As Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System responded to COVID-19 beginning in March 2020, we were determined to not just cope with the situation but to continue to serve and protect our patients and improve the health and well-being of our community.
That determination was challenged when COVID-19 became an evolving health threat. Undaunted, our organization moved confidently into action and prepared for whatever the situation might bring. That determination meant that we had to think differently about how we were doing so many things. From adding virtual visits for patients and redeploying staff to vaccinating hundreds of employees on short notice, we embraced numerous new ways of working. Our motto for the year became “prepare, don’t panic.” And that is just what our employees did, day after day for the entire year. We are still going strong and letting that motto guide our way.
As global progress was made in understanding COVID-19, we made significant headway in learning how to combat it and how to treat patients who were infected. That understanding allowed us to better serve our community with practical support, answers to important questions and services that evolved as our community’s needs changed.
Key to our success during this unprecedented time has been a spirit of teamwork and collaboration among our entire Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System staff. You will read more about that in the following pages, and I know you will share my pride in seeing how their fortitude, skill and determination contributed to our success in 2020.
This year was truly incredible and unlike anything I have experienced in my career. This international health crisis has changed so much about Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System. From wearing masks and practicing social distancing while working together to revising waiting room layouts and offering virtual visits, we are redefining what “normal” healthcare means. But that progress is underpinned by our long-held and unchangeable mission: to put those we serve – our patients and the community – first.