Harris Health System, Harris County, the state of Texas, and the nation are now facing a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. While we are better off than we were 18 months ago—most of us are vaccinated and we know how to properly use PPE to protect ourselves—our vigilance must not wane. The CDC has caught up with our internal plan to reinstate more universal mask wearing. The presence of the delta variant is resulting in a resurgence of infections requiring hospitalization primarily in the unvaccinated population.
The executive team has resumed the Incident Command structure to discuss census, staffing, EC volume and other critical issues. Each hospital and ambulatory care leadership team has daily meetings on their specific surge needs and plans. Please be alert to communications from Corporate Communications and from your local leaders about updates to our practices and the status of your campus.
Also, please continue to encourage all of your family and friends to get vaccinated. We do not want to give COVID-19 any more opportunity to mutate and prolong the pandemic.
Regarding the Harris Health Strategic Plan, this month I will highlight Pillar 3: One Harris Health System. Henry Ford famously said “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” The combined excellence and expertise of Harris Health, Baylor College of Medicine, and UTHealth McGovern Medical School are an incredible resource for Harris County. The more we work together to identify best practices that are applied throughout our system, the better care patients will receive—consistent, high-quality care no matter where they enter our system. Physician collaboration across the hospital and ambulatory sites is essential to achieving true integration and the vision of One Harris Health. Below you will see a snapshot of Pillar 3.
Executive sponsors of Pillar 3 include the EVPs of Ben Taub, LBJ and ACS, the SVP of Nursing Affairs, and physician representatives from UT and BCM, Drs. Hashim Zaidi and Greg Buehler.