K. Craig Kent, M.D., Executive Vice President for Health Affairs at the University of Virginia, talks about UVA Health and challenges during COVID and the future. UVA Health has four sections: the medical school, nursing school, physician organization and hospitals including three hospitals in Northern Virginia. It employs 14,000 people with a yearly revenue of $3 billion. One goal of the organization is to transition from single doctor care to care provided by a whole team. This new philosophy will be the focus of a new strategic plan being developed in the summer of 2021. COVID information and questions from the audience filled the remainder of the meeting. UVA early on developed a COVID test with a six-hour turnaround time to diagnose the disease. They built 84 negative pressure rooms to provide care for very ill COVID patients to decrease mortality.
Concerning the administration of the vaccine, Dr. Kent said that the Virginia Department of Health controls the supply distribution. Currently UVA has a location at the former Big Lots and has a capacity to deliver 3,000 shots per day. The supply has been 3,500 shots per week. Dr. Kent stressed that the recommendations for COVID and supply of vaccine are moving targets and change as more information becomes available. For those who have had the vaccine, the current plan is to “stay the course” with masking, social distancing and personal hygiene.
Dr Kent spoke at the Wednesday February 10, 2021 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held on Zoom. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Past President Rich DeMong.