Commentary: Beebe, recovery in Delaware both moving forward

By Dr. David Tam

After 90 days as the president and CEO of Beebe Healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, it’s nice to be writing good news more frequently.

The COVID-19 numbers continue to trend in a direction toward recovery. Statewide hospitalizations have dropped below 100. As we continue to monitor that data, Beebe lowered the level of Hospital Incident Command System, meaning we are no longer in “crisis mode” 24/7. However, we remain vigilant and prepared to continue battling this pandemic because it is a marathon, not a sprint.

Dr. David Tam

As the state of Delaware continues to move into advanced phases of recovery, so does Beebe.

One of the very reasons we have been able to rapidly and confidently move into our next phase of recovery is the extensive safety measures already in place at all Beebe care sites, including Walk-In Care, physician offices and surgery centers.

Outpatient surgery center at the Rehoboth Health Campus and operating rooms at the Margaret H. Rollins Lewes Campus are increasingly busy with bringing back postponed elective procedures as we work with surgeons and staff to quickly and safely take care of all the patients who have been waiting for care.

Thanks to all of you for being patient and trusting us as your local health system to do the right thing at the right time for the community.

Additional measures like imaging and lab work being performed by appointment and the requirement that masks be worn when visiting any Beebe care site are necessary at this time to ensure safety – which is always our top priority. And we continue to utilize and grow our telemedicine platform so that Beebe Medical Group providers can care for you in the comfort and safety of your home if need be.

All this good news does not mean the pandemic is over – COVID-19 is here to stay until an effective vaccine can be produced. Physical distancing is still important, even as we all start to venture out to enjoy beaches, restaurants and boardwalks. Please continue to stay home if you are sick, wash your hands frequently, and wear a face covering out in public.

But the feeling of relief in the air is palpable. You can sense it as people begin to practice the new normal.

Our incredibly talented and innovative team is developing new ways to educate, guide and connect with the community while we remain focused ourselves in keeping the curve flat. We can keep that curve flat if we remember what we did to get here. ­Let’s continue to partner to make Sussex County a healthy community for all to enjoy – together.

David A. Tam, MD, MBA, FACHE, is president and CEO of Beebe Healthcare.