MHHC CEO WHITED GIVES COVID-19 UPDATE - Questions Concerning Preparedness

By Bob Weaver

Minnie Hamilton Health System CEO Steve Whited says they are not able to communicate the number tests performed at this time for MHHC, have been asked to direct all testing pending/confirmed information to the State and DHHR.

Other unconfirmed sources say a few tests for CONVID-19 have been performed locally.

"The State has set some pretty high criteria before testing is collected, which makes things even more confusing to the public," Whited said.

"We do have tests available. We encourage all community members who have the symptoms(fever, cough, shortness of breath) to contact their medical provider via phone and discuss, but if they are experiencing severe symptoms (difficulty breathing, persistent pain of pressure in the chest, bluish lips or face) please seek medical attention immediately," he continued.

Healthcare providers are open for business, but they have to use extreme caution on every possible situation were COVID 19 or flu like symptoms exists, this is what is exhausting all healthcare providers supplies, as they must wear protective gear to protect the patients, our staff and our community.

The CEO of Charleston General Hospital told media, despite public announcements, the supplies and equipment have not been forthcoming, actually expressing disgust.

Whited said he has had multiple meetings with associations (WV Hospital Association, WV Primary Care Association) and a meeting with Senator Manchin late last week, expressing the slow time on lab turnaround, shortage of supplies and shortage of tests.

"Everyone hears us, but very little is seen on the frontlines. Very frustrating, but we keep plugging along. We have a phone conference call with Senator Capito Tuesday afternoon. Minnie Hamilton does have ventilators, and other breathing assistance machines," said Whited.

Some questions have surfaced surrounding MHHS threat preparedness activities, these include:

1. As part of our emergency and threat preparedness plan, Minnie Hamilton Health System works with local schools to set up emergency sites in case a situation arises in which space is needed. We have set up these site to test resources so we can be prepared for emergency situations should they arise. These sites are being equipped to give us an idea of where we stand on the amount of equipment we have and what we need. Right now, Minnie Hamilton Health System is prepared to meet the needs of our patients.

2. None of this is meant to scare people, just part of our activities that we have practiced and prepared for. Several public announcements have gone out surrounding visitor restrictions, patient flow and access, as well as information about the telehealth services. Direct phone numbers to schedule a tele visit are: Grantsville office at 304 -354- 9704, Glenville office at 304- 462- 3407.

"We continue daily/hourly updates with State and Federal officials. Our team members meet each day at 9am and throughout the day as needed."

Employees are self-monitoring and report any health issues. Routine temperate monitoring for all employees has been implemented.

Easy access to information MHHS website at the following link:

"I feel as though we are prepared as we can be, and our employees are second to none in preparation and commitment to making changes and implementations on the fly."

"We Doing our best to keep community and staff informed, however, as always, there could be questions or concerns that are not clear, so please just send any questions or concerns to me. My email is or call me at 304-354-9244." he concluded.