Hospital Corner – October, 2021

Hospital Corner – October, 2021

A concerned community member called recently asking what can be done to convince more county residents to get their COVID-19 vaccination.  As about 50% of eligible county residents have been fully vaxxed, caller had a good point.  Given that safe and effective vaccines have been available to the public for ten months now, not sure there is much more that can be done to persuade the remaining half.  The facts are clear (the real facts, not the massive fake news and social media disinformation campaigns designed to confuse and dissuade Americans): these vaccines save lives.  Vaccinated folks are 12 times less likely to be hospitalized for COVID.  Unfortunately, that is not convincing enough to change the minds of the vaccine hesitant or virus deniers. 

Sadly, General Colin Powell’s death earlier this month was exploited by more falsehoods claiming vaccines really don’t work (he was fully vaxxed) and could even be dangerous. Of course, these claims failed to mention his lengthy battle with an aggressive cancer and other health issues that severely weakened his immune system.  Like seatbelts, vaccines are highly effective at keeping you safe but there are rare occasions where even these measures are not enough—not that it will matter to those whose minds are made up. Driving north on 95 to Fallon is far more hazardous to your health than Pfizer, Moderna or J&J vaccine!  Obesity, smoking, lack of exercise, and eating a regular diet of fast food also pose far greater risks.  Doing my best to convince you, though doubtful it will impact those who refuse to accept reality.  Cynical, I admit, but COVID will be with us for awhile and likely many of us will lose someone we know to the virus.  All preventable if we act now.

Hawthorne just received a stockpile of Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11 (emergency authorization expected soon).  Contact the public health nurse or one of our providers if you want your child(ren) vaccinated.  We also have a good supply of all three vaccines available for adults (anyone 12 and older), so no trouble getting your shot today or as soon as you like—just call.

Hope you took advantage of our “50-50” program the past two months.  It has been a few years since we did this last; all had the opportunity cut their hospital bills in half!  Our way of helping community members get caught up on past due accounts.  Program ends October 31 but with Nevada Day holiday and weekend, today is actually last day to participate. Thanks to Financial Horizons Credit Union for low interest loans that helped many make the most of this program.  Our business office closes at 5 today so still a little time to call or stop by and make that payment; it will be 2023 or so before this is offered again.

Briefly mentioned last month that Dr. Steven Miller will now be performing endoscopy procedures beginning early November.  He is a general surgeon with extensive training in a variety of specialties including Vascular, Mini Endovascular, Minimally Invasive Surgery, Dialysis Intervention, and Colorectal Surgery.  He will be at MGGH a few days a month for Clinic visits and procedures.  Call 945-2461 ext 219 for appointments and more information.

Speaking of the Clinic, the times they are a changing.  Because this is a small town and most of us know each other, outpatients arriving at the Clinic are rarely asked to show their insurance card and drivers license when they register.  Good luck getting away with that at Banner Churchill or Renown!  This must change here as well, as insurance companies will find numerous excuses to delay or not pay if our registration information is inaccurate or incomplete.  My apologies but you must have both to register.

Sign of the season: look for Toys for Tots bins in Clinic and Hospital soon.  Staff and outpatients will be doing all they can to make this a Christmas to remember for children in our community.

Hugh Qualls, Administrator