MIAMI COUNTY — Kettering Health Network’s (KHN) Troy Hospital President Eric Lunde spoke with the Board of Miami County Commissioners on Thursday, updating the commissioners on KHN’s and its Troy Hospital’s operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Right now, we’re living in unprecedented times,” Lunde said.
He said the Troy Hospital’s emergency department has received approximately 48 patients who were suspected of having COVID-19, of whom approximately six were positive. He said that was an infection rate of 12.5 percent, which was larger than the average rate that is around 6 percent, and he attributed this to Miami County having a larger population of COVID-19 patients.
Lunde said they have the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), and he explained the precautions KHN is taking, such as designating COVID-19 units in order to contain exposure and continue the same level of care at each of the units. Those units are at KHN’s larger hospitals at Grandview Medical Center, Kettering Medical Center, Soin Medical Center, and Fort Hamilton Hospital, so local COVID-19 patients are currently being transferred to those facilities.
Lunde also went over how area hospitals are working together as part of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association (GDAHA), which includes 29 different hospitals over 11 different counties. There is also cooperation between the hospitals and health officials in Miami County as Lunde said he also works closely with Miami County Public Health (MCPH) officials and participates in weekly phone conferences with MCPH and Upper Valley Medical Center (UVMC) President Tom Parker.
“Glad to see the cooperation between you and Upper Valley,” commissioner Jack Evans said. Commissioners Ted Mercer and Greg Simmons also praised the partnership, as well.
“We’re partners in this. This is a community issue,” Lunde said.
Within KHN, they have implemented an incident command center to coordinate between specialty areas of care within the network. They have also consolidated all necessary surgeries to the KHN’s four trauma centers, which include Grandview Medical Center, Kettering Medical Center, Soin Medical Center, and Fort Hamilton Hospital. For other types of care, KHN is utilizing virtual and telehealth visits to limit in-person visits and exposure between people.
Lunde also briefly mentioned KHN’s surge plan if there is an influx of COVID-19 patients, which includes increasing their intensive care unit (ICU) capacity by changing some of the hospitals’ post anaesthesia care units (PACU) into ICU beds. They also have a staff plan in place and a plan to increase ventilator capacity. He said that, if a surge takes place and every hospital in the area is at 80 percent capacity, the Dayton Convention Center would be utilized as an alternate care site.
KHN has also seen a 40 percent drop in every area of care since the state’s Stay at Home order. While this drop will help with the network’s patient capacity, KHN has had to furlough some of its staff, but those staff members are still able to access their benefits and health coverage.
KHN also has a 24/7 employee health hotline in case employees suspect themselves of being infected with COVID-19. Lunde said they had a few employees from the Troy Hospital who have had to self-quarantine, but all of their COVID-19 tests came back negative.
Miami County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Joel Smith also provided a COVID-19 update, discussing how they have been receiving PPE donations. Miami County EMA received 850 face masks from the Miami East School District, as well as a number of face shields from Upper Valley Career Center, RPG Industries, Canyon Run Engineering Technologies, and more. Miami County EMA has been able to share that PPE with first responders in the area, including local police and fire departments.
Smith also said the county government, as well as the cities of Troy and Piqua, were approved to recieve funding from FEMA to recover approximately 75 percent of costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In other news:
The commissioners extended the state of emergency declaration in Miami County until 11:59 p.m. on May 1, 2020, unless the commissioners decide to renew or abate the declaration at a later date. This will coincide with Governor Mike DeWine’s extension of the Stay at Home order until 11:59 p.m. on May 1. According to the staff report, county officials believe it is the best interest of the Miami County to continue to take all necessary actions to prevent COVID-19 from spreading and in an effort to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the residents of Miami County.
The commissioners also authorized and signed an agreement with Battelle Memorial Institute for decontamination services. The Miami County EMA will centrally manage the turn-in of N-95 mask respirators for Miami County’s fire departments, emergency medical services, and law enforcement agencies. There is no cost to the county to use this service in support of medical personnel or first responders as costs will be covered by a federal grant that has gone directly to Battelle.