrictions On Preventative Care, Outpatient Services And Elective Surgeries

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MARYSVILLE – Community Memorial Healthcare (CMH) announced Friday it will lift the temporary restrictions placed on elective surgeries, preventative medicine, and outpatient physician visits due to the COVID-19 virus. The decision follows the release of Governor Kelly’s Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas plan for the state. The health system will schedule non-high risk patients for as soon as Monday, May 4.

“This is great news for patients who have placed their care plans on hold due to COVID-19,” said CEO Curtis Hawkinson. “Our team is ready to deliver safe care to all patients. We continue to follow all Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kansas Department of Health and Education (KDHE) safety guidelines.”

“The safety and health of our patients and staff are our utmost priority,” said Dr. Shane Thoreson, chief of medical staff. “We have adapted our lobbies and protocols to meet social distancing guidelines, and will continue to monitor our community for any potential outbreak of COVID-19.”

Safety protocols put in place regarding care include, but are not limited to:

  • All individuals entering CMH facilities, including team members, will continue to be screened for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • All individuals entering CMH facilities will be asked to don a cloth face mask. Patients may bring their own mask or may opt to wear one supplied by CMH.
  • All care team members will wear surgical masks and protective eye wear, as well as other necessary personal protective equipment (PPE), at all times when caring for patients.
  • Visitors will still be prohibited. A support person will be allowed for surgical patients, delivering OB mothers; children under the age of 18; patients with confusion, altered mental status or developmental delays; and end-of-life patients.
  • Six-foot social distances have been established in public spaces such as waiting areas.
  • Extra cleaning and disinfection of high-touch, public surface areas will continue.
  • Infectious patients will continue to be cared for in isolation, away from non-infectious patients.

In addition to the safety protocols, CMH remains prepared to cease non-essential procedures in the event a surge or peak of COVID-19 develops in the area.

“We’re able to lift restrictions due to the low COVID-19 transmission rate within our community,” said Hawkinson. “However, our new normal is that we now live with the COVID-19 virus. As people resume activities, we may see a spike in the virus and we will always side on protecting our patients, healthcare workers and community by returning to more restrictive policies and protocols. Until a vaccine or cure is found, CMH will remain prepared at all times to handle a surge and care for our community and surrounding area.”

To remain prepared, CMH will maintain a sufficient supply of PPE as well as other resources necessary to care for COVID-19 patients. In addition, the health system will collaborate with Marshall County Public Health Department and KDHE to continually evaluate incidences and trends of COVID-19 cases within Marshall County and the surrounding areas.

“Safety is our top priority,” said Hawkinson. “Our delivery may look a little different in the new normal, but our commitment to our mission to deliver high-quality, compassionate health care remains the same.”

Patients who wish to schedule their elective surgery or outpatient procedure should first visit with their primary care provider.

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.