“Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining” – How One Hospital Is Staying Positive

This article was originally published on July 1, 2020, by Sophie Meinershagen and Carissa Schultze.

For many, COVID-19 has been a hard battle that has seemed impossible to fight. From frontline workers to homeless people around the world, this pandemic has impacted us all. Dallas County has hit over 600 daily cases and over 21,000 total cases. However, even though times can seem desolate, one can always look on the bright side of things. One Plano hospital is trying to spread positivity and stay upbeat even amidst a challenging era.

In a recent interview with Steve Hadzima, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano, he discussed the different ways COVID-19 has affected the hospital employees’ daily lives, as well as what they are doing in response.

When asked about recovery stories, there was a lot to say. Using the best-known treatments combined with outstanding team efforts, Dr. Steve Hadzima was proud to say, “We have been fortunate to have a low mortality rate.” Even with this, there have been some crazy experiences, as he explained, “We have had family members hospitalized at the same time; patients spend weeks in the Intensive Care Unit on ventilators; women with COVID-19 deliver their babies … And each time we can discharge a patient with COVID-19 back to be with their family, it is an amazing story.” This hospital has been faced with several strenuous events, including working with young and old patients and still having to let go of a few beautiful lives that were lost. While the cases have continued to spike increasingly in Dallas and in Texas, the incredible amount of teamwork in maintaining a happy, healthy, and safe environment has been outstanding.

A lot of effort has come quickly with many surprises, but the legacy of what he likes to call “The Texas Health Promise: Individuals Caring For Individuals, Together” has brought coworkers closer together as they continue to symbolize it every day. Some staff members have taken on the task of accepting and taking up new roles, such as “screeners at the entrance doors, runners between departments, transporters, etc.” Elective surgeries have also been postponed and canceled altogether. These methods have been able to keep the staff happy with approximately the same amount of workload and paycheck that they had before the pandemic.

Concerning safety measures, which are vital during a pandemic, Steve Hadzima stated, “If we want businesses to reopen and stay open while at the same time we don’t want needless deaths or morbidity, then we need to do everything we can to reduce the community spread of COVID 19. Masking and physically distancing can go a long way toward accomplishing this.” He suggested meeting outdoors instead of inside as well as washing hands well and regularly. Even during an unprecedented time period like this, we can continue to be safe if we follow such guidelines and proceed with caution. In addition, though it may be tough to continue socializing online, he notes that it is important we do so to keep ourselves away from catching the virus but also to keep us connected to others. It’s crucial that we maintain good health and protection and these suggestions are key to doing so.

When asked about the good things coming from COVID-19, Steve Hadzima claimed, “I believe every cloud has a silver lining.” Families have grown closer through the stay-at-home orders, and people are working together to fight this more and more. Though the times are troubling and bleak, there are positive things happening in many places and for many people. He stated, “…we have seen the generosity of people through random acts of kindness or car parades to celebrate birthdays or anniversaries or supporting each other.” Many people are doing their best to celebrate others even in increasingly difficult circumstances. We can all play a part in helping brighten someone’s day, even through just small acts of kindness.

As we continue to fight this virus and as cases continue to rise, we can have hope that people will continue to do positive things in their community. We can have hope that doctors and nurses will keep saving lives and try to find a cure for what seems an invincible virus.

Finally, we would like to give a huge thanks to Dr. Steve Hadzima and all of Texas Health

Presbyterian Hospital Plano for serving us and working on the front lines every single day.