Dear Colleagues,

This year has been incredibly difficult and full of anxiety, uncertainty, fear and anger. We have faced the challenges of dealing with COVID-19, despite the lack of clear understanding of the virus, the continuously changing guidance from experts and shortages in the supply chain. The racial unrest and demands for change in many communities has added to the complexity, even as many people juggle children learning from home and family members who lost their jobs.

Nonetheless, Denver Health has continued to provide high quality care to those most in need. And as we face another surge in COVID-19, we will keep doing what we have always done – serving our patients and our community. We have developed a set of values that reflect who Denver Health is – excellence, compassion, relentlessness, stewardship and learning. Listing a set of values is the easy part; living by them is what truly distinguishes a mission-driven organization. I’ve watched as our caregivers have fought for the lives of those infected by COVID, provided words of support to those who could not sit with their loved ones, searched high and low for the supplies we need to keep our staff safe and took the time to reach out to our own employees who need help.

We will continue to add resources to support those in need, whether they are our patients, community residents or our staff. The RISE (Resilience in Stressful Events) program continues to be available to help with the toll that this crisis is taking on all of us. And we will still offer the employee relief fund grants to help employees who may be struggling with their financial obligations. The next couple of months will not be easy, but I know we will get through whatever is coming at us – together.

COVID-19 and Incident Command

We have been monitoring the surge in COVID-19 cases across the state and in our city, standing by for when we would need to re-elevate our internal response. We have made the decision to reactivate our Incident Command (IC) structure for the foreseeable future.

We have two objectives as we enter into this next phase of the pandemic

· Commitment to Safety – We are committed to the safety of our employees, patients and visitors. We must take care of ourselves so that we can take care of our patients, coworkers and community.

· Commitment to Community – We will always be here to for the people of Denver, to provide care in-person or virtually, on campus or at one of our locations across the city.

With IC back up and running, you will begin to see the daily Huddle Sheets return this week. As you remember, these Huddle Sheets, which are emailed to all staff, provide updates on operations, supplies, policies, staffing and additional communication that is necessary to convey as it relates to COVID-19.

We anticipate the months ahead will be challenging for our staff and the community. I ask you to stay safe and take all the necessary precautions to take care of yourself and your loved ones, and I would like to thank you for your on-going commitment to serve our patients. Your endurance is admirable.

Three Good Things

Watch the newest video as we recognize the real stories of our front line workers. These tributes honor the thousands of Denver Health employees who are heroically serving our patients during the pandemic. As COVID cases again spike, we want to acknowledge your strength and commitment to caring for the most vulnerable.

Thanks for getting your flu shot! To date, Denver Health has provided nearly 8,200 flu vaccinations to employees, volunteers, contractors, students, fellows and residents.

Our top vaccinator (who works in COSH) has given more than 600 vaccinations this flu season by herself.

The Child Life Team is grateful for the volunteers who donned costumes and visited kids and families in this year’s reverse trick or treat street. You brightened their days and empowered kids to just be kids on Halloween. You make a difference!

Thanks for all you do,

Robin D. Wittenstein, Ed.D., FACHE
Chief Executive Officer

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