As State Curtails Elective Surgeries, Cooley Dickinson Reiterates Its Safe Care Commitment

NORTHAMPTON — As Cooley Dickinson Hospital works to scale back elective surgeries that require hospitalization per Gov. Charlie Baker’s Dec. 11 rollback order, hospital leaders remind the public that Cooley Dickinson is open — following its Safe Care Commitment — for all outpatient services and most inpatient care, including outpatient procedures; visits to Cooley Dickinson provider practices; physical, occupational, and speech-language therapy; radiology services; lab services; screening procedures; emergency care; and preventive-care appointments.

“We are working within the Massachusetts Department of Public Health guidelines to limit elective surgeries that are likely to require an inpatient stay locally at Cooley Dickinson Hospital,” Cooley Dickinson President and CEO Joanne Marqusee said.

Examples of surgeries that may be impacted by the governor’s order are non-urgent joint-replacement surgery or the few elective procedures that require an overnight stay for which delay would not cause significant clinical issues for the patient. Some cases will be deferred to assure capacity for the growing COVID-19 spike and other medical cases.

Ambulatory services, such as lab and diagnostic imaging, are open, and staff are caring for outpatients following the Safe Care Commitment. The procedures that have been put in place to appropriately socially distance patients and to allow for cleaning between patients remain in effect. Cooley Dickinson Medical Group practices, rehabilitation services, and urgent care also continue to see patients in person and virtually.

Marqusee added that Cooley Dickinson continues to focus on the care the community needs. “We have protocols in place to keep our patients and our workforce safe. I encourage people to follow the governor’s mandates and all public-health guidance: wear a mask everywhere you go, maintain physical distance from others, wash your hands, and limit indoor gatherings to your household.”

Most importantly, she added, community members should not delay care, other than the inpatient surgery cases that need to be rescheduled. “We are here for you to safely and responsibly provide the healthcare you need.”