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Wednesday, September 15, 2021 - Message from the CEO: Service, sacrifice at Roper St. Francis Healthcare stronger than ever
In 1789, the viruses of yellow fever and smallpox ripped through Charleston, sparking a physician gathering focused on solutions.

More than 230 years later, we’re facing another devastating virus and responding again, just as our founders did. Roper St. Francis Healthcare has a legacy of caring for our community, and we will continue this tradition of service and sacrifice.

COVID-19 is infecting young and old, healthy and sick, and it’s straining our nurses, physicians and caregivers. On Monday, we reached a record number of COVID-19 patients,  and the vast majority of those 195 sick and struggling patients were unvaccinated. We’ve historically cared for more COVID-19 patients than any other local health care provider.

When I visit our heroes on the front line, I marvel at their service and sacrifice as they battle physical and mental exhaustion as well as grief.

I watched with tears in my eyes as one of our infectious disease physicians, Dr. Kent Stock, described in a video we shared last week on social media about the staggering illness he is seeing.

“I do know what death and destruction looks like,” Dr. Stock said in the video, pausing as he was overcome with emotion. Yet he perseveres, his sense of service and sacrifice stronger than ever.

On Friday, Roper St. Francis Healthcare made a difficult decision to extend our pause on surgeries requiring overnight stays through Sept. 22 unless that would negatively affect or harm a patient. The reason for this decision is because delaying some surgeries allows our nurses and physicians to care for more COVID-19 patients. Our sense of service and sacrifice dictate this is what we must do at this time.

The responsibility to care for the community should not rest solely on the shoulders of health care workers. You can do your part.

If you have not yet gotten the COVID-19 vaccine, get it to protect yourself, your loved ones and everyone around you.

Get it because the vaccine is proven to be safe and extremely effective in preventing serious illness and death. Get it because your local nurses and doctors who care about you and care for you are struggling.

And if you know any nurses, doctors or a health care workers, thank them for their service and sacrifice.
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