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Dr. Jeff Balser on Adapting and Thriving in a New Phase of the Pandemic

May. 8, 2020, 10:47 AM

Hi, everyone.

As our region begins to reopen businesses, we are entering a new phase of the pandemic. COVID-19 is still with us and remains a major public health challenge.

Jeff Balser, MD, PhD

But responsibility is shifting to all of us — as individuals and as institutions — to find new ways to live and work while keeping ourselves, and each other, safe.

We’ve all been impacted by virus. I know so many people here at VUMC who have lost family members to COVID-19. And many others with spouses or children now without jobs. This pandemic has tested us in countless ways.

But what I have also seen, in every corner of VUMC, is courage and resilience. We are not simply going to survive this crisis. We are constantly learning and becoming more confident in our ability to adapt, building new muscles that will allow us to thrive.

So, amidst the tragedy of COVID-19, the story we will tell at VUMC is one of hope. In the past week, we restarted care for thousands of people, and with the Mayor’s announcements yesterday we will be slowly increasing on-site activities in non-clinical areas.

Our primary concern as we do this is safety — protecting you and our patients. So, we’ve implemented a host of new safety practices, designed to give us all confidence, while helping millions of patients get the care they need.

My message is this: it is no longer necessary to delay care that is important to your health. Now more than ever, we are all seen as leaders in this community, so I would be grateful if you would help us carry that message.

To assist, I am sharing a commercial that VUMC will begin airing this weekend, throughout the region.

Please stay safe and healthy. We’ll talk again soon.


Commercial Transcript:

Hello, I’m Dr. Jeff Balser, CEO of Vanderbilt Health.

When you see us next, you will experience some new practices to help you get the care you need in an ever-changing world with COVID-19.

We’re checking temperatures — and screening all patients and employees for symptoms. Everyone will wear a mask, including our staff, and we are spacing the chairs in waiting areas. We will also be contacting you, before you arrive, to find out whether you may be developing symptoms, and to answer your questions.

We all have legitimate fears during these uncertain times. But be reassured — at Vanderbilt we are all part of something strong and enduring, serving this community for nearly 150 years through the most difficult times our nation has seen.

At Vanderbilt our patients come first. You always have and always will.

Thank you.


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