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Washoe County Medical Society

Getting Back to Wellness is Essential

PSA- get back to wellness campaign

Jay K. Morgan WCMS PresidentEditor’s Note: Watch this opinion piece in Sunday’s Reno Gazette-Journal.

Fear has been driving many decisions by our patients about obtaining or not obtaining medical care. Today, we have established precautionary tools and processes in place to help our patients remain safe during appointments.

We are encouraging our families, friends and neighbors to get back to wellness. Our PSA, “Let’s Get Back to Wellness,” aims to assure our community that it is safe to resume your routine medical care. Don’t suffer through painful conditions, neglect blood pressure checks, cholesterol tests, immunizations, or any routine medical care that keeps you pain free and healthy.

As COVID-19 continues, we realize that there is an additional health concern that is separate from but related to the novel coronavirus. We have learned that many individuals are afraid to schedule a doctor’s appointment or go to the emergency department because they fear contracting the coronavirus. It was an eye-opener for me when an emergency room colleague recently asked, “Why is no one having a stroke?” He wasn’t wishing for a medical calamity, but he wasn’t seeing the normal rate of patients presenting with stroke symptoms.

The novel coronavirus is aptly named. It is like nothing we’ve ever seen. Your physicians join you in being frustrated about the many recommended restrictions as the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved. One of our early frustrations was being told we can’t practice in our usual ways. With our oath to “do no harm,” we were stymied in knowing that not seeing and treating some patients might mean harm if a condition was left untreated. Things have improved greatly in recent weeks.

The community at large has heard and embraced the message that the novel coronavirus is highly contagious and can be deadly. This has led to flattening the curve in our area.

We know more and understand more every day, which enables us to make better informed decisions. This also means that the information we get sometimes changes day to day. However, it doesn’t mean that we, in the healthcare profession are uninformed or reckless with our opinions. We are continually learning and adjusting as experience, as well as research gives us better and better data.

We share your frustration when we hear or read that something recommended yesterday or last week is no longer useful information. So, to stay abreast with this moving target of information, I suggest these reliable sources of information: covid19washoe.com, nvhealthresponse.nv.gov and cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html. The county, state and Centers for Disease Control have excellent web sites that are updated frequently.

Virtual visits are working well for many. For those who need onsite, face-to-face visits, offices have protocols in place that protect the safety of patients and staff. For example we screen everyone before they enter, surfaces are sanitized with regular frequency and masks are worn by everyone. Remember, our oath is to “do no harm.”

Please feel confident that medical offices are taking extra steps to make them safe places. Not just for you, but also for ourselves and dedicated staff members. Call your physician today to arrange a visit or video conference. It’s time to get back to wellness. Staying well is essential during this pandemic.

With the situation changing daily, we are committed to ongoing assessment of the data available and providing prompt access to updated recommendations and support resources. We are striving to be a highly reliable clearinghouse of the current information that will guide your practice procedures until the virus had ceased to be community health concern.

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