Samaritan discusses moving forward after NYS announces elective procedures to resume in some areas

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M. Andrew Short, Vice President & Chief Operating Officer

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) – Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Cuomo announced today that elective outpatient treatments can resume in counties and hospitals without significant risk of COVID-19 surge in the near term. 

According to M. Andrew Short, Vice President & Chief Operating Officer at Samaritan Medical Center, there are still a number of details that need to be worked out.

Hospital officials are pleased overall that the Governor is allowing procedures like elective surgery to resume on a regional basis in parts of the state that are not as significantly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Short says when deciding on a timeline for when Samaritan may resume elective surgeries, they must work with Public Health to ensure whatever process they choose does not result in an unintended consequence of adding to the current public health crisis. The hospital is committed to reassuring the public and patients that all social distancing measures and safety and health concerns remain “rock solid” when the services are reinstated.

Samaritan Medical Center completed over 10,000 procedures, including surgeries, in 2019. Approximately 900 procedures were put on hold in March and April of this year.

Although hospital officials are not announcing an exact timeline to resume elective surgeries and procedures, Short suggested that a special committee made up of surgeons, anesthesiologists, nursing leadership and medical officials will be formed to evaluate how these procedures may be scheduled.

Short did say that this will have an effect on the employees that were furloughed less than one week ago. Short stated that critical employees involved in the elective surgery process will need to be called back to ensure they will be able to perform the procedures scheduled. He did not say how many employees would be called back.

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