(Mar. 20, 2020) – As we move deeper into the issues surrounding COVID-19 and the "new normal" that is being created in so many different aspects of our society, I wanted to reiterate what we see as our role at the Kansas Hospital Association.
You have certainly seen an increase in the amount of information you are receiving from us, and that will no doubt continue. Providing you with up-to-date and trusted information through communications and educational programs will continue to be one of our main responsibilities. However, we also recognize that you are being inundated with information from other sources as well, and we are going to be very mindful about our communications. That is one of the reasons we established our regular member calls. Our thought is that allowing our members to take a few minutes and listen to the latest updates from KHA staff, along with sharing information among each other, is important and beneficial. The latest information from those regular calls is posted on our website.
Equally as important and challenging is the advocacy that must be done on behalf of our members. Those challenges begin at the state regulatory agency level with getting and providing information, in addition to working for better processes. They extend to elected officials on the state level, whether it is the legislature, the insurance commissioner or the governor. They also include working with our congressional delegation to make sure Kansas concerns are heard in Washington and at federal regulatory agencies. A recent letter we sent to Governor Laura Kelly outlines those issues.
To be sure, the situation is disruptive and highly inconvenient to many Kansans. However, this pales in comparison to the difficult front-line work being done by Kansas hospitals and health care providers to support the health and safety of their communities. Health care providers are always the first to respond to a problem and this selfless attitude benefits the rest of us. My hope is that those of us who are inconvenienced by the restrictions on our lives stop and think about what our health care providers are doing and consequently follow the advice of the public health experts. Instead of viewing it as a restriction or disruption, we should consider it our small way of caring for our communities.