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Op-Ed by State Physicians on COVID-19 Safety Precautions Published Statewide

The following important COVID-19 safety message is made on behalf of Chief Medical Officers of Wisconsin Health Systems and Hospitals.

November 19, 2020

The following op-ed coordinated by WHA and signed by dozens of state physician leaders is now live on the digital sites of the Gannet’s Wisconsin newspapers. It will appear in print editions of the newspaper group’s papers on Sunday.

Thank you to everyone who helped formulate and distribute this important message. We encourage you to share this with your staff and stakeholders.


Wisconsin Hospital and Health System Physician Leaders Issue Joint COVID-19 Safety Message

Wisconsin patients and families trust their physicians to diagnose and treat illnesses. Now, as COVID-19 spreads uncontrollably throughout Wisconsin, we are asking you to heed our advice again by taking this disease very seriously and adopting simple precautions to stop its spread in your community. 

As COVID-19 infections rise at alarming rates in Wisconsin, so too are its damaging effects on our local businesses, our healthcare systems and thousands of our friends, neighbors and loved ones. COVID-19 is an insidious disease that can easily sicken friends and family by a single carrier showing no symptoms. It is now rapidly spreading throughout all Wisconsin communities, urban and rural.  

While COVID leaves many unscathed, it has also left thousands of others isolated and seriously ill. It has now taken the lives of more than 2,700 people in Wisconsin – grandparents, parents, sons, daughters, and many others. While most read about COVID-19 in the newspaper or see it on TV, more are coming to know its pain and devastation first-hand. As Wisconsin physician leaders, we see the growing toll this disease is taking on our health care system, straining hospital capacity and stressing our nurses, doctors and others – those “health care heroes” we are all grateful for, but who now need your help to stem the surge of COVID-19 patients in our hospitals and clinics.

For a disease with such serious and harmful consequences, there are simple things we can all do to turn this around.   

•    Keep a distance of six feet or greater from people outside your household.
•    Wear a mask when outside your home and around other people.
•    Avoid gatherings, especially where physical distancing and masking are not strictly practiced.
•    Wash your hands frequently.
•    Get your seasonal flu shot as soon as possible.

At Wisconsin’s hospitals and health systems, we are doing all we can to treat those who do get sick. However, we can’t prevent you, your family and friends from getting sick and needing medical care. That’s up to each of us individually and all of us collectively. Together, with simple, temporary steps, we can get this dangerous virus under control and get back to normal.

  • Mark Kaufman, MD
    Chief Medical Officer
    Wisconsin Hospital Association
  •  
  • Greg Brusko, DO, MMM, FACOS
    Chief Clinical Officer
    Ascension Wisconsin
  •  
  • Cynthia Lasecki, MD, FAAFP
    Chief Medical Officer
    Bellin Health System
  •  
  • Michael Gutzeit, MD
    Chief Medical Officer
    Children’s Wisconsin - Milwaukee Hospital
  •  
  • Robyn Borge, MD
    Chief of Medical/Clinical Staff
    Gundersen Health System
  •  
  • William Melms, MD
    Chief Medical Officer
    Marshfield Clinic Health System
  •  
  • Tim Bjelland, DO
    Chief Medical Officer
    Mile Bluff Medical Center
  •  
  • Elizabeth Baker, DPM
    Chief Medical Officer
    Reedsburg Area Medical Center
  •  
  • Mark Van Etten, MD
    Medical Director
    Spooner Health
  •  
  • Jennifer Frank, MD, FAAFP
    VP and CMO, Clinical Integrated Network
    ThedaCare
  •  
  • Aimee Becker, MD, MBA
    Chief Medical Officer
    UW Health
  •  
  • Gary Stuck, DO, FAAFP
    Chief Medical Officer
    Advocate Aurora Health
  •  
  • Ryan Andrews, MD
    Chief Medical Officer
    Aspirus Wausau Hospital
  •  
  • Roger Kapoor, MD
    Senior Vice President and CMO
    Beloit Health System
  •  
  • James Heise, MD, MBA
    Chief Medical Officer
    Door County Medical Center
  •  
  • Andrew Dorwart, MD
    Senior Medical Director
    HealthPartners St. Croix Valley Hospitals
  •  
  • Robert Peck, MD
    Vice Chair of Regional Practice
    Mayo Clinic Health System –
    Eau Claire
  •  
  • Robert Gouthro, MD
    Chief Medical Officer
    North Central Health Care
  •  
  • Christine Richards, MD
    Chief of Staff
    Richland Hospital
  •  
  • Mark Thompson, MD
    President - SSM Health Wisconsin Medical Groups
    SSM Health
  •  
  • Pam Wetzel, MD, MBA
    Chief Medical Officer
    UnityPoint Health Meriter
  •  
  • Jeffrey Lawrence, MD
    Orthopaedic Surgeon/Chief of Staff
    Vernon Memorial Healthcare
  •  
  • Ryan Else, MD
    Vice President of Medical Affairs
    Allina Health System
  •  
  • Brian Johnson, MD, FACP
    Chief Medical Officer
    Aurora BayCare Medical Center
  •  
  • Esteban Miller, MD
    Hospitalist/Chief Medical Officer
    Black River Memorial Hospital, Inc.
  •  
  • Jonathon D. Truwit, MD
    Enterprise CMO and Sr. Admin. Dean
    Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin - Froedtert Hospital
  •  
  • Edgar (Ted) K. Collison, MD
    Chief Physician Executive
    Hospital Sisters Health System - Wisconsin Division
  •  
  • Joseph Krien, MD
    Regional Chair of Practice
    Mayo Clinic Health System - Franciscan Healthcare in La Crosse
  •  
  • Rene B. Milner, MD
    Chief Medical Officer
    Osceola Medical Center
  •  
  • Jerry Halverson, MD, FACPsych, DFAPA
    Chief Medical Officer
    Rogers Behavioral Health
  •  
  • Aaron Schwaab, MD, FACS
    General Surgeon and Chief Medical Officer
    Stoughton Hospital Association
  •  
  • Charles Pearce, MD
    Vice President of Medical Affairs
    Upland Hills Health, Inc.
  •  

 

This story originally appeared in the November 19, 2020 edition of WHA Newsletter