COVID-19 Response

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CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System to Resume Elective Surgeries by End of April April 20, 2020

Texarkana, TX – CHRISTUS Health will certify all of its Texas facilities to resume elective care, and CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System is preparing to resume elective procedures and surgeries by the end of April, consistent with the provisions of the Governor Greg Abbot’s original order on April 17.

CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System has 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 community for more than 104 years.

We are working with physicians now to reschedule their patients for medical and surgical procedures that have been postponed due to the governor’s initial order in March. While we understand the reason that these procedures had to be postponed, waiting has imposed a hardship for many of these patients, and many can no longer delay care for heart disease, cancer, pain, general, orthopedic and neurosurgeries and other conditions. We are working to avoid a surge in illness and suffering as a result of deferred and delayed care.

“When we discuss the procedures that have been delayed or deferred, we are often talking about a patient’s quality of life,” said Jason Rounds, President, CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System. “And that means quality of life many years into the future, as some of these procedures will extend a patient’s life. Getting back into our operating rooms with these patients is crucial to their health. However, safety is a cornerstone of our care now and it always has been. We must ensure our patients, Associates and physicians are safe, and that does not change. That has been a core belief of CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System since the very beginning,” Rounds said.

CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System practices infection prevention every day. In addition, the system recently announced that is leading the Texarkana community, and the country, 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 it to identify how each patient should receive care and how to keep its caregivers safe.

Not only that, but CHRISTUS St. Michael has been prepared the last several weeks to continue to provide necessary, non-COVID care to keep people safe and healthy. To keep all who enter our facilities safe, CHRISTUS St. Michael continues to have these following precautions in place:

  • Limiting visitors;
  • Screening everyone who comes through our doors including temperature checks;
  • Isolating COVID-19 patients;
  • Screening and temperature checks for Associates and physicians;
  • Requiring everyone on our campuses to wear masks;
  • Using telemedicine to treat active COVID-19 patients, so their caregivers and support staff 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 St. Michael is answering 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,” Rounds said.