To the residents of the wonderful city of Juneau:
I would like to start by thanking you for everything that you are doing to help stop the spread of Covid 19. The best way to treat this disease is to not get it in the first place. Juneau is flattening the curve and that is because of you. Social distancing, business closings, quarantine after travel, canceling travel and cloth masks all are helping keep the city safe. I understand that these measures require a huge sacrifice from so many, and know that these efforts are so appreciated by your health care teams at Bartlett Regional Hospital.
I wanted you to know what I have observed as a physician at Bartlett Regional Hospital. In my 30 years of practicing medicine, I have never seen such a challenging disease. This virus is new and is causing illness that physicians around the world have never seen before. The treatment recommendations are changing very quickly and are based on the experience of others who have seen the disease like China, Italy and now New York City. Typically treatments for disease are based on years of study and the world has had four months to learn about this disease.
I have seen the entire Bartlett Regional Hospital staff pull together to fight like never before. We are working around the clock to make sure that our community will have the best medical care that we can offer. Everyone on the team is studying the latest recommendations on a daily basis. I have also seen the state of Alaska pull together all of the medical communities with daily meetings and educational opportunities. We are so lucky to have Dr. Anne Zink as our state chief medical officer working tirelessly to keep our state safe.
Here is my plea to you. If you need up to date information, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website is an excellent resource. Also pay attention to the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services’ website. The CBJ and BRH websites are where to go for the latest local COVID-19 information. Be aware that there is a lot of information out there that may our may not be true. Don’t let up your efforts to stop the spread of the virus. We are all in this together and will get through it. In the mean time, we will learn lessons that will help us when this crisis is over.
Dr. Mignon F Benjamin,
Bartlett Hospital Hospital