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SeHealth Increases Preparation for COVID-19, Implements Maximum Effort to Protect the Community

Leadership at Southeastern Health has been closely monitoring and responding to the evolving COVID-19 situation to ensure the health system is best positioned to meet head-on the very real impacts of this pandemic. Consistent with other leading healthcare organizations across the country and in North Carolina, Southeastern Health has made the decision to further implement a maximum effort aimed at achieving two goals:

  1. A redeployment of resources to clinical areas that will be most needed to effectively address the expected surge in COVID-19 patients who will need inpatient and outpatient treatment.
  2. Minimizing risk to staff in accordance with CDC risk-mitigation guidelines.

This move is geared to help ensure Southeastern Health is well-prepared to provide essential services and treat an expected influx of COVID-19 cases likely in the coming month to six weeks –and maybe longer. Risk mitigation guidelines from the CDC and others, as well as the health system’s desire to ensure the ongoing safety of employees, are key considerations of Southeastern Health’s efforts.

 

Effective Friday, March 20, Southeastern Health is temporarily closing a number of clinics and care access points. These include:

  • Physician practices located in Maxton, Red Springs, White Lake
  • The Surgery Center at Southeastern Health Park
  • Walk-in clinics located at Wal-Mart, Lumberton Drug, and Brisson Drugs (St. Pauls)
  • Hospital-based operations including sleep center and wound healing center
  • All outpatient physical and occupational therapy services including Pembroke physical therapy, Carolina Complete physical therapy and Red Springs physical therapy
  • Southeastern Radiology Associates
  • Fitness and rehabilitation services including cardiopulmonary rehab, fitness centers in Lumberton, Red Springs and Pembroke and day spa
  • Community health services
  • Gift shop, valet services and dine-in cafeteria services located at the hospital

As much as possible, clinical staff from these locations may be reassigned to support operations at Southeastern Regional Medical Center and other targeted strategic care access points.

In accordance with the continued updates from the CDC regarding recommended guidelines for social distancing that lessens the spread of COVID-19, Southeastern Health is reducing staffing levels through staff furloughs in a number of departments to focus on essential services and the expected COVID-19 patient surge. Impacted employees have been notified, and Southeastern Health plans to do everything it can to support them during this difficult time.

“This was not an easy decision to make, but it is in the best interest of the health of our employees and the community. As healthcare providers, we are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic and need to do everything we can to ensure we have the right clinical resources in place, including staff, supplies and equipment, to prepare for a COVID-19 patient surge,” said Joann Anderson, President and CEO of Southeastern Health.

These strategic decisions will be evaluated regularly as the COVID-19 situation develops. Southeastern Health plans to bring back as many of the impacted employees as they can at the appropriate time and as the situation evolves. However, the system does expect there will be some lasting impact as a result of the pandemic.

“The Board is aware of these incredibly difficult decisions, and we take the impact on our team members very seriously. We are supportive of leadership taking these steps today so that we can be as prepared as possible and equipped with the right clinical resources to do our part in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Nothing is more important to the Board and our leadership team than the health and safety of our employees and the people we serve,” said Kenneth Rust, Chair of Southeastern Health’s Board of Trustees.

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