Hospital planning virtual town hall meeting to discuss surging COVID-19 numbers
Community members encouraged to take part in event, ask questions
- The town hall will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10.
- It will include a panel discussion, and those watching the meeting will have the opportunity ask questions afterward.
- Community members can participate in the meeting online or by phone.
FARMINGTON — Members of the community are encouraged to join health care, political and law enforcement officials from throughout San Juan County for a virtual town hall meeting on Wednesday Nov. 10 to discuss the COVID-19 situation.
The town hall event, which is presented by the San Juan Regional Medical Center, is being held in reaction to the surge in COVID-19 cases in the county. Hospital officials announced last week they were enacting crisis standards of care to manage their resources after more than half of all patients at the facility tested positive for the virus. San Juan County also reported more than twice the number of COVID-19 cases in October than in the previous four months combined.
Dr. Brad Greenberg, an emergency medicine physician at the hospital, said during a virtual news conference on Nov. 4 that the number of patients in the community with COVID-19 is "likely to be our greatest surge ever."
Greenberg will be joined during the town hall event by hospital president and CEO Jeff Bourgeois and chief nursing officer Suzanne Smith. The event also will feature Farmington Mayor Nate Duckett, Farmington Police Department Chief Steve Hebbe, San Juan County Commissioner John Beckstead, San Juan County Sheriff Shane Ferrari and Dr. Laura Parajon of the New Mexico Department of Health.
The town hall will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10. It will include a panel discussion, and those watching the meeting will have the opportunity ask questions afterward.
To join the meeting, visit the online link https://sjrmc.webex.com/sjrmc/j.php?MTID=e595a705109fe39c3609272b688c54b90. The event number is 2488 446 6752, and the event password is mvNMPw4JK52. Community members joining the meeting are asked not to sign on before 7 p.m. so the hospital staff can set up the presenters first.
Anyone wishing to join the town hall for audio only can do so by phone by calling 1-408-418-9388. The access code is 2488 446 6752.
A disaster medical assistance team of 29 physicians, advanced health-care practitioners, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists, and safety, logistics and administrative support specialists has been deployed to the hospital by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in response to the crisis and to provide relief for the hospital's caregivers. The team will remain in Farmington for at least two weeks.
The New Mexico Department of Health also deployed a team of 34 caregivers to Farmington to the hospital last week.
"Working as a team we are going to get through the surge," Greenberg stated in a news release from the hospital. "We are efficiently using our resources to do the greatest good for the greatest number. With these additional resources, we are able to do the important work of healing the members of our community."
Hospital officials said in a Nov. 5 press release that of the facility's 289 COVID-19 hospitalizations over the past month, 81% of those patients were not fully vaccinated while 19% were. Among those COVID-19 patients who were admitted to the ICU, 91% were not fully vaccinated. And 16 of the 17 hospitalized patients who died from COVID-19 were not fully vaccinated, according to the hospital's figures.
Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Support local journalism with a digital subscription.