Mountain Health Network plan to resume urgent elective medical procedures approved by state health officials

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Mountain Health Network (MHN) and its hospitals, Cabell Huntington Hospital (CHH) and St. Mary’s Medical Center (SMMC), has been approved to resume urgent elective medical procedures. Both hospitals submitted their resumption plans to the West Virginia Office of Health Facility Licensure and Certification (OHFLAC) in accordance with W.Va. Gov. Justice’s Executive Order No. 28-20 and received notification of approval Thursday, April 23.

“We are pleased to receive approval from our state leadership so quickly. We truly appreciate their trust in our plans and I know our team will live up to that trust,” said Michael L. Mullins, FACHE, president and CEO, MHN. “This approval is an important first step, but it does not mean we are completely back to normal business. It will take time to resume standard operations as we proceed with our reopening plans gradually and cautiously to ensure safety for patients and staff.”

All elective medical procedures were prohibited March 31, under Gov. Justice’s Executive Order No. 16-20, but implementation of successful public health measures have resulted in revised projections of rates of infection, demand for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other medical equipment and supplies, and hospital utilization.

“Our community has done an excellent job following the guidelines established to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Mullins said. “These revised projections have paved the way for us to begin resuming more time sensitive medical procedures in thoughtful phases that will ensure our commitment to protect the health and well-being of our patients and staff.”

  • Both hospital plans satisfied all criteria for approval by OHFLC. To meet those criteria, the plan had to:
  • Safely phase in surgeries based on guidelines by the American College of Surgeons (ACS)
  • Prioritize scheduling of cases based on needs and urgency
  • Provide adjustments in response to any change in public health or surge in COVID-19 cases
  • Assure necessary PPE inventory and supply chain support
  • Also align with guidelines from Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) and the WV Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR)

In coordination with the Governor’s office and OHFLAC, CHH and SMMC can implement their plans Tuesday, April 28, and cautiously proceed with returning procedures over the month of May. “We will continue to move in lockstep with the Governor’s support and guidance,” stated Mullins. "An interdisciplinary prioritization policy committee has been established to develop a strategy appropriate to meeting immediate patient needs.”

“Our Mountain Health team continues to do an excellent job during this unprecedented health event. We have stepped up our in-house testing and we have successfully managed our PPE and supplies. And, our data collection and management is extremely comprehensive,” Mullins said. “We look forward to once again providing these important health services to our patients. This pandemic has also had a major impact on all of us and so we are anxious to take these next steps. We are also eager to welcome back our employees who have been furloughed or have had their hours reduced due to low census during this pandemic.”