Trinity Health President and CEO John Kutch has issued an open letter to the community urging people who haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19 to do so.
The letter, appearing this weekend’s Minot Daily News, shares concerns about the state that hospitals find themselves in at this point in the pandemic. It also speaks on behalf of medical teams, whose physical, emotional and mental health is being stretched to the limit.
“Healthcare workers have been called heroes, which is an understatement,” Kutch said. “Our nurses have tenderly held the hands of COVID-19 patients as they take their last breath. They’ve witnessed numerous unvaccinated patients beg for the vaccine after they’ve become infected. They have hoped, prayed and cried with many patients and their families. These nurses are heroes, and now is the time for you to be a hero.”
COVID patients continue to inundate hospitals and emergency rooms across North Dakota. One in five patients presenting at Trinity’s ER are COVID-positive, according to Kutch. The figure is even higher In the Intensive Care Unit, where, on an average day, 40% of patients are being treated for COVID-19. The majority of critically ill patients had not been vaccinated.
“We continue to provide care that is second to none,” Kutch said, “but there is concern that with a limited supply of beds and resources statewide, the resources required to care for a father’s heart attack, an elderly mother’s fall, or a young adult from an auto accident could be impacted.”
The answer, he emphasizes, is for more people to get vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for people ages 5 and older and have been shown to be very effective in mitigating serious illness from COVID-19. “Each one of us can effectively change the direction of this virus before other variants develop and mutate into something even more debilitating,” Kutch said. “I encourage everyone to protect their family, friends, neighbors and the hundreds of healthcare professionals who have been there for us. Please consider vaccination.”
To schedule a vaccine appointment, please call Trinity Health’s Vaccination Hotline at 701-857-2515.