When I talk about COVID-19 and the effects it’s having at Santa Cruz Valley Regional Hospital, I am eager to state that our team has successfully treated scores of patients with the virus. The amazing staff and physicians who work and practice here are responsive, professional, caring and tireless.

We’ve successfully secured state funds, federal funds and various other funds, including pharmaceuticals and PPE, to sustain operations during this unprecedented healthcare crisis. We have a deep appreciation for what other hospitals and healthcare workers are going through. This hospital, as well as all other hospitals, are experiencing financial and system hits responding to this pandemic. Federal, state and county officials understand and are trying to find ways to assist hospitals and other healthcare givers in this crisis.

Even more heartwarming – the donations and support from community members, businesses, and even from a local Girl Scout Troop: lunches, gift certificates, comfort masks, signs and well wishes. We’re keeping track of all these donations!

As a hospital CEO with 40 years in healthcare and on the front lines during this crisis, I’d like to offer a few suggestions.

1. Masks work, so do washing hands and social distancing. Be respectful of others. Wearing a mask is not a political statement, it is necessary to protect yourself and others.

2. Be prepared for a community-wide financial impact. Many businesses and individuals are suffering financially as well as healthcare.

3. Keep positive. We are so fortunate to live in a county with an abundance of services and innovation. Although we are facing circumstances we can’t control, it’s how we react to them that defines who we are.

4. It does not end with a vaccine. When a vaccine becomes available, it resolves part of the problem caused by this pandemic. It helps solve the medical issue, but not the overall economic and social dislocations. That will be a work in progress for several years to come.

5. Unify our efforts. COVID-19 has brought much stress and despair, but we’re pulling together in an impressive way. As the surge continues to grow in Arizona and our community, we need to unify our efforts, rise above divisive rhetoric and pettiness, and remain vigilant. COVID-19 doesn’t know politics.

Support your local hospital and businesses.

Kelly Adams, CEO, Santa Cruz Valley Regional Hospital