South Florida Hospital News
Sunday August 9, 2020
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August 2020 - Volume 17 - Issue 2
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Stop the Spread: Failure to Contain COVID-19 is Not an Option

By: Florida Blue, CEO Pat Geraghty
 
The COVID-19 virus is testing our resolve, and the numbers here in Florida tell an extremely concerning story. 
 
By every key metric, our state has recently been reaching record levels on an almost daily basis. These include the number of new COVID-19 cases, and the percentage of those tested for COVID-19 who are positive.  Our hospitalization rates are alarming. Since March 1, Florida has reported more than 400,000 COVID-19 total cases and over 5,500 deaths. 
 
As leaders serving Florida, we are urgently asking our community to join us in renewing our commitment to following safety guidelines, recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to stop the spread of COVID-19 and prevent more people from getting infected, becoming sick or unfortunately even dying. We all need to take personal responsibility to do the right thing for ourselves and one another to avoid our community experiencing an even more severe impact from COVID-19 like we have seen in other parts of our country.
 
The most effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to avoid being exposed in the first place. There are simple steps we can take to effectively reduce the risk of transmission and turn the tide in our community.
 
1. Wear a mask when you’re outside of your home. Wearing masks should not be a controversial or a divisive issue. Masks can help save lives, just like seatbelts, traffic lights and life vests.   Multiple studies, including a recent article in the Annals of Internal Medicine, show that individuals with no symptoms or mild symptoms can transmit the virus to others. But wearing simple cloth masks can stop more than 90% of the droplets that transmit the virus.   
 
2. Practice social distancing. Where possible, keep at least six feet between you and other people outside your home. Remember, even people who do not appear sick can still spread the virus to you if you are too close. Avoiding close proximity to other people will help to reduce the risk of the virus spreading. 
 
3. Wash hands frequently. Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in public or blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, can help stem the spread. If soap and water is not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes with unwashed hands.
 
4. Avoid the Three Cs.  The World Health Organization has recommended avoiding “Crowded” places with many people nearby, “Close” contact settings where people have close range conversations, and “Confined,” enclosed places with poor ventilation.  If you do make the decision to gather with others, it is much safer to do so outdoors rather than indoors.  
 
In addition to these important preventative measures, there are ways for those who have contracted and fully recovered from COVID-19 to help combat the virus.  Individuals who fully recover have antibodies to the disease that researchers believe can potentially help people with severe COVID-19 fight the virus.  If you fall within this category, talk to your primary care physician about whether donating convalescent plasma through your local blood donation center is an option for you. 
 
We know these tactics to fight COVID-19 work because we have seen them successfully deployed here in Florida and in other states and countries. Spikes like those we are experiencing have been overcome through concerted efforts that adhere to proven approaches.
 
We are leaders from business, community organizations, and health care and academic institutions. Our perspective is based solely on research and science. Our role is to help guide and protect the public health and well-being of our community.  
 
Working together, we can take simple but important steps to protect one another and bring the virus under control throughout Florida.  Feeling safe and being safe will be the cornerstones of our economic recovery as health and prosperity are inextricably linked.  Now more than ever, our collective actions will dictate our shared future.  
 
By:
Pat Geraghty, President & CEO, GuideWell Mutual Holding Corporation & Florida Blue
The Board of Directors, GuideWell Mutual Holding Corporation & Florida Blue
Carlos Alfonso, CEO, Alliant Partners, LLC/Alfonso Architects
Maria C. Alonso, CEO, United Way of Miami-Dade
Douglas Baer, President and CEO, Brooks Rehabilitation
John D. Baker, II, Executive Chairman, FRP Holdings, Inc.
Jason Barrett, President & CEO, Flagler Hospital
Rodney Barreto, President & CEO, Barreto Group, Inc.
Dr. Wael K. Barsoum, President & Chief Transformation Officer, Health Outcomes Performance Company
Richard A. Beard, President, R.A. Beard Co.
Richard Berkowitz, Founding & Executive Chairman, Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors & CPAs
Alan Bomstein, CEO, Creative Contractors, Inc. 
Michelle Braun, CEO, United Way of Northeast Florida
Colin Brown, Chairman, JM Family Enterprises, Inc.
Henry Brown, CEO, Miller Electric
Kenneth Burdick, Executive VP, Markets & Products, Centene Corporation
Walt Bussells, President, Forbes Street Capital, LLC
Kathleen Cannon, President & CEO, United Way of Broward County
Hugo Castro, Executive Vice President, Equitable Advisors, LLC
Ravi Chari, President & CEO, HCA Healthcare West Florida Division
Gary Chartrand, Chairman & Philanthropist, The Chartrand Family Foundation
Jose Cil, CEO, Restaurant Brands International, Inc.
Dr. Michael J. Clare-Salzler, Director of the Center for Immunology and Transplantation, University of Florida
Peter Collins, Co-Founder and Managing Principal, Forge Capital Partners
Chris Corr, President, Raydient Places & Properties, RAYONIER
Tim Cost, President, Jacksonville University
Brett Couch, Sr. Executive Vice President, Regions Bank
John D. Couris, President & CEO, Tampa General Hospital
Thomas Crowley, Jr., Chairman & CEO, Crowley Maritime Corporation
Nathalie Doobin, Owner & CEO, Harvard Services Group
Roger Dow, President & CEO, U.S. Travel Association
Dan Doyle, Jr., President & CEO, Dex Imaging
G. Ray Driver, Jr., Founding Partner, Driver, McAfee, Hawthorne & Diebenow, PLLC
William T. Dymond Jr., President & CEO, Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor and Reed, P.A.
A. Zachary Faison Jr., J.D., President & CEO, Edward Waters College
Mark Faulkner, President & CEO, Baptist Health Care
Michael T. Fay, Principal, Managing Director-Miami, Avison Young
Jeff Feasel, President & CEO, Halifax Health
Aurelio M. Fernandez, III, President & CEO, Memorial Healthcare System
Michael A. Finney, President & CEO, Miami-Dade Beacon Council
Fred Franklin, Managing Partner, Rogers Towers
Dr. Julio Frenk, President, University of Miami
Laurie George, President & CEO, United Way of Palm Beach County
Dr. Deborah C. German, Dean, College of Medicine, University of Central Florida
Tim Giuliani, President & CEO, Orlando Economic Partnership
Rick Goings, Executive Chairman, Tupperware Brands Corporation
Gary M. Goldfarb, Chief Strategy Officer, Interport Logistics LLC
Dr. Lucio Gordan, President & Managing Physician, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute
Charles Gressle, President & CEO, HCA Healthcare East Florida Division
Dr. Walt Griffin, Superintendent, Seminole County Public Schools
Dr. Leon Haley, Jr. CEO, UF Health Jacksonville and Dean, UF College of Medicine-Jacksonville
Richard Hammett, President & CEO, HCA Healthcare North Florida Division 
M.C. (Ceree) Harden, CEO, Harden
Debbie Harvey, President & CEO, Ron Jon Surf Shop, Inc.
Ben H. Hill, III, Chairman, Hill Ward Henderson, P.A. 
John Hogan, President & CEO, Capital Health Plan
Anthony Hucker, Southeastern Grocers
Richard Hume, CEO, Tech Data
Kevin E. Hyde, Managing Partner, Foley and Lardner, LLP
Dr. Joseph Iannotti, Interim CEO & President, Cleveland Clinic Florida
Tommy Inzina, CEO, BayCare Health System
Pam Iorio, President & CEO Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
Barbara Jenkins, Superintendent of Orange County Public Schools
Todd Jones, CEO, Publix
Joseph G. Joyner, President, Flagler College
Brian E. Keeley, President & CEO, Baptist Health South Florida Inc.
Scott P. Keith, Regional President, Truist Bank
John Kelly, President, Florida Atlantic University
Thomas D. Kmetz, President, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital
Keith Koenig, CEO, City Furniture
Jack Kolosky, President, Moffitt Hospital
Mari Kuraishi, CEO, Jessie Ball duPont Fund
David Lawrence, Jr., Chair, The Children’s Movement of Florida
Senator George LeMieux, Chairman of the Board, Gunster
Paul Leone, CEO, The Breakers Hotel
Dr. Charles J. Lockwood, Sr. VP USF Health, University of South Florida
Eric K. Mann, CEO, YMCA of Florida’s First Coast
Amy Margerum Berg, President, The Better Angels Society
Alex Martins, CEO, Orlando Magic
Brett McClung, President & CEO Baptist Health
Carlos A. Migoya, President & CEO, Jackson Health System
David Miller, Executive Chairman, Brightway Insurance
Jeanne M. Miller, CEO, Jacksonville Civic Council
Michael Munz, CEO Rummell Munz Partners, LLC
Dr. David R. Nelson, President, UF Health University of Florida 
Rusty Newton, Chairman, Timucuan Asset Management
Gary Norcross, Chairman, President & CEO, FIS
James O’Leary, President & CEO, Haskell
Donna Orender, CEO, Orender Unlimited
Joc O’Rourke, President & CEO, The Mosaic Company
Lisa Palmer, President & CEO, Regency Centers
Fred Pezeshkan, Chairman of the Board, Summit Management Group-Florida
Lou Plasencia, CEO, The Plasencia Group
Olga M. Ramudo, President & CEO, Express Travel
Paul Reilly, Chairman & CEO, Raymond James Financial
John Rivers, CEO, 4 Rivers
Kenneth D. Robinson, President, Dr. Phillips Charities
Frank Rodriguez, Chairman Emeritus, Corporate Creations
Dr. Christopher Roellke, President, Stetson University
Mark B. Rosenberg, President, Florida International University
Peter Rummell, Chairman, RummellMunz Partners, LLC
Mike Santarone, CEO, Stellar
Gino R. Santorio, President & CEO Broward Health
Shawn Seipler, CEO/Founder, Clean the World Foundation
Kathleen Shanahan, Co-Chair, Turtle & Hughes
Linda Sherrer, Founder & Chairman, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty
Kent Shoemaker, CEO, Lipman Family Farms
Eric Silagy, President & CEO, Florida Power & Light Company
Kelly Smallridge, President & CEO, Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, Inc.
Greg Spencer, CEO, Timbers Resorts
Martin (Hap) E. Stein Jr., Executive Chairman, Regency Centers
Robert (Bobby) L. Stein, President, The Regency Group
Stuart Sternberg, Principal Owner, Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Rowdies
Cindy Stover, North Florida Market President, TD Bank
David Strong, President & CEO, Orlando Health
David T. Sweeney, CEO, RS&H Inc.
Bob Swindell, President & CEO, Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance
T.J. Szelistowski, President, TECO Peoples Gas System
David M. Szymanski, President, University of North Florida
Bradley Talbert, President and CEO, Memorial Hospital Jacksonville
Hugh Tappan, President & CEO, HCA Healthcare South Atlantic Division
John J. Taylor III, President & CEO, J.J. Taylor Companies, Inc.
Troy D. Taylor, Chairman & CEO, Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, LLC
Dr. Kent R. Thielen, CEO, Mayo Clinic in Florida
Russ Thomas, CEO, Availity LLC
Daryl Tol, President & CEO, Advent Health/Central Florida Division
Nancy Tower, President & CEO, Tampa Electric Co.
Tom Vanosdol, President & CEO, Ascension Florida
Dr. Ronald L. Vaughn, President, University of Tampa
Jeff Vinik, Owner, Tampa Bay Lightning
Bob Ward, President & CEO, Florida Council of 100
Will Weatherford, Managing Partner, Weatherford Capital
Eric Woolworth,  President of Business Operations, Miami Heat
Bill Yeargin, CEO, Correct Craft
Sam Zietz, President & CEO, TouchSuite
 
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