It is hard to believe, but we have reached the one-year mark since the COVID-19 pandemic that drastically altered the health and well-being of people around the world. No country has remained untouched by the pandemic, but the
United States has been hit particularly hard in terms of the number of deaths and the resulting economic fallout.
Here in Southern California, the Los Angeles Medical Foundations have been responding to the pandemic on many fronts. Our clinicians are working with state and county agencies to assist in the roll-out of vaccine to our Tier 1-A frontline caregivers and the elderly, according to the priorities set by the county. I am pleased to report that 96% of our caregivers have received their two doses of the vaccine, which is 95% effective in preventing infection.
Also working on behalf of vaccinating our community is Facey Medical Group’s Daniel Lewis, M.D., who chairs Facey’s Black Physicians Council. Communities of color have had much higher rates of COVID-19 infection and death. He and his fellow physicians conducted a webinar in February to dispel myths, explain the facts, and attest to why he and his colleagues were vaccinated. The webinar was well attended, with over 200 people logging on.
In terms of helping patients who already acquired COVID infections, Saint John’s Physician Partners and Facey Medical Group began infusing patients this winter with REGEN-COV and Bamlanivimab (BAM), two drugs that have been shown to alleviate symptoms and lessen the likelihood of hospitalization. This is a significant development in our response to fighting COVID-19 in our communities.
All of these measures, taken together, are making a real difference for our patients. As always, thank you for all you do, especially in these last trying few months.
Ministry & Mission
Names are important. I learned that lesson early. On the first day of each school year, the teacher would call roll, and when “James Leal” was called, I had to explain that I was called by my middle name, Douglas. I didn’t mind; in fact, I liked being somewhat unique. My name gave me a story and a family identity going back to my grandparents, since I was named after my dad.
In the next few months, our names will start to change as our Physician Enterprise ministries adopt the new Providence brand. How does this new name change our story? What does it tell us about our identity? The word “Providence” is more than just a brand. Providence is another word for the divine, especially God’s care for us and for all of creation. When we call ourselves Providence, we are saying that we are part of the continuing story of God’s care and healing love.
We choose to identify with the God who heals, not just physically but spiritually as well. When a patient walks past our Providence sign, they walk into God’s loving care. When you put on a Providence badge, you become an extension of the loving touch of God. When your team works together to care for and support each other, you become a loving community of God.
It’s an awesome responsibility to live up to that name but with the help of our Providential God, I know that we can do it.