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Responding to COVID-19: A Message from FirstHealth CEO Mickey Foster

| Date Posted: 3/30/2020

To our patients and the community:  

 

We’re all adjusting to a new reality due to the spread of COVID-19. For many, life looks quite different than it did just a few weeks ago, leading to uncertainty and even fear about what lies ahead.  

 

I want to take a moment to reassure you that FirstHealth of the Carolinas remains focused on its core purpose, to care for people, and we are working each day to fulfill that promise.  

 

Our FirstHealth Family – more than 5,000 physicians, nurses, staff and volunteers – works every day to keep communities throughout the Sandhills safe and healthy. To assist our effortswe have implemented enhanced visitor restrictions to keep people safe at our facilities. 

 

Along with local and state health officials, we encourage everyone to do all they can to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Not only will you help keep you and those you love safe, but you will also give the physicians, nurses and staff on the frontline a better chance to successfully respond to this crisis.  

 

If you are able, stay home as much as possible and only venture out for essentials like food or medicine. When you are out, keep at least 6 feet between yourself and others and avoid all gatherings.  

 

Other ways to stay healthy:  

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill  
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze 
  • Do not reuse tissues after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose 
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched 

 

IF YOU GET SICK 

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you are experiencing any of these, we ask that you see a doctor virtually through the FirstHealth On the Go app or call your doctor for more guidance.  

 

If you need in-person care for severe symptoms, call before visiting your primary care provider, a Convenient Care clinic or a FirstHealth emergency department. This will assist health care providers to take steps to get you the appropriate care you need while keeping others safe. 

 

WAYS YOU CAN HELP 

FirstHealth is accepting donations of sewn masks. Donated masks will be sterilized by FirstHealth prior to use, and we ask that the masks not include rubber bands because they can't be properly sterilized.  

 

Please bring masks between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. to one of the following FirstHealth Fitness centers. A collection bin will be located outside of the facilities for donations:  

  • Pinehurst 
  • Sanford 
  • Troy 
  • Raeford 
  • Rockingham 

 

We also encourage people to share sewn masks with family and friends. If you have other medical supplies you'd like to donate, please email marketing@firsthealth.org 

 

As coronavirus has spread throughout the country, blood donations are way down. If you are healthy, please consider donating blood. We were overwhelmed with donors at a recent drive at Moore Regional Hospital, and we will be hosting additional drives in the coming weeks. 

 

Know that we are honored to be a part of this community and look forward to helping take care of it – now and in the future.  

 

Sincerely,  

Mickey Foster 
Chief Executive Officer

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