COVID-19 Notice: Barton Health is prepared to care for those with Coronavirus (COVID-19). Please read our up-to-date information, including changes to our visitor policy and elective surgeries/ procedures here.
  • 530.541.3420 | 2170 South Avenue, S. Lake Tahoe, CA

Op-Ed: Barton Health is Prepared to Meet the Needs of Our Community

Dr. Clint Purvance, Barton Health President & CEO

By Dr. Clint Purvance, Barton Health President & CEO

As we approach the one-month mark of socially distant living, I want to assure our community Barton Health takes the risk presented by COVID-19 seriously. We have planned, prepared and implemented pathways for patients to receive appropriate care in the safest possible environment.

This is an unprecedented time in health care and Barton, like the rest of the nation, is working to care for current and future patients during this pandemic, sometimes using new and innovative ways to reach and treat them.

On March 2, we opened an on-site emergency command center to develop our strategies and responses to COVID-19, from ordering additional supplies to setting up testing sites to finding ways to increase bed capacity from 63 inpatient beds to approximately 150 inpatient beds in the event that patient needs suddenly increase.

Barton is working diligently to limit exposure and protect both patients and healthcare workers by updating operations at the hospital and throughout our network of medical offices. We are offering new platforms for patient care including a COVID-19 Health Line (530.600.1999) referring potential COVID-19 patients to in-person care at locations specifically designed to test for COVID-19 as well as offering virtual visits for many other health care needs.

We also opened a respiratory urgent care at Stateline Medical Center to treat patients who have been diagnosed or suspect they are infected with COVID-19 in negative pressure rooms, eliminating exposure to other patients.

Surge planning is nearly complete. Supplies have been thoughtfully conserved and bolstered through the generous donations of many, and we now have 75 negative pressure rooms in locations within the hospital as well as in outpatient locations allowing us to treat highly infectious COVID-19 patients in an isolated environment. We are safely diagnosing and treating COVID-19 patients while limiting the viral spread to staff and community. This has been a monumental undertaking achieved by the thoughtful and tireless efforts of Barton team members and physicians.

Included in our surge planning is the Barton Medical Corps; we’ve had more than 125 clinical and non-clinical candidates reach out to participate, in the event we need more caregivers and staff, a truly selfless act of generosity that we are all grateful for.

The shelter in place and social distancing efforts all of us are following are helping to flatten the curve. The community’s role cannot be understated in this effort as we have an aligned community all working toward the same goal. It will take a continued community-wide, humanitarian effort to ensure we succeed, and it’s important we each do our part. If the need does arise, soon or in the months to come, you can rest assured that your healthcare system is doing its best around the clock to have the ability to provide care when it’s needed.