August 30, 2021

We need your help.

Hospitals in the Kansas City area are experiencing an unprecedented demand for critical care, with COVID-19 patients adding stress to the otherwise high demand for hospital resources. When hospitals’ inpatient and ICU beds are filled, the health of everyone in the community is jeopardized. This is especially true for patients who need emergency care for trauma, heart attacks, or strokes, where time can influence their outcome.

With COVID-19, unlike other health conditions, small measures can make a big difference. Vaccination can significantly reduce the need for hospital care and public health measures can reduce transmission.

Even if all unvaccinated members of our community sought a vaccine today, their full level of immunity would be weeks away. Since we’re at extremely high rates of transmission and hospitalization today, vaccines are the long-term solution. Public health measures — specifically appropriate masking and distancing — can have an immediate effect by reducing the pressure through lowered rates of transmission.

As hospital leaders, we encourage everyone to vaccinate. Moreover, we encourage the public to take all measures possible to minimize the risk of exposure, illness and spread of disease.

Vaccines, masks and distancing will help us bend back the curve to preserve the ability to care for our neighbors in their time of need.”

– The Kansas City Metropolitan Health Care Council

“The patients we are seeing in our hospitals are younger and sicker than ever before, and cases are continuing to rise. This is a situation that is going to continue to escalate unless each of us takes action to change the trajectory of this virus.  The good news is, we know what we need to do. Our message to everyone is get vaccinated, wear a mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, and help protect yourself, your family, and our entire Kansas City community.”

– Chris Perryman, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Saint Luke’s Health System

“Like other health systems in the region, we are experiencing a significant increase in COVID-19 cases.  This surge is like no other: More than 95% of the critically ill patients are young, previously healthy patients — with an average age of 54 years old.  And unlike the COVID surge last year, most of these admissions are preventable. Vaccines, masks and social distancing make a significant difference and help to lower transmission.  Please make a difference for yourself, your family and your community by getting vaccinated as soon as possible.”

– Kimberly Megow, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of HCA Midwest Health

“We want to help keep our community safe, which helps us take care of the many non-COVID patients in our hospital, as well as those with COVID-19. We know the pillars of infection control, including mask-wearing, have kept the staff safe in our hospitals. It is clear from data across the country that masks help bend the curve. Masking is not a long-term solution, but masks can help us until enough people are vaccinated that we can truly slow down this pandemic. The combination of infection control and vaccination is how we find our way forward and keep our patients and community safe.”

– Steven W. Stites, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of University of Kansas Health System