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An Urgent Message to the Community

Text stating "an urgent message to the community" on red block

Through the years, we have seen great triumph and great tragedy in our communities. Often it is our friends, family and neighbors whom we turn to for celebration in the good times and support in the not so good times. For months now, our communities and beyond have endured division and disease, stress and strain. Those we typically turn to in times like these haven’t always been able to meet us where we are at in our journey, often leaving us frustrated and driving further division. This journey has ebbed and flowed but has never felt more crucial than right now.

To our community, we are experiencing a period of increased significant illness that is taking a toll on Mercer Health’s team members and resources. We are committed to caring for the community, no matter what it takes, however healthcare, as a whole, has never experience such a high demand of patient care continually and simultaneously for such a long period of time.

As of this morning, we are 25% over maximum capacity based upon our current staffing. We have not decreased our capacity due to staffing as some other health systems have unfortunately had to do. However, in order to increase capacity, which is the next phase in our surge planning, we will be required to cohort patients (placing more than one patient per room) and closely evaluating staffing ratios (at times minute by minute), as there are currently not an abundance of staffing reserves to meet continuously increasing need. To further complicate the situation, many of the larger hospitals that we would routinely transfer patients to are facing similar struggles. This is a complication that potentially impacts not just COVID patients but also patients with trauma, cardiac and other conditions.

Our Emergency Department also remains extremely busy. While we will always be here to care for patients in an emergency, we ask that you please do not seek emergency services unless you are experiencing a true emergency. We have many options for non-emergency care, including multiple primary care offices, Doctors’ Urgent Care and virtual care options. We always recommend that your first step be a phone call to your primary care provider or family doctor’s office; they can help you access the level of care you need. We pleadingly request that all COVID testing be completed at our swab station at Mercer Health at North Main in Celina.

What can you do to support us, and ultimately your friends, family and neighbors that rely on us to be there for them in their not so good times? Please consider all prevention measures. Please be patient with us as we do our best. Please use healthcare resources respectfully. Please trust and respect your local healthcare team.

To our extraordinary staff in all roles, we thank you for dedicating yourselves to Mercer Health and our patients.

In the spirit of community,
The Mercer Health team, your friends, family and neighbors