NORTH LAWNDALE — As the state eases up some stay at home guidelines, Sinai Health System will resume elective and semi-urgent inpatient and outpatient services May 11.
The hospital since mid-March had a hold on planned procedures deemed non-urgent in accordance with the Illinois Department of Public Health’s recommendation to cancel non-essential services to free capacity and conserve resources needed for COVID-19 patients.
“We will be gradually ramping up to ensure patient and caregiver safety. We also want to properly plan and adjust for capacity and operational needs as we shift certain units back to non-COVID use,” said health system President and CEO Karen Teitelbaum.
The hospital will resume semi-urgent and clinical appointments first while gradually building up to full capacity by the end of June. Beginning next week, the health system will resume gastrointestinal, imaging and cardiology services at both its hospitals: Mount Sinai Hospital at 1500 S. Fairfield Avenue in North Lawndale and Holy Cross Hospital at 2701 W. 68th Street in Marquette Park.
Elective surgery will also be available at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Services and procedures that could not be reasonably delayed were still available at the hospital throughout the COVID crisis, administrators said. The hospital evaluated patients needing emergency surgery or urgent care based on a pre-established criteria so they could still access medical care when necessary.
The hospital’s birthing units, pharmacy, oncology, infusion centers and dialysis services remained open and will continue to operate normally at the hospitals, along with the outpatient rehabilitation services that were not disrupted by the shutdown.
Sinai has assembled a multi-disciplinary team to review cases to determine which patients will be prioritized as the hospital resumes elective procedures.
And to keep non-COVID patients safe while being treated, the hospital has implemented testing procedures to protect those patients. The hospital has also heightened sanitation practices in procedure areas, operating rooms, diagnostic imaging areas and other units. Sinai will also continue to follow social distancing guidelines, screening protocols and visitor restrictions as the hospital ramps up services.
“While we are by no means on the other side of the COVID crisis yet, we can all be encouraged by the efforts in Chicago and throughout Illinois to flatten the curve and reduce infections,” Teitelbaum said. “And the efforts of our Sinai caregivers throughout this pandemic have been courageous, and show that the commitment to our mission of care and healing has never been stronger.”
Pascal Sabino is a Report for America corps member covering Austin, North Lawndale and Garfield Park for Block Club Chicago.
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