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AGH issues letter to community, announces crisis transition team

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ARTESIA — Artesia General Hospital has issued an open letter to the cities of Artesia and Carlsbad, urging residents to continue to shelter in place, particularly in light of recent developments in Eddy County.

On behalf of Artesia and Carlsbad Health Care communities, we would like to thank the public for their work on social distancing. We have observed social distancing throughout Eddy County… but the work is NOT DONE!

We need to double down in our efforts to contain the coronavirus. We are NOWHERE NEAR the anticipated spike in virus activity IN OUR STATE.

A recent study by the University of Washington has projections for evolution of coronavirus cases in New Mexico. The following are figures projected for New Mexico:

• Peak (SEVERE ILLNESS) “hospital resource use” – April 25.

• By April 15, they anticipate we will see more than 10 deaths per day in New Mexico.

• By peak activity, we will see more than 15 deaths per day throughout the state.

• Anticipated overall New Mexico deaths GREATER THAN 500!

At a time when we have just recently recorded the first death within Eddy County, we would like nothing more than to prove the projected figures wrong by contributing to the safety of ALL community members, YOUNG AND OLD. We again ask that everyone PLEASE self-isolate when possible.

Continue social distancing when absolutely necessary to be out of your home, and WASH YOUR HANDS, PLEASE!!

On behalf of Artesia General Hospital Staff.

Your Friends,

Marshall Baca Jr., DO
COVID-19 Incident Commander and
Emergency Medicine Director, AGH

Joe Salgado, MD
Chief of Staff
Memorial Family Practice

Marshall G. Baca, MD
Vice Chief of Staff

In addition, the AGH Board of Directors announced Saturday that a transitional team would be leading the hospital’s administrative activities as the facility navigates the COVID-19 crisis and that the board would begin its search for a new hospital administrator/Chief Executive Officer once the health crisis has passed.

Effective March 20, the hospital has named the team of Dr. Joe Salgado, Chief of Staff, and Mrs. Cory Yates, Chief Financial Officer, to ensure the continuation of AGH’s administrative functions.

“The directors feel very confident about the leadership of Dr. Joe Salgado and Cory Yates, who will be operating as the transition team with the support of the Board,” said Anna Whitmire, chairman of the governing board. “These two have a great working relationship, and we have the utmost confidence in them.

“We believe this team will be able to continue the smooth operations of the hospital moving forward.”

Whitmire stressed that the primary focus of the hospital at this time is staying up to date with the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic. The team in place has been preparing for the virus for weeks and is focused on treating patients and protecting staff.

“Artesia General Hospital has worked very hard to create a facility where quality healthcare and the safety and wellbeing of our patients are a priority,” the board said in a statement. “The transition team will continue this endeavor.”

AGH reminds everyone to stay in their homes if possible, wash hands often, use social distancing, and cover coughs and sneezes

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