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UVM network eliminates elective surgeries

The University of Vermont Health Network is directing its Vermont and Northern New York affiliates — including Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital, Alice Hyde Medical Center and Elizabethtown Community Hospital — to immediately start eliminating any surgery, procedure, diagnostic test or clinic visit that can be safely delayed or deferred, without threat to the immediate health and safety of the patient.

These steps are being taken to protect patients and staff from exposure to the COVID-19 virus, and to conserve critical equipment and supplies.

“Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, especially when it comes to protecting the health and safety of our patients and our staff,” CEO of the UVM Health Network John Brumsted said. “While temporarily suspending elective procedures is disruptive, this decision is absolutely critical to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

These eliminations will limit person-to-person contact, redirect care teams to patients who most need help, and reserve acute care beds and supplies to accommodate a surge in demand related to COVID-19.

Patients impacted by this decision will be contacted. If patients do not hear from a provider they should continue to prepare to attend appointments as scheduled. The Network is asking that patients refrain from calling clinical practices and hospitals at this time to check on the status of appointments so that workers can prioritize the significant number of incoming calls about COVID-19

The suspension of non-urgent encounters will be reassessed in the coming weeks to determine when it will be appropriate to resume normal operations and reschedule.