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Letter to the editor: Celebrating physicians this Doctor’s Day

Delivering medical care during a global pandemic has required teamwork at the highest level, and doctors are fundamental to this effort. As the country celebrates Doctors’ Day on March 30, I invite you to join me in recognizing the heroic work of all physicians. The COVID-19 pandemic has called upon the expertise and skills of our local physicians and many more in the larger medical community who have worked to detect, treat, cure and develop vaccines against this highly infectious disease.

Life has been disrupted by lockdowns and restrictions but chronic diseases and medical crises have kept going. Doctors on our medical staff at Merit Health River Region have been steadfast partners supporting the safety and wellness of patients and our community. They’ve helped us adapt our practices as more is learned about the virus, its treatment and the prevention of spread. I’ve never been more grateful for their support.

Their knowledge and skills helped the more than 22,000 patient visits to our emergency room and more than 9,000 patients admitted last year. While we cared for over 350 COVID-19 positive patients, routine care also continued. Women delivered their newborns, medical emergencies were treated, surgeries were performed and a myriad of other medical concerns were addressed. Many providers adapted to new practices, using tele-visits to ease access. The 99,000-plus patients who went to a clinic were seen in a safe environment to get care for chronic conditions and routine check-ups.

On this Doctors’ Day, please join me in reaching out to the physicians you know to say thank you. Today we acknowledge their contributions, sacrifices, skills and unwavering concern for patients. Let’s be sure they know how grateful we are.  

Benjamin Richaud,

Chief Executive Officer, Merit Heath River Region