Blog
Jan 07
A Dose of Cautious Optimism

Happy 2021. We begin the new year with a mixture of relief, cautious optimism, and pride and gratitude for what Saratoga Hospital and our community accomplished in 2020. In a year like no other, we came together to care for one another and keep each other safe as we faced one of the greatest public health challenges in modern history. 

The coronavirus pandemic is far from over, but there are reasons to be hopeful. With experience and new knowledge on how to treat COVID-19 patients, and with plans underway for mass vaccinations, we can begin to look forward to better days. We have an amazing team and an extraordinary community. Together, we will get to the other side of this pandemic.

That’s the good news. The more difficult news is that we have to take critical precautions awhile longer. We must continue to socially distance, practice good hygiene, avoid travel and gatherings—especially indoors—and, perhaps most important, wear our masks. According to researchers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, if 95% of Americans wear masks, we can reduce the number of deaths by 49,000 between now and April 1. That’s on top of any lives saved by the vaccine rollout.

Please, wear your mask and get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you are eligible. You can learn more about the vaccines at these trusted links.

A Year to Remember

2020 will always be “the year of COVID-19.” As I write this, the pandemic has taken nearly 1.9 million lives worldwide, including more than 350,000 in the U.S. and over 38,000 in New York State. More deaths will inevitably follow. The physical, emotional, and economic toll has been devastating. Yet, in the midst of the fear, sorrow, isolation, and exhaustion, we at Saratoga Hospital have had our share of successes and, always, found reasons to be grateful. Here are just a few examples:

  • From the beginning, our community responded with an outpouring of support, including gifts of cash, hand-made masks, personal protective equipment (PPE), catered meals, and cards, letters, and artwork to thank and encourage our “heroes.”
  • During the height of the first wave, we accepted patients from New York City, took excellent care of them with great pride, and returned them to their families.
  • Saratoga Hospital was one of the first in the region to open a tent to provide safe, accessible COVID-19 testing. We now have testing in three locations.
  • To preserve our limited resources, we developed pooled COVID-19 testing for use in a community hospital setting. Then, we shared our innovative approach with the world. Readers in Australia, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Ireland, Japan, and Poland read our article in the Journal of Hospital Medicine, and hospitals in England requested information on our protocols.
  • Along with 10 other regional hospitals, we chose cooperation over competition. On regular conference calls, we share data and best practices, track the incidence and impact of COVID-19, and help manage care across the region. We continue to learn more about the virus and to apply those lessons—including new treatments—to improve patient care and outcomes.
  • Our Saratoga Hospital Medical Group providers quickly transitioned to telehealth services, offering a safe, convenient way to provide patient care. Telehealth soon became an invaluable resource for our Urgent Care teams. We will continue to take advantage of this technology long after the pandemic is behind us.
  • With new safety measures in place, we returned to the business of treating non-COVID-19 patients. We know how important it is that patients who need care receive it before conditions worsen, and we made sure you have every reason to turn to us with confidence.
  • Despite the pandemic, we moved ahead with renovations, expansions, and new programs that meet the needs of our community. With our affiliates Albany Medical Center Hospital and Columbia Memorial Health, we welcomed Glens Falls Hospital to the Albany Med Health System.

At every turn, we were reminded how fortunate and privileged we are to serve you.

Your trust and support mean the world to us. We look forward to putting the experience and knowledge we gained in 2020 to work to serve you better than ever—in 2021 and the years to come.

With appreciation and best wishes,

Angelo G. Calbone
President & CEO
Saratoga Hospital

 


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