An incident command team assembled in March 2020 to lead MU Health Care through COVID-19 is returning to normalcy, a sign that the pandemic is now putting less pressure on health workers and facilities.
A “sunset” of MU Health Care’s COVID-19 Incident Command team is underway, Jonathan Curtright, chief executive officer of MU Health Care, told members of the UM System Board of Curators Health Affairs Committee during a meeting Thursday afternoon. . Sunsetting is a term generally used to describe the expiration of a government program or agency.
“We need to manage COVID-19 within normal clinical practice,” Curtright said, “no different than we deal with any other aspect of healthcare in the future.”
The incident command was initially tasked with coordination and preparation once COVID-19 hit central Missouri, and it has responded to the demands of the pandemic for the past 20 months.
At its inception, the Incident Command initially met daily, but over time it has moved to less frequent meetings as the demands of the pandemic have waned, with the team meeting only once a week for the past six months, spokesperson from MU Health Care said Jesslyn Chew.
As the wave of business subsides, the incident command structure remains, but members will now communicate only electronically and schedule a face-to-face meeting if necessary.
“It reminds me what we can do when we have focus and alignment and excellent direction,” Curtright said.
Curtright said MU Health Care will still remain diligent in its pandemic response in light of the change. “We will remain agile, we will remain agile and we will move forward as needed,” he said.
The leaders of the health affair also expressed their anticipation for the Nov. 16 “move day” when pediatric emergency services and several other functions are scheduled to move from the Women’s and Children’s Hospital to the University Hospital campus.
In addition to the current services, the new location will offer an extensive child-friendly space. It also includes childcare facilities and a facility dog. The new space is exclusively for children with child-specific care teams, equipment and furnishings.
The seven services affected by the move include:
- Pediatric Inpatient Unit
- Pediatric Surgery
- Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)
- Pediatric emergency services
- Childhood Cancer and Blood Disease Unit (CBCU)
- Pediatric EEG
- Children’s Hospital Procedure Suite (CHPS)
“Pediatric patients can expect the same high level of care from Mid-Missouri’s only pediatric emergency team with doctors and nurses specially trained to care for children,” said Matthew Robinson, an emergency physician and leader of the Emergency Medicine team at MU Health. care. in a press release.
Curtright acknowledged that the move will come with challenges, although he expects a positive outcome.
“I liken it to moving in with your parents while your house is being built,” Curtright said. “It will be a bit of a challenge, but we will get there, and in many cases we will be able to increase the number of facilities and the amount of space there is compared to the Women and Children’s Hospital.”
The move is one of the first steps towards developing a centralized hospital campus. According to the release, a new tower for the Children’s Hospital and Birth Center is to be completed on MU Health Care’s main campus by summer 2024.
The committee meeting comes a week before the last Board of Trustees meeting of the year, scheduled for Nov. 18 at the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus.