Dear Fellow Staff and Patients of Estes Park Health and All Our Community Members,
As has been said many times, this has been one of the most challenging years. The COVID- 19 pandemic has been only one additional stressor for our community in 2020, but continues to take precedence in our daily lives. We have made a commitment to continue to provide high quality and safe health care for our community and we are proud of the accomplishments we made this past year with ongoing services, increased COVID testing with appropriate turnaround, modifications to our facility for improved safety when caring for COVID patients, and the development of new telehealth services. We are now at an amazing point in history with the development of not just one but two successful vaccinations against COVID-19.
While most of us are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our initial allotment and learning when our place in line for vaccination will come up, there may be some with reservations regarding the safety and efficacy. The impressive accomplishments of the scientists behind these vaccines should not go unnoticed, as well as the thousands of Americans who have been part of the trial studies for both vaccinations. Although it was called “Operation Warp Speed,” there was no rushing the trial process of the vaccinations and the review of safety data by multiple groups. Keep in mind, the FDA and CDC are advised by scientific review boards whose participants are medical and public health experts and are not governmental or elected officials (namely, the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee [VRBPAC] and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices [ACIP]). Both of these review boards wholeheartedly approved the immunizations based on the medical evidence for the safety and the effectiveness of the vaccine.
By believing in the science and trusting both new advances and methods that have been set for years, we encourage you to be willing and ready for vaccination when your time comes. As your medical staff, we encourage all EPH staff members to get the vaccination. We are also making great efforts to be ready to provide vaccination for all members of our community when sufficient allotments are available.
From the beginning of COVID, we as providers and healthcare workers have had to learn and adapt to new recommendations that change on a regular basis. Anticipating the arrival of the vaccine and waiting to hear what we have access to in Estes Park is one last hurdle in the fight. We understand the timeframe for vaccination will take months and there are still certain groups (children under 16) who are not recommended for vaccination at this time. The best we can do is start to develop herd immunity from vaccination to move to a safer community. We will need to continue all the same social distancing, hand washing, and mask recommendations until we have improved control over this virus. The vaccination is one major step in protecting ourselves and our community from severe illness and complications.
If you need further information, here are some trusted sites.
Respectfully, the medical staff of Estes Park Health and our community medical partners:
John Meyer MD, Chief of Staff,
Robyn Zehr DO, Vice Chief of Staff,
Bridget Dunn MD, Vice Chief of
Staff Elect, Family Practice
Aaron Florence DO, Former Chief
of Staff, Orthopedics
Scott Chew MD, Emergency Medicine
Kenneth R. Epstein MD, Hospitalist
Paul Fonken MD, Family Medicine
Joseph Lee MD, Internal Medicine
Martin Koschnitzke MD, CPE,
FACOG, Obstetrics and Gynecology
Amanda Luchsinger MD, Internal
Jennifer McLellan MD, Surgery
Nicholaus Mize DO, Internal
Medicine, Palliative Care
Erika Norris MD, Family Medicine
Michael Prochoda MD,
Megan Ross MD, Pediatrics
Juli Schneider MD, Internal Medicine
Guy Van der Werf MD, Family
Mark Wiesner MD, Pediatrics
Scott Woodard MD, Surgery
Mary Bolgeo CRNA
Jason Goodwin CRNA
Elise Booth FNP
Ingra Marske PA