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Greater Des Moines Partnership Investor Briefing on COVID-19

COVID-19 Investor Briefing

Greater Des Moines Partnership CEO Jay Byers discusses how to best assist the Greater Des Moines (DSM) hospital systems as they prepare and plan for the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. MercyOne President and CEO Bob Ritz and Dr. Kent Carr, as well as UnityPoint President and CEO Kevin Vermeer, along with Dr. Dave Williams, share their perspectives on the regional healthcare system and what to expect in the coming weeks.

What is COVID-19

Originally called the Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19 was discovered in Wuhan, China. Dr. Carr explains how the respiratory virus is spread person-to-person through close contact with symptoms appearing 2-14 days after exposure.

Strategies of Dealing with COVID-19

Bob highlights different strategies used for dealing with viruses. General mitigation measures include social distancing, business and school closures, restrictions of gathering to less than 10 people, working from home and many other measures for each person to help slow the spread and flatten the slope of growing infections in each community and the state. The "Hammer" strategy is when policymakers implement these aggressive strategies to reduce the transmission of this virus.

Social Distancing Measures

Bob discusses the outcomes for different social distancing measures, including how the following actions will affect the need for ICU beds, based on data from the UK:

  • Case isolation
  • Case isolation and household
  • Closing schools and universities
  • Case isolation, home quarantine, social distancing of >70s

Bob explains how the goal is to bring the curve down and convert the acute care delivery system to be able to build more capacity by eliminating the elective patient care services which has created the excess capacity to address a possible surge for COVID-19 infected patients as the case count grows in Iowa. Both MercyOne and UnityPoint have adopted the FEMA incident command approach for the Central Command Structures in the Systems Offices with Incident Command Centers in each hospital to ensure a readiness plan for each market.

The briefing speakers answered attendee questions in the Q&A portion of the webinar, offering information on the following topics, and more:

  • The length of time a person is contagious
  • When COVID-19 is expected to peak in Iowa
  • Is our hospital system in Polk County overwhelmed?
  • Whether telehealth will change how healthcare is delivered long-term
  • Mitigating exposure for employees

To see the entire webinar, click here.

You can count on The Partnership to continue to share accurate and fact-based updates as well. See more on COVID-19 here.

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