Effective next Wednesday, December 30, NMC is temporarily closing the Enosburg office of our pediatric practice and relocating services due to the demands put on our hospital as COVID-19 increases in our community. This temporary action allows us to redeploy those staff to meet other critical needs in the hospital.
Several key factors contribute to our current approach:
- Like all hospitals, NMC is faced with the local impact of the national nursing shortage.
- Community COVID-19 exposures impact our staffing. For example: When schools or daycares close, or when our staff must quarantine because of potential exposure, it creates gaps that must be covered.
- We are caring for more COVID suspected and COVID positive patients now than we did during the spring surge.
- We are tasked by the state with creating a new COVID-19 vaccine clinic to vaccinate our staff plus approximately 2,400 healthcare workers.
We are working every day to address these staffing needs, always keeping our mission in mind. To ensure that we can meet community need to care for the sickest patients in the inpatient setting, we must evaluate and re-evaluate the services we are offering every day.
To that end, we have decided to temporarily close the Northwestern Pediatric office in Enosburg. Non-essential visits will be rescheduled, and Enosburg patients who need to be seen will have appointments in St. Albans. We will also use telemedicine to help meet Enosburg patient needs as applicable. We will be reaching out to patients who are affected. Please wait for a call from our office rather than calling in to allow our staff to focus on the preparations for this transition.
The Governor has temporarily loosened restrictions on gatherings during the holidays, but has also made it clear that COVID-19 precautions should still be taken. Any additional spike in cases will put additional burden on the healthcare system. Our staff is providing remarkable care and we must do everything we can to support their efforts and avoid further increases in cases.
We wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season and we look forward to the positive impact of the COVID-19 vaccine in 2021.