COVID-19 Response

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CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System and The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio to Resume Elective Procedures and Surgeries April 20, 2020

CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System and The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio are preparing to resume elective procedures and surgeries on April 22, consistent with the provisions of the Governor Greg Abbott’s original order on April 17.

Our CHRISTUS Santa Rosa and Children’s Hospital facilities have secured the personal protective equipment (PPE) and excess capacity necessary to safely care for the full spectrum of medical conditions and patient needs that we have worked so hard to address in our communities for more than 150 years.

We are working with physicians now to reschedule their patients for medical and surgical procedures they were forced to postpone due to the initial order. While we all understand the reason these procedures had to be postponed, waiting has imposed a hardship on many of these patients, as many can no longer delay care for heart disease, cancer, pain, vision problems and other conditions. We are working to avoid a surge in illness and suffering as a result of deferred and delayed care.

CHRISTUS Santa Rosa is expanding its surgery scheduling to include evening and weekend availability for patients’ convenience and to ensure it is ready to provide care that has been delayed. “With the school year cut short and assignments being done from home, this is an opportune time for children to have the surgeries and procedures they need, giving them ample time to recover before the school year begins in the fall,” said Dr. Charles Hankins, President, The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio.

“For adults, the procedures that have been deferred are often issues that are tied to a patient’s quality of life,” explains Dr. Ian Thompson, President, CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital – Medical Center. “Some of these procedures will even help patients to live longer. Because of that, it is important that we get these patients back into our operating rooms when medically necessary, as quickly as we can. However, as we’ve done with each of our past surgeries and procedures throughout our history, we must ensure the safety of our patients, Associates and physicians first,” said Dr. Thompson.

CHRISTUS Santa Rosa and The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio practice infection prevention every day, and recently demonstrated that the health system is on the cutting edge of infection prevention for the San Antonio and surrounding communities, by offering antibody testing for some patients, Associates and physicians. This new screening tool allows the hospital to test these groups for antibodies related to the COVID-19 virus, helping identify how each patient and caregiver can participate in a safe and caring environment.

Not only that, but leaders with CHRISTUS Santa Rosa and The Children’s Hospital have been collaborating over the few weeks to put policies and procedures in place to provide necessary, non-COVID related care to keep people safe and healthy. To keep all who enter our facilities safe, CHRISTUS facilities in San Antonio, New Braunfels and San Marcos have taken the following precautions:

  • Limiting visitors;
  • Screening everyone to include temperature checks who comes through our doors;
  • Isolating COVID-19 patients within the facility;
  • Requiring everyone on our campuses to wear masks;
  • Using telemedicine to treat active COVID-19 patients, so caregivers and support staff may limit the number of times they enter their rooms.

This may be an unprecedented time, but we have experienced many of these since CHRISTUS was founded 154 years ago. In fact, the first three Sisters who started the CHRISTUS ministry in Galveston faced an epidemic of yellow fever within the first six months of opening the very first hospital. Epidemics and tragedies have been part of CHRISTUS’ history, and so too has the resolve, after each of those challenges, to move on in love and service to those in need.

“CHRISTUS is here to answer the call to help our community – today and tomorrow. In all that we do, we are devoted to keeping patients, their families, our caregivers and our Associates safe. And we are here when you need care. We are ready,” Dr. Thompson said.