Pioneers Hospital ER

Special tents set up at PMHD Emergency Room for screening of patients for COVID-19.

BRAWLEY — Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District (PMHD) is doing everything possible to meet the needs of Brawley residents and surrounding communities during this trying time, according to PMHD CEO Larry Lewis. He gave the Desert Review an update to what the hospital is currently implementing.

“As you have seen the tents popping up near Pioneers Emergency Room entrance, there’s significant preparation under way to support the CDC, California HHS, and Public Health’s efforts to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” said Lewis. “There are nurse screening efforts placed at two controlled entrances at the hospital. Everyone coming in to Pioneers is asked to quickly answer questions regarding their possible exposure or symptoms. Everyone has the recommended personal protective equipment when greeting or treating the patients. The same screening is taking place at each of our three clinic sites in the Valley.”

“The hospital has activated its Hospital Incident Command System (HICS) to bring focused attention to supporting the efforts to educate caregivers the support teams, the community, and patients about COVID-19 and the precautions they should each take to mitigate the spread of the virus,” said Lewis. “The HICS team is constantly organizing the continuous communication and directions from a wide variety of agencies, patients, and colleagues into a coherent, daily communication. An open forum meeting is being held internally, daily, to field and coordinate additional questions that come up.” 

“Certainly one of the most significant concerns is the availability and short supply of personal protective equipment for caregivers and those directly in contact with patients under investigation,” said Lewis. “Nationally, this is a concern and we’re no different. Colleagues have been advised of the shortage and are actively supporting nationally guided standards for the conservation and preservation of the supply. Fortunately, we have received two different supply deliveries of protective equipment from the State and the federal reserves in the last 10 days.”

“We work with Scripps Health, the California Hospital Association, and Public Health to be as prepared as possible for the projected needs,” Lewis concluded.

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