Never before has healthcare been more critical and important to personal and community wellbeing than it is right now. The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the global and local economies, not to mention everyday life as we know it. COVID-19 dominates every headline and has changed how we live and work, and how we interact – or not – with others.
While social distancing guidelines from the CDC and the mandates of our Governor were put in place to slow the spread of the virus and protect us, the effect of social distancing has impacted human health in another way. We find people are not seeking medical attention for other conditions. This includes possible life-threatening conditions such as cardiac events, possible strokes and even well-care visits and vaccines for children and babies. In short, people have been concerned about going into any medical facility right now unless the situation is dire.
Recognizing that our voices are more powerful when combined, we are coming together to encourage not only our constituents throughout the city of Las Vegas and Clark County, but all Southern Nevadans, to take stock of their current health situation and make their appointments to see their physicians and specialists now. In fact, we held a joint press conference on June 10 with the city of Las Vegas, Clark County, UMC, Valley Hospital and UNLV School of Medicine. Our message was and still is: your healthcare providers are ready to see you. Don’t put off your health anymore.
We are confident Southern Nevada’s healthcare community–which includes hospitals, surgical and diagnostic centers, doctors’ offices, treatment centers and others–is taking the situation very seriously. They are putting into practice protocols to protect you and their teams as they begin to reopen their medical practices in what has been coined our new “normal.”
In fact, no one knows how to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus better than our healthcare community. Nevadans with chronic health conditions that require special management from healthcare professionals should trust that hospitals like those in our Las Vegas Medical District, including UMC and Valley Hospitals, are working overtime to ensure they are following all safety protocols while preserving the ability to effectively treat patients and provide them with access to the procedures they need to maintain optimum health. Also, our UNLV School of Medicine has been on the forefront of COVID-19 testing by offering free tests to those who need it. Yet another example is the UNLV School of Dental Medicine, also located in the Medical District, which has implemented special air handling units and other safety protocols to ensure they can safely provide critical dental services at this time.
Like most businesses, our hospitals, doctors and ancillary medical providers have also suffered. They, too, have lost significant revenue over the past several weeks as a result of their intense and sole focus on COVID-19, setting aside elective and proactive surgeries and medical procedures intended to maintain patients’ good health. The same good health that is now in jeopardy because of delays in performing critical diagnostic and medical procedures, and the same good health to which all Southern Nevadans are entitled and deserve.
As Las Vegas begins to slowly return to some semblance of “normal,” we encourage everyone in our community to see their doctors, their dentists and their medical providers. Taking care of your personal health is something that cannot and should not wait nor continue to be put on the back burner. In fact, seeking medical attention is imperative to not only personal health, but the overall good health of our community.
Photo: Las Vegas Medical District doctors and healthcare providers