During this time of an influenza epidemic, ThedaCare and Affinity Health System leadership request that friends and family limit their visits to the health systems’ hospitals.
“If you do not need to be in the hospital, we ask that you protect hospitalized patients from exposure by not visiting unless necessary,” said Mark Hallett, MD, chief clinical officer for ThedaCare. “This is necessary to reduce the risk of spreading the influenza virus to patients and hospital staff. We appreciate the community’s support in limiting the spread of the influenza virus, protecting your friends and family.”
When family and friends visit, ThedaCare and Affinity leaders encourage them to sanitize their hands before entering the room and when leaving. In addition, anyone with respiratory symptoms is strongly discouraged from visiting the hospitals. People with a fever, cough, sore throat, or who feel fatigued are also encouraged to stay home.
“With so many people already sick or expected to be sick, our schools, workplaces and communities will be affected by this virus so we all need to work together to stop the spread of this disease,” said Dr. Hallett.
Washing your hands is an easy way to fight the illness. “It takes at least 20 seconds of friction with soap or alcohol-based sanitizers to kill the flu virus. And if the virus isn’t on your hands, it’s less likely to make it into your mouth, nose or eyes where it can enter your body and cause infection. Other simple tips for staying healthy include getting enough rest, eating right, and covering your cough. It’s important that we teach children to follow these healthy habits, too,” said Larry Donatelle, MD, Chief Medical Officer at St. Elizabeth Hospital.
ThedaCare™ is a community health system consisting of seven hospitals: Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, ThedaCare Medical Center-New London, Shawano Medical Center, and Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca. Community Health Network, which includes Berlin Memorial Hospital, and Wild Rose Memorial Hospital are in the process of affiliating with ThedaCare. ThedaCare also includes ThedaCare Physicians, ThedaCare Behavioral Health, and ThedaCare At Home. ThedaCare is one of the largest employers in Northeast Wisconsin with 6,800 employees. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Ministry Health Care, which includes Affinity Health System, is an integrated healthcare delivery network serving more than 1.1 million people across Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota. Ministry generates nearly $2.2 billion in annual operating revenue with 15 hospitals, 45 clinics, and more than 12,000 associates including 650 physicians and advanced practice clinicians. In 2013 Ministry Health Care joined Ascension Health as the second healthcare ministry in Wisconsin. Ascension is the largest Catholic and not-for-profit healthcare system in the nation.