This is the best health podcast brought to you by wake forest Baptist health in partnership with MedCost. Good day everyone. Welcome to the latest best health podcast brought to you by wake forest Baptist health. I'm Justin Gomez with wake forest Baptist. I know I say I have a lot of, I do a lot of these and I say we have special guests a lot of the time and we do, uh, but today we do indeed have a, a very special guest. I'm Dr. Julie Fry, slog the CEO of wake forest Baptist health and the Dean of the wake forest school of medicine is joining us today. So welcome Dr. Fry. Schlog
thank you so much for taking time to talk with me.
Absolutely. We appreciate, we appreciate your time. We know you are extremely busy during this time with um, the COVID 19, uh, endemic effecting, uh, the world and, and certainly this part of the world that we're in as well. I'm going, I think we're going to have a really good conversation and I'm excited to have dr Julie speak to this topic because we've been getting so many social media messages and emails about just how people are appreciative of, of healthcare workers right now and being on the front line. And several people have reached out about ways to help out and asking what they can do. Um, so we're hoping that this podcast will shed some light on, on answering some of them questions. Uh, but before we get started, I do just want to let people know, uh, like I'm doing at the beginning of, of all of our Cobin 19 related podcasts that uh, if anyone just wants any overall information about wake forest Baptist health clinic information, visual restrictions, FAQ, [inaudible], CDC recommendations.
We have a lot of great information on our wake health.edu/corona virus, a website, all kinds of really reliable resources on there. And if someone has questions and they need, they feel like they need to talk to someone over the phone, they can access our Cobin 19 the hotline at wake forest Baptist. And that's three, three, six, seven, zero COVID, and that is manned 24, seven. Um, so we're able to answer any questions that someone might have that's listening, um, one of our patients or, or what have you. Um, so I want to let people know that at the top of this podcast. Um, but now I want to really get into the meat of the topic and just, you know, dr Julie, um, just if you, before we get really diving into the specifics, if you could just give a real brief overview. Um, I'll just a little bit of background about who you are and how long you've been in here at wake forest Baptist health.
Sure. Um, so I've been here three years, almost come this April. Uh, and I've served, uh, initially as CEO of the health system and we've grown quite a bit since I've been here. We've added Wilks medical center as well as high point medical center. And so we actually are a five hospital system with a large network of physicians as well, along with a medical school for medical students, PA students and nurse senescence students. And I also became Dean the first year I was here. Uh, so I am a vascular surgeon. I actually operated on someone just last week who had a, an issue with her hand that was acute and urgent where she was throwing clots down to her hands. So we are still doing some urgent emergent surgery, but as of the 18th of March, we stopped doing elective surgery so that we can have capacity to take care of patients who have COVID 19.
Sure. That makes a lot of sense. So, you know, just to start off with as broad strokes, you know, speaking, you've been in the healthcare industry for many, many, many years and um, you know, I, I know that your career has taken you all over the country and to some other, um, really great, um, academic learning centers, uh, medical centers. You know, it just in all your years, um, being in the healthcare industry and caring for people, you know, how does this time now compare to, to what you've seen, uh, unlike with, with other times in your career? Have you seen anything quite like this before?
No. It's actually pretty unprecedented. Uh, we actually, when I was out on the West coast at UC Davis, uh, we did have, uh, the Ebola, uh, event, but very few patients ended up in the United States with Ebola. We screened a few, but, uh, that actually turned out to be a small number of patients that came over from Africa with that. We've talked about pandemics, but we have not had to manage one, especially as extensive as this one has been over the entire world. And as all of us have seen, it's different in each States. Our larger cities such as New York and Boston. Now Detroit, Los Angeles, and certainly starting off with Washington state had lots of patients. We're screening more patients. We haven't screened a lot of patients in North Carolina, we're seeing an increased incidence. But for our hospitals, we just have a handful of patients in three of our hospitals at the present time.
But we have not seen the, uh, the surge yet. We expect to see more patients over the next seven to 10 days. So no one really has experience in this. Uh, and that's why it's so important, um, that we listen, uh, to many of the mandates coming out of the CDC. Uh, we have to keep all our patients safe. So that's sort of why we've had to stop elective surgery, limit the number of visitors coming in to our hospital, making sure that only sick people are coming into clinics. We're doing a lot of our clinic visits virtually. I just saw my patient virtually right before this podcast to let her go home after her surgery. And then we need to keep our caregivers safe as well too. Uh, so our caregivers are right at the front line taking care of patients and, and that's important. And as you know, we need a lot of, uh, personal protective equipment for our, our patients as well as our, our employees and our, our staff and our physicians. And we have had some incredible donations as well as been able to get an, uh, enough, uh, protective equipment. As of today. We have a weekly or daily, uh, we pour it out on that, but that actually has been great in our community as well.
Okay. Well, um, you know, just speaking to, um, I know the, the, the leadership at wake forest Baptist health, um, um, it takes this very seriously and we're blessed with the, the, the people that we have, uh, within our organization. Um, from what I've seen, uh, being here a couple of years as a part of wake forest Baptist and I'm sure you've seen as well. Um, so if you just want to speak to real quick just to kind of the planning and preparedness that the leadership, um, puts into a scenarios, um, where we're able to um, implement, um, these types of, of policies and procedures when, when the show, the time arises such as, now I, I know that you all spent a lot of time kind of talking through and planning for four incidents that could happen such as this.
Yeah. We have some real experts issue. You've seen dr Christopher Ole, uh, has been on face book as well as on radio, TV. He actually is our expert in this and it's actually guiding us of how to deal with our patients as well as our staff. We did open our command center about two weeks ago. We've used that in the past for by bad weather and, and other issues going on in the region. But now we, we have reports out twice a day from the command center, really looking at the number of patients in hospital, number of patients outpatient who have COVID 19, how our staffing is doing, uh, any issues going on locally, regionally and throughout the state. We have spoken also to the secretary of health, Dr. Cohen, as well as the governor and all the CEOs also have a weekly meeting. So we can talk about what's going on in other parts of our state. So this is new to us. Uh, this Corona virus 19, but we do have, uh, abilities to communicate, talk with each other, making sure that we understand what's important and then having each one of our leaders take those messages to all 20,000 of the people that work for wake forest Baptist health.
I know being an academic medical center, people don't realize sometimes about, um, how much, um, the research arm is a core mission, uh, piece of our mission. Um, that, that we do day in and day out. And how directly leads to increase or improved care at the bedside? Can you speak to that for a second?
Yeah. And actually, uh, we need extra money to do all our research. We get money from the NIH as well as the department of defense and many other places. But in order to maintain a new ideas and to go out and investigate a new things, sometimes we need startup funds to make that happen. We are looking at ways to treat COVID 19 through our regenerative cures under a dr otolith lab. We also are putting our names in to do some clinical trials with Covin 19 for treatment and prevention. So all of that together can be helpful, but we also do research on cancer and diabetes and heart disease as well as, uh, Alzheimer's and, uh, other neurological diseases in aging. And so all of those things are out there if you want to support them during this time where we really are consumed with the COVID 19 virus and unable to do the full spectrum of research we'd like to do.
I do want to offer some other information, just if people have questions about, um, they maybe have some supplies, uh, that they would like to donate or have questions about, um, where they can drop the supplies off or what specifically, what type of, of materials. Um, we're accepting, you know, whether it be gloves or hand sanitizer or mask or, or any other sort of donation. Um, people can email COVID 19 firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll say that again. COVID 19. email@example.com. And um, we actually have several, um, drop off locations, um, within our health system if people are looking to, to actually drop off donations, uh, here locally. Um, of course they can be shipped and that shipping addresses on the, on the how you can help website. Um, but people can donate locally at Piedmont Plaza. One building here in Winston Salem for, for the main camp, it's close to the main campus at 1920 West first street.
Um, there's a donation container, um, at the loading dock at Davie medical center at high point medical center at Lexington medical center down in Lexington. And at Wilkes medical center as well. Um, so really people, um, throughout our whole, um, care, uh, area, wherever wake forest Baptist health is serving patients, um, they can respond and go to their local medical center, um, to drop off some donations. Um, so, uh, we appreciate, like I said, everyone that has reached out so far and um, you know, those are for physical donations. But, um, you know, and I'm sure dr Julie can can reiterate this, but what is really helpful to help continue the mission of, of wake forest Baptist health with, with kind of our, our, our, our three columns that we focus on with clinical care, with education and with, and with research is, is a financial donation.
And you know, she's, dr Julius is spoken to this and just the impacted, you know, dr Julie's been around healthcare, you know, for years and years and she's just seeing just the impact you can have on a, on a student or making a donation such as this that goes to this response fund. How that can have a direct impact on the front line healthcare workers and how that can, you know, if they feel like they're being supported, um, through whatever means possible. If it's a, a, an eye physical item donation or financial donation or um, food or even, you know, um, cards thank you cards. You know, I've seen some of those posts on social media as well. You know, it just goes to lift the morale of the frontline workers, the doctors and the nurses, doesn't it? Dr Julie [inaudible].
Yes it does. It's just amazing how, uh, that gratitude and that re uh, thanks really goes a long way cause that's why we're in the business. It's to take care of people and the appreciation is just so heartfelt.
We're so appreciative and I know you are, you're appreciative as well. Dr Julie. Um, if you just want to speak to just how grateful we are and we're going to wrap up here in a second and I'll, I'll give that infer, the website information one more time, but you can just speak of just how grateful we are for people considering us for, for their donations. That would be great.
Great. And again, I thank you for the past and into the future. And then in the time of crisis, we know you're all there with you. We have great communities not only in Winston Salem but also around high point and Wilkes and Lexington and Davey. So whatever hospital or group that you would like to support, we would be forever thankful. Again. Thanks so much.
All right. So in addition to Dr. Julie Fry slog, we also have, uh, another very special guest, um, who has, um, she spent long hours, uh, as well, um, with the COVID 19 response and with our leadership team and making sure that our organization has all the resources coming in that we can possibly have coming in. Uh, and that is Lisa Marshall and Lisa Marshall is our chief philanthropy officer for wary forest Baptist health. So welcome Lisa. Thank you Justin. Great to be with you today. We'll appreciate all the hard work you're doing. And we're going to get into a couple of details here about how people can support wake forest Baptist if, if they feel like they, they can. Terrific. You know, you all work, you know, a year round a year in the philanthropy and alumni relations department. You're very busy as it is, but obviously these are unique times. So just talk a little bit about, um, how the COVID 19 pandemic, um, is, is affecting you all and how your team is working through, through this and making the best out of it.
Well, it's, it's really, uh, been an experience like it is for everyone. You know, it's amazing at times like this, when you have the opportunity to see all of the goodness and compassion that exists in the community. And we've really seen the communities that we serve rally together in, in just wonderful ways. And I can't think of a better example than that. Uh, then some of the donations that we've received for the personal protective equipment for many of the companies in our community, they have really stepped up and made an effort to ensure that our health care providers will have all of the safe equipment they need so that they can truly serve the community in the capacity that we're here to do.
Yeah, that's, that's a great point. So, you know, I know you all have been, um, we've had lots of questions coming in from, from the public, from individuals and from companies and I know y'all have been hard at work putting it, putting together resources to help answer those questions. Can you all speak to, you know, what your team is doing specifically to, to respond to, um, the COVID 19, um, situation that we're facing?
Absolutely. You know, we started out, um, by quickly putting out our COVID 19 response fund and we felt that that was really important to do right away because we had so many people who were reaching out and wondering what they could do, uh, for the medical system and for the community. And the beauty of the COVID 19 response fund is that it gives us the flexibility to, uh, utilize those funds for the most immediate needs that we have. And certainly, as I mentioned, the personal protective equipment is one of those areas that we are emphasizing and focusing on. But there are many other things, you know, we recognize that with everything that's going on right now and the impacts to the economy, there are, um, patients that we're seeing who have immediate needs and they don't have the financial resources. They may have been laid off from their job, they may be a small business owner who's not been able to keep the company running. So there are a lot of impacts out there and we're able to flex with these funds and apply them in the ways that have the most immediate positive impact on the community.
That's, that's a great point, Lisa. You know, and, um, that's so true. And I, I'm, I'm glad that y'all have been able to, um, stand up the Kovac 19 response fund. Um, so, and I know people are donating physical items as well, which is fantastic with the mass or the gloves. Um, so, um, you know, from, from your perspective, you, you've been reached out to from companies and individuals, right? So both and companies can make donations, correct?
Yeah, absolutely. I would say that every constituent that we have has, has really stepped up. You know, the individuals in the community are reaching out. They're utilizing our website, um, clicking on our how you can help button, which takes them right to the page that gives them a lot of information on what, on the ways that can support. Many are choosing to make a cash donation or a credit card, a donation that's easy to do on the website. Uh, we have others who have, uh, indicated their desire to make homemade masks and we do have some instructions out on the website for different ways to do that. And those, uh, donations can be dropped off right at our, uh, locations around the system so that it's easy for people to do that. And, well, those masks are not being used, uh, with our employees at this point. They really can serve a purpose, uh, for patients, uh, for visitors even though we are minimizing, um, the number of visitors on site because of the concerns for their health.
Sure. So you know, from your perspective in, in, um, you know, working with donors for years and years, like you have, you know, you've seen just the, the rewarding, um, nature of, of your work and how people that have the ability to can have a direct impact on the front lines. Can you speak to that just for a moment? How, how, you know, someone does participate in the COVID 19 response fund or donating items? Just how you think that you would, that would impact, you know, our organization and the frontline workers directly.
Yeah. You know, just, and I think that thing that always strikes me is the incredible impact it has on the anxiety and the stress level that our care providers feel. They truly are on the front lines. They are the superheroes of this pandemic. And that's a lot, that's a big load to carry. But when you know that people are out there supporting you and that they, they may not know you personally, but they're thinking about you, they're caring for you and they're making a contribution in your name because they know you're there working hard, that makes a big difference. And we're doing everything we can to share many of those comments that come in with the gifts, um, and get those pushed out to our employees so that they're aware of them and they get to have that kind of moment, um, of, of really fi feeling embraced and supported in everything they are doing.
So along with making a donation, we really hope that people will put in a comment about why they're doing it, what's motivated them. We've had just some wonderful, wonderful comments that have been shared. You know, we're always very interested in what areas the donor is interested in focus focusing on. And so that's an important piece of, of any gift that comes in. But in this case, what we're doing with the COVID 19, uh, fund is really applying to those best and highest use, the most immediate needs. And that's, that's where, you know, we hope that people out there will recognize that the, the needs are coming at us that quickly, that from one day to the next, the need may be very different. And so, uh, we're really trying to be very fluid with that. But again, we're always interested in what the donor, uh, is focused on and what concerns they have. So our job is really to try and marry those two things, what their interest is and what the, the actual needs are.
You know, and I do have another question and you've probably gotten this, uh, I guess on a more macro, a higher level before, um, and in the years that you've been working on our behalf in philanthropy, you know, but wa there's a lot of great charities out there. Um, and sometimes me, you know, maybe someone might ask, well, if, if this hospital is, is, has X, Y,Z revenue coming in and do they need, you know, philanthropic support or, or why, why would they need that? And, you know, I think you might be able to answer that, uh, better, you know, possibly now than we ever have before just with what the healthcare workers being trust and to the front line, um, to battle this paint damage. But if you want to speak to that, um, I think that would be helpful for listeners to hear.
Sure. I would share a couple of things. I would, um, say that, first of all, it's important to recognize that there are many nonprofit hospitals and healthcare systems across the country and all of us share a mission to do whatever needs to be done in our communities to improve health and protect health. And certainly in the COVID 19 scenario, we're very much in the protect health mode and we will do whatever is needed in our communities to ensure that as many people as possible can stay healthy and that those who do become ill get treated promptly and treated well. So that's a big mission and it's important to recognize that we, uh, have nonprofit status and we need the community support because the reimbursements that come for providing that care often do not cover the entire cost. And, and that's where the challenge, uh, resides in healthcare.
So that's from a clinical care perspective, that's why having a donations and community support is so critical. And in our particular case, because we are also an academic medical center, we have two additional missions on top of providing the very best care. So we also have our research mission, which is to ensure that things like a vaccine someday for the Kovac 19 will exist. That's part of our mission. The other piece is to educate the next, uh, generation of healthcare providers. And so both of those missions require investment in support. And again, that's exactly where the community and our donors come into play because they make that possible.
I do want to remind people of that wakehealth.edu/at 19 support website, wakehealth.edu/COVID 19 support teamwork comes to my mind, Lisa. You know, we're all in this together, right? And it's going to take, it's going to take the village to, to battle this pandemic and to help defeat it.
That's exactly right. You know, this is, this is the time when we demonstrate what we mean when we say community and we are in it together. We are here for each other and there are a lot of ways to demonstrate that you're in it and that you're part of the community. And that's really what we're asking is take a look at our website, think about what's important to you. And we're quite sure there's a way you can participate.
So we appreciate your time. Lisa.
Thank you very much Justin. And thanks to our many, many community partners out there.
Yeah. So, um, um, Lisa Marshall, Dr. Julie Fryschlog uh, our guest today on this, um, special best health podcast learning, um, just helping get the word about how people can, can participate. And, and, um, join the fight, um, to defeat this COVID 19, uh, crisis that we're in. So I appreciate their time and, um, look forward to talking to them again in the future. Um, until the next episode, I want to thank all the listeners for, for
I'm taking a listen to this ass and all our other podcasts and until we talk again, please be well, thanks for listening to this episode of the best health podcast brought to you by wake forest Baptist health. For more wellness info, check out wakehealth.edu/besthealth and follow us on social media, wake forest Baptist health care for life.
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