I've been asked to share a brief email discussion regarding the current and future status of transporting children to our hospitals.
I'm sure you've heard that we have been unable to transport children to our Chicago and Cincinnati hospitals due to Covid-19. For the safety of our hospitals, drivers, and especially kids, Shriners International along with the Board of Directors and Board of Trustees of Shriners Hospitals for Children closed transportation early in the spring. Any child needing a check-up or follow-up appointment has been able to do so using a system called Fast Track. Fast Track is similar to Zoom or Go To Meeting - it is a way for people to meet over the internet where they can talk to and see each other. This has been very beneficial in that our kids can still see their doctors, and the doctors can note the progress being made by each patient without the risk of potentially infecting each other.
But now, as the world is slowly opening up from it's Covid-19 forced slumber, there are questions about transportation. Illustrious Sir Ron Stanley, the Elf Khurafeh Board of Governors representative to the Chicago Hospital had a brief discussion with Mark Niederpruem, FACHE who is the Administratos of the Chicago Hospital. Here are the highlights of their conversation:
Illustrious Sir Ron: Mark, when do you think transportation will start up again?
Mark: Some Shrine Centers are currently transporting kids so it is up to the Shrine Centers and the individual drivers if they are comfortable transporting at this time.
Illustrious Sir Ron: Telehealth in Saginaw - is it going to stay active?
Mark: I do not know the long term answer to this question. However, at this time it will remain active. Since March when Covid hit, Shriners Hospital for Children - Chicago has significantly increased telehealth, but using personal devices in patient homes. I suspect this will continue and eventually the Saginaw site will then be reevaluated to see if [it] is used enough to keep it going.
Illustrious Sir Ron: Will we need all the vans in the future?
Mark: If telehealth ramps up in the coming year like it has recently, I project the number of trips need[ed] will decrease. What I don't know is by how much. Sorry I can't be more precise at this time.
If you have any questions regarding the current situation for transportation or what lies ahead, feel free to contact Illustrious Sir Ron Stanley. He will try to answer all of your questions.
Updates from the Elf Khurafeh Shrine Divan