Pueblo hospitals still hurting over surgery suspensions early in pandemic
By Alexis Smith – The Pueblo Chieftain
Similar to many businesses throughout the country, health care has endured hardship in the face of the coronavirus pandemic – overcoming obstacles that to this point, were unseen. Questions left health care providers in fear, forcing them to transition seemingly overnight, and compromised the financial stability of both hospitals and private practice surgeons.
The quick shift was surreal and shocking
Dr. Sandeep Vijan, chief quality officer at Parkview Medical Center, compared the experience to preparing for combat.
″(At this time, there were) plenty of unknowns and conflicting guidance from governmental health agencies,” Vijan said. “There was fear among health care providers – trying to find the balance between being available for patients and staying safe simultaneously.”
Dr. Stephen Girard, a general surgeon at St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center, said his experience could compare to walking into a whole other world.
“I was going out of town over the weekend back in March,” Girard said. “On Friday everyone was talking about the coronavirus, and then by Monday, it was a whole new world.”
Girard does not schedule surgeries too far out. That gave him the opportunity to complete the procedures scheduled prior to the suspension, but within a week the hospital was having meetings about the state regulations and how to implement them.