JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — One year after the first case of COVID-19 was identified in Missouri, the state crossed another milestone in COVID-19 response and recovery — vaccination of more than 1 million individuals. Hospitals have remained essential in both treatment of patients and now administration of vaccine through their own vaccine events, and in partnering with other community organizations and the Missouri National Guard to stage large vaccine events. None of this would have been possible without the thousands of front-line caregivers who have worked tirelessly and selflessly to provide care and administer vaccines.
Central to hospitals’ response has been the ongoing partnership hospitals have had throughout the past year with public health, various economic sectors, education, other health care providers and especially government through Gov. Parson’s administration to accomplish the following.
- Hospitals established and supported mass testing sites throughout the state.
- Bed capacity expanded, including the creation of dedicated COVID-19 units at some hospitals, to manage patient surge.
- Telehealth services expanded capacity to better serve patients from their homes.
- COVID-19 inpatient care has been provided to nearly 7,800 patients.
- More than half (56%) of vaccine delivery in Missouri has been administered by individual hospitals, as partners with local health stakeholders and within the High Throughput Health Care vaccination program.
- Missourians have been kept apprised of the status of the disease, and response and recovery efforts in every region of the state through transparent and regularly updated information on MHA’s website and a widely distributed newsletter.
- MHA participated in the state’s “fusion cell” for COVID-19 statewide coordination for the past year, along with numerous state agencies.
- Hospitals worked tirelessly to maintain essential services, making sure that Missourians stayed healthy and had access to high-quality care in a safe environment.
“Although our response and recovery are ongoing, it is now possible to see a return to normal in the months ahead,” said Herb B. Kuhn, MHA President and CEO. “Before COVID-19 reached the state, hospitals were prepared to protect and serve their communities. Although the response has lasted longer than most of us could have envisioned, our ability to continue is possible, in part, because of the strong partnership with the state of Missouri and Gov. Parson’s leadership.”
The pandemic both exposed and exacerbated existing disparities in our health care system. Through intentional actions, hospitals have both identified and worked to break down those barriers to care. COVID-19 has highlighted opportunities for hospitals to form new partnerships that will help to address ongoing inequities in providing health care services to Missourians.
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