BCH doctors implore rethinking anti-COVID vax stance
|September 17, 2021|
To our Boundary County neighbors,
We, the medical providers of Boundary Community Hospital in Bonners Ferry, write to you at this time concerning the current healthcare challenges in our region. Staffing difficulties and surging COVID cases have contributed to increased strain on our health care systems.
On September 7, public health officials declared "crisis standards of care" for the Panhandle health district, indicating that we may no longer have the resources available to provide adequate care to all patients.
This often translates to prolonged wait times in the emergency room, cancelled elective surgeries, delayed visits with primary care providers and significant challenges in finding available beds for those patients who need to be hospitalized.
This is affecting not only individuals who are sick with COVID, but patients with other medical needs as well, including strokes, heart attacks and traumatic injuries.
We support the use of the COVID-19 vaccines as we feel that this is the most effective intervention we have for ending this crisis. All medical treatments, including the vaccines, have risks.
Nevertheless, the risks of natural infection from COVID outweigh the risks associated with vaccination. Since August 21, 85% of COVID patients seen in our emergency department were unvaccinated and 100% of COVID patients requiring hospitalization through our facility have been unvaccinated.
100% of COVID patients seen in our hospital who later died were unvaccinated.
These numbers are consistent with nationwide trends and show that vaccination greatly reduces the risk of severe illness and death from COVID. Ultimately, we respect each person's right to make their own medical decisions, including whether or not to be vaccinated.
However, we ask now that you please consider getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
Vaccination appointments can be made through the Panhandle Health website or call or text the office in Bonners Ferry at (208) 267-5558.
Edward Moellmer, MD, Emergency Department
Susan Layeux, MD, Hospital and Clinic Medicine
Mark Pruitt, DO, Emergency Department
Kevin Dow, DPM, Podiatry
Robert Yost, MD, Emergency Department
Paul Diehl, DO, Hospital Medicine
Mary Logsdon, MD, Emergency Department
Sara Hull, NP-C, Clinic Medicine
Chuck Newhouse, MD, Emergency Department
Van Stonehocker, PA-C, Clinic Medicine
Publisher's note: Today, PHD lists 208 active COVID-19 cases in Boundary County, 865 in Bonner County and 4,528 in Kootenai County. The COVID-19 death toll in Boundary County is now 19, with five neighbors lost since Tuesday.
Mike Weland, Publisher
6931 Main St.
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
A 9B Media LLC publication
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