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Sen. Moran looks to help Stormont Vail Hospital capacity

Published: Nov. 24, 2020 at 5:39 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Stormont Vail Hospital CEO Dr. Robert Kenagy gave Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, a firsthand look at how spikes in COVID-19 are straining capacity.

Monday, Stormont announced it may need to transfer people needing medical, surgical or COVID-19 beds to other facilities because of the patient increases, coupled with staff missing because of community exposure.

Moran said, “There are generally sufficient beds in Kansas hospitals to care for COVID patients, but they are not staffed beds. We do not have enough personnel to take care of the needs of our state.”

Moran supports how the hospital has adjusted rooms to care for Kansans and is looking for ways to transfer health care professionals to places they are most in need.

Kenagy acknowledged the need of staffing in Stormont as many are getting COVID-19 from community exposure, but not within the hospital.

Moran said, “Are there any military hospitals that would provide available professionals and probably more likely, in fact the department of Veteran’s Affairs, it’s so called “fourth mission” is to back up the public health system in times of crisis.”

Moran acknowledged ongoing conversations in Washington D.C. of more federal financial help.

He said he believes they can agree on something to help out Kansans despite the shift of power to President-Elect Joe Biden.

“My view is, there are things we could agree on today that would benefit Americans, help us get out of the economic and health circumstance we’re in and we ought to do the things we can agree on today and then a debate can occur in a new congress come January,” he said.

As for the new presidency, Moran said, “We’ve seen just in the recent days that were thought to be in controversy or contention and where the decision has been made and Vice President Biden, president-elect Biden. Let me say that differently to get it straight. Vice President Biden as a result of those certifications, I think, becomes president-elect.”

Stormont vail continues to treat non-COVID patients and asks for those seeking medical help to call ahead.

Stormont was treating 100 COVID-positive inpatients today, with beds around 90% capacity.

University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus had 44 COVID-positive patients today with critical care at 91% capacity, which is down from 111% Monday morning.

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