“While we continue to face significant challenges in this global pandemic, like the current ones posed by the delta variant, I believe in our resourcefulness, ingenuity, and creativity we will continue to find answers — especially if we work together. “
As we enter another season with the global pandemic, I want to offer an update on Meadows Behavioral Healthcare’s present-day response to COVID-19 and some hope for the future. Certainly, at the time of my last update, I was hoping the coronavirus would have much less of an impact on our lives than it is having right now. And yet, here we are. It can feel discouraging — after all, just when we were starting to see some gains in the fight against COVID-19, the delta variant emerged and it has caused a significant uptick in people getting sick, hospitalizations, and tragically, deaths.
I think it is safe to say that we all want to be done with COVID-19 — we want to completely eradicate the virus and return to our normal lives. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like this will be possible in the near future. So, at least for now, we must learn to live with this unfortunate situation. We must find that balance between doing everything in our power to make things right and accepting those things that we can’t change. It strikes me that this isn’t unlike the approach that people with trauma, addiction, and mental illness must utilize in their own recovery journey. Like recovery, navigating this pandemic will require that we learn to live with the challenges presented by our current circumstances while doing everything in our power to improve conditions for ourselves and others.
With that in mind, I want to update you on what we are doing at Meadows Behavioral Healthcare to continue offering lifesaving treatment in the face of an ongoing global pandemic. First, we remain committed to providing the highest quality behavioral healthcare treatment in the safest way possible. From the very beginning of this pandemic, we have relied on our COVID Response Team, made up of medical professionals and administrators, to align our policies and practices with the latest scientific developments and public health guidelines. We have devoted considerable time, energy, and resources to ensuring that we can continue providing treatment to people in need as safely as possible.
Here are some of the many policies and practices we continue to have in place:
- Potential patients are thoroughly screened for coronavirus-related risk factors.
- Patients receive rapid antigen testing prior to admission and three more times during the first two weeks of treatment.
- Staff receive rapid antigen testing on a routine basis.
- Patients and staff are required to wear masks while indoors in public settings.
- Patients who test positive are immediately isolated and quarantined.
- Staff with potential exposure or symptoms of illness are required to stay home.
- Patients and staff are strongly encouraged to receive vaccinations.
- At our treatment programs, we continue to prohibit visitors, reduce large gatherings, deep clean all facilities, and encourage hygienic practices.
While we continue to face significant challenges in this global pandemic, like the current ones posed by the delta variant, I believe in our resourcefulness, ingenuity, and creativity we will continue to find answers — especially if we work together. For example, we have more awareness of how the virus is transmitted, how to recognize symptoms of infection, and how to track its movement in a population. Vaccination rates around the world continue to rise gradually and the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine received full approval by the FDA on Aug. 23, 2021. We also have a better understanding of how to treat COVID-19 infections, including the use of monoclonal antibodies, which should result in better outcomes for those who do become seriously ill. We will find other solutions too — we must.
We cannot snap our fingers and “go back to normal” — we must work within the realities of our current situation, making change where we can and learning to accept what we cannot yet change. Sound familiar? It certainly does for many of the people who come to Meadows Behavioral Healthcare looking for recovery. We are honored to be considered one of the premier institutions in the world where people continue to find healing from trauma, addiction, and mental illness. We remain committed to this mission, even in these challenging times.
Dr. Jon Caldwell, DO, PhD
Chief Medical Officer
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