Highlands Serves During COVID-19, and Beyond

John Andursky

Highlands Hospital and its frontline workers have continued to serve the community during the COVID-19 virus and beyond.

“As I reflect on how our world has changed over the past few months, I thought of here in our own hospital community – our past, our present and our future,” said John Andursky, the hospital’s chief executive officer (CEO). “The world has been slowly opening back up,” he continued. “While we’re all eager to return to some semblance of normalcy, the truth is that the world we are entering now is far different than the one we left behind just a few months ago. “I have as many questions as you do about how things will change in the days, months and years ahead,” he added. “But I am confident of one thing, the resiliency of our Highlands Hospital community will continue to come together to support one another as we have seen the past few months.”

Andursky said he is extremely proud of the hospital’s front-line healthcare providers and staff for their hard work to ensure “our collective well-being.” “Our entire organization has worked diligently to initiate a comprehensive plan and series of preventative measures to protect the health of the patients in our care and our fellow staff members,” he said.

Andursky said there was no COVID-19 playbook. “And this virus has been one of the greatest challenges we have faced in all facets of our lives,” he said. “Patients with co-morbid conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity were put at a higher risk of complications related to COVID-19. These patients have a decreased ability to fight infections.

“We also are reminded that in times of COVID-19 or otherwise the importance of treating individuals whole health-mental and emotional, as well as physical,” he added. Andursky said now more than ever the hospital needs to change the stigma of mental health support services. “Just a few months ago, we had no idea that all our worlds were going to be turned upside down by the coronavirus or that associated worry, isolation, loneliness and anxiety would be something that literally everyone would experience,” he said. “Highlands Hospital continues to be a pillar of strength for those seeking mental health support.”

Through it all, Andursky said he was pleased to announced that during these challenging times, Highlands Hospital recruited a new top-notch Emergency Department (ED) group that is in place and seeing patients. Dr. Abram Wiener is leading the way as he is the new medical director for the Emergency Department. A new hospitalist, Dr. Scott M. Jacobson, M.D. was also hired. As a hospitalist, Dr. Jacobson works closely with many local primary care physicians to provide a continuum of care while patients are hospitalized.

And lastly, Highlands has announced its new radiologist group, Suburban Imaging.

“There is no doubt that the coming months will bring continued change,” Andursky said. “We will continue to evolve to meet the ever changing needs of our community, as well as ensure that we, an independent community hospital, remain financially strong and forward thinking. “We thank you for the unwavering support for our community hospital which will soon be celebrating its 130th anniversary and all of our people in service to you –– our community,” he added.