Good morning. I think my colleagues have said it very well. We are seeing the very same trend at Harlingen Medical Center, in terms of the census and the number of COVID patients that we are treating. We are hovering right now at about 20 percent for confirmed cases of COVID. 

Matt Wolthoff

Our biggest challenge and I think I can speak for all the hospitals is staffing to care for those patients. As we have talked about in the past, these patients require a much higher… they are very resource-intense. They require a much higher staffing level. That continues to be our challenge. That is why it is so important for us to protect our workforce. That is why this vaccine is so critical. I am proud to say we are at Harlingen Medical Center were able to get the vaccine from a sister facility and over the last two days we have vaccinated over 250 of our workforce. So, we are catching up and trying to get everybody vaccinated as well. 

While I am talking about our workforce, one of the things I would like to say is that I am just so proud of our frontline healthcare workforce, the healthcare professionals across the Valley. The resiliency displayed by everyone here and all of our frontline staff has been amazing. No one could have projected how severe this would be and how long it would be. And yet those staff continue to come to work everyday and save lives and take care of people. It is really remarkable. You should be proud of your healthcare professionals in the Rio Grande Valley.

I do think there is a lot of reason for optimism. The vaccine being the number one thing. And I think 2021 is certainly going to be a better year than 2020. But, to echo my colleagues’ comments you have got to continue to be diligent and continue to be smart so that we can make it a better 2021. 

That concludes my message. That you. I really appreciate. Merry Christmas. 

Editor’s Note: The above commentary was made by Matt M. Wolthoff, CEO of Harlingen Medical Center. Wolthoff made the commentary at a news conference just before Christmas hosted by Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño, Jr. 

Editor’s Note: The above commentary is the third in a three-part series about Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño, Jr.’s news conference. Part One features the commentary of Manny Vela, CEO of Valley Baptist Health System. Click here to read the commentary. Part Two features the commentary of Leslie Bingham, CEO of Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville. Click here to read the commentary.

Editor’s Note: Following Wolthoff’s commentary, Judge Treviño thanked the three hospital CEOS at the news conference.

Treviño said: “Thank you, Matt, Manny and Leslie. Thank you for all of your efforts and please extend our thanks and appreciation to all of your staff, your doctors, your nurses and all off your professional healthcare providers because they have literally been super heroes in saving live. I love that sign that says “super heroes work here” because that has never been more true. You don’t have to wait to go to the movies to see the new Wonder Woman, to see the heroes. We have them working every day in our hospitals.”

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