Congressman Norcross and Inspira Health Leaders Convene about Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Mullica Hill, NJ (March 14, 2020) – United States Representative Donald Norcross was welcomed to Inspira Health’s corporate headquarters today to discuss the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and to learn about Inspira’s robust readiness and response planning. It was the first hospital visit in the state by Norcross since the House of Representative passed COVID-19 legislation late Friday night.
Meeting with Norcross were members of the Inspira senior leadership team including: Thomas Baldosaro, executive vice president and chief financial officer; Alka Kohli, M.D., M.B.A., executive vice president and chief population health and clinical officer; Erich Florentine, senior vice president and chief people officer; Peter Kaprielyan, vice president of government and external relations; Paul M. Lambrecht, vice president of Quality and Patient Safety, and incident commander for the COVID-19 response; and Kathy Scullin, vice president of marketing and public relations. The meeting was held at Inspira’s corporate office in Mullica Hill to avoid an unnecessary visit to a clinical facility.
The Congressman shared highlights of the House COVID-19 legislation and discussed challenges to implementation of the coronavirus response package. He acknowledged the challenges facing health care providers around the country and provided assurances that congress is doing everything in its power to address them. He was pleased to learn that Inspira has already taken aggressive measures to keep its patients, visitors and employees safe. The Inspira team briefed Norcross about the incident command center that has been operationalized to manage the response and further prepare for the arrival of patients with COVID-19. Inspira has no presumptive or confirmed COVID-19 cases at this time.
“We in Congress have already approved $8.3 billion in new resources to combat the Coronavirus, we just took action to ensure that everyone who needs to be tested can be free of charge, and we’re expanding paid leave to provide economic security for workers if you or a loved one gets sick,” said Norcross. “Our region’s health care providers are on the front lines protecting our community, and I’m thankful for the planning that Inspira has undertaken to keep its patients, visitors, and staff and safe. This week I am meeting with each of our hospital systems to support their efforts and advocate for the needs of our families and health care professionals. I will continue working with federal, state and local officials to contain the spread and move forward, ensuring that South Jersey is prepared, residents are healthy and our workers and their families are protected.”
Inspira Health began planning for the arrival of coronavirus in January and has continued to take increasingly more aggressive steps to identify potential COVID-19 patients; minimize the risk of its spread; and ensure the safety of patients, visitors, staff and physicians. This morning, the health network announced a temporary tightening of its patient visitation policy in response to the increased COVID-19 activity in the Delaware Valley. Visit www.inspirahealthnetwork.org or Inspira Health’s social media sites for details about the new visitation restrictions. Inspira has also cancelled all worked-related travel and is limiting internal meeting to no more than 20. Virtual meetings have replaced a majority of face-to-face gatherings.
Inspira is also working with its laboratory services partner, Quest, to acquire testing capacity very soon. Inspira’s clinical leadership is in regular contact with the Governor’s Office and county health departments to coordinate response efforts and communications.
“We thank Representative Norcross for making the time to meet with us,” said Alka Kohli, M.D., M.B.A., executive vice president and chief population health and clinical officer for Inspira. “We are at heightened state of readiness and have all necessary protocols in place when we receive our first patient who tests presumptive positive for COVID-19.”
Inspira is communicating regularly with its employees and physicians, local, state and federal officials and the communities it services. Anyone with questions about the coronavirus should call the New Jersey COVID-19 Hotline at (800) 222-1222. If you think you are experiencing clinical distress (such as trouble breathing) call 9-1-1. For the latest information about COVID-19 visit www.cdc.gov.
For more information about Inspira Health, please visit www.inspirahealthnetwork.org/ or call 1-800-INSPIRA. To stay connected with Inspira announcements and work being done in the community, please join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. Inspira is proud to be the Official Health Care Partner of the Philadelphia Wings professional lacrosse team.
About Inspira Health
Inspira Health is a charitable nonprofit health care organization and a regional leader in physician training, with approximately 160 medical residents and fellows in nine nationally accredited specialty programs. The system, which traces its roots to 1899, comprises three hospitals, a comprehensive cancer center, several multi-specialty health centers and a total of more than 150 access points. These include urgent care; outpatient imaging and rehabilitation; sleep medicine labs; cardiac testing facilities; digestive health and wound care centers; home care and hospice; and more than 30 primary and specialty physician practices in Gloucester, Cumberland, Salem, Camden and Atlantic counties.
Together with its medical staff of more than 1,300 physicians and other care providers, as well as more than 6,000 employees, Inspira Health provides evidence-based care to help each patient achieve the best possible outcome. Accredited by DNV Healthcare, the system’s clinical and support staffs are focused on providing quality care in a safe environment. For more information about Inspira Health, visit http://www.inspirahealthnetwork.org/ or call 1-800-INSPIRA.
Paul B. Simon