GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Bellin Health is joining other regional healthcare systems and resuming procedures and nonurgent appointments that were previously postponed by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Early on, we chose to postpone all non-urgent appointments to prepare for a surge of COVID-19 patients,” said Bellin Health President and CEO Chris Woleske. “Now, with better information about the virus and the modest number of hospitalizations in our region, we are able to welcome back all of our patients for the services they need to improve and maintain their health and wellbeing.”
Bellin says national statistics show a third of adults have put off care due to the coronavirus. For seniors, the figure is closer to half. The Emergency Department at Bellin Health is reporting that patient volumes are down by about 50 percent – mirroring nationwide trends.
Officials say delaying care can lead to complications, delayed diagnoses, and even premature death.
“These are critical healthcare needs, and we as healthcare providers worry about the wide-ranging implications if they remain unaddressed,” said Dr. Cynthia Lasecki, a Bellin Health Family Medicine provider and the health system’s Chief Medical Officer. “We’re here and we’re ready to care for all of our patients and families.”
Bellin Health says it is taking extensive steps to ensure a safe return to care. Those measures include increased cleaning protocols, physical distancing messaging, masking policies, and segregated suspected and confirmed coronavirus patients, hospitals, and clinics. Patients may choose a virtual visit option when appropriate instead of seeing their provider in person.
Many Bellin patients have been contacted to reschedule appointments and procedures; others will be contacted in the coming weeks. Patients are encouraged to call their provider’s office or Bellin’s 24-hour nursing line at (920) 445-7373 to schedule an appointment or inquire about care.