“As we’re doing more testing the number of patients impacted by COVID-19 are really, in our experience, about five percent, and that means about 95 percent of patients who experience illness or symptoms have things other than COVID 19,” Dr. Maria Padin, the Chief Medical Officer of the Southern Dartmouth-Hitchcock Region/Community Group practice, said in an interview posted on the Dartmouth-Hitchcock website on Friday.
“So, it’s really important that patients do not delay seeking care. We have seen an increase of severity of illness and chronic disease associated with patients not seeking timely care because of their fear of COVID and we want to reassure patients that we have taken measures to ensure that the environment is safe.”
Those measures include screening every patient that enters a D-H facility, regular temperature checks for every patient in a D-H building and redesigned waiting rooms and staggered appointment times for optimal social distancing. In some cases, patients who are waiting for appointments or procedures may even be asked to wait in their cars.
Padin started her job as the Chief Medical Officer of the Southern Dartmouth-Hitchcock Region/Community Group practice just two weeks into the COVID-19 crisis.
“There’s nothing like starting a new job in the midst of a pandemic,” Padin said. “I think it really accelerated the process of the interface and of my role because I was immediately launched into our incident command and emergency services coordination for the community group practices, working in coordination with incident command for the whole health system.”
Since 2015, Padin had been the Chief Medical Officer of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon where she focused on clinical and physician-related responsibilities specific to the academic medical center. The scope of those duties expanded during the COVID crisis before they changed completely with her new position.
“We found ourselves immediately having to work with our hospitals in the communities we serve because we really had to work with them to coordinate how we would all prepare for a surge together, and how we would collaborate with each other to help care for the patients and keep our staff and patients safe,” Padin said.
The DHHS also announced two additional deaths in the state related to COVID-19, bringing that total to 339. Both of the deceased were 60 years of age or older and lived in Hillsborough County.
On Friday, New London Hospital staff and community members welcomed back Michael Douglass, a captain in the Army Reserves and RN at New London Hospital. Douglass had been on a three-month deployment to Quenns, N.Y., to help fight COVID-19.
Apparently Gov. Chris Sununu doesn’t believe in the often-used parental retort, “Every day is kid’s day.” Sununu declared June 20, 2020 as Kid’s Day in New Hampshire after receiving a request in the mail.
“Dom, a first grade student, wrote to me suggesting there should be a Kid’s Day to recognize the bravery and resiliency that kids have shown as we navigated remote learning and #COVID19. Great idea, Dom!” Sununu wrote on Twitter on Saturday. “Happy to proclaim today, the first day of summer, as Kid’s Day!”
Sununu’s tweet included a picture of Dom’s letter and a picture of the official proclamation of Kid’s Day, which included these paragraphs: “WHEREAS, even though they missed their friends and teachers, kids quickly stepped up to the challenge of remote learning, and helped make it a success; and…
“WHEREAS, while kids are our youngest citizens, they make a big difference in their communities by keeping each other safe, speaking up, and helping neighbors in need.”