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Guest column/Our community shows compassion, resiliency and strength

On behalf of the entire Weirton Medical Center family of more than 1,400 employees, physicians, medical professionals and volunteers, we would like to thank the community for the continual offers and support and assistance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our WMC team has prepared for weeks trying to ensure we have adequate supplies, facilities and resources to respond to an evolving situation that changes daily on a global level. While we are confident in our ability to respond, every hospital is now facing the same challenges of anticipating the unknown with limited resources.

As one of only two hospitals serving a 30-mile radius, we realize WMC and our physicians are the only source of medical care for many residents. We to continue to attempt to provide care in as uninterrupted a manner as possible. As conditions change, we have begun to implement more restrictive guidelines for patients and visitors, including limiting access to WMC to only those individuals with immediate medical needs. As medical supplies become more strained, WMC physicians will have to further prioritize what medical care can be provided now and what can be postponed. This decision is not taken lightly and what is considered elective to one patient may be life-saving to another so our approach will be for physicians to make these decisions on a case-by-case basis in consultation with patients and their families.

Despite the uncertainty brought on by COVID-19, the individuals who make up our family at WMC have been nothing short of inspiring. Every department has been fully engaged in playing its part to make sure WMC can continue to offer the quality care that our patients and families have come to expect in a safe environment for as long as possible. WMC along with all hospitals have systems in place and are committed to providing patient care in a safe, calm environment despite challenging conditions. The crisis created by COVID-19 has created a tremendous amount of stress both inside hospitals and in communities at large. What has been most reassuring has been the unwavering professionalism and dedication demonstrated daily by all of the WMC team, especially the medical professionals on the front lines of patient care.

What also has been reassuring is the resiliency of our residents. Crisis is not new to the Ohio Valley and during the past decades, we have become battle-hardened as a community through plant closures, job losses and tragedy. Because of our history together through tough times, the crisis brought on by COVID-19 has once again brought out the true spirit, compassion and community support of those we share our lives with throughout the Ohio Valley.

Again, on behalf of every member of our WMC family, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your patience and support through an uncertain challenge.

(Frankovitch is the president and chief executive officer of Weirton Medical Center, and Reddy is the chief medical officer.)

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