PPE fitting Whether we're meeting daily to assess the current COVID pandemic and its impact upon the health and wellbeing of our patients and colleagues—or we're planning respite rooms and meals to comfort those on the frontlines—or we're sharing our innovative best practices for COVID-era intubation and airway management with external colleagues—everyone has been busy adjusting to the new normal. 

The Anesthesia COVID-19 Leadership Committee formed in March 2020 to address the unprecedented needs of the anesthesia care team in responding to the novel coronavirus.  Led by Bert Pierce, M.D., and David Miller, M.D., the committee met at least once daily for eight weeks to explore and report on the most up-to-the-minute issues regarding new protocols and conditions; it continued to meet regularly through the rest of the year to keep up with the most pressing issues as the pandemic surged throughout our state.

At the forefront of the discussions was how to best care for the most vulnerable patients and faculty members. The group also addressed departmental concerns such as PPE supplies, staffing and scheduling, unique COVID simulations and protocols, testing, IT needs, and wellness issues.

As the surge in COVID-positive patients spiked after the Thanksgiving holidays, we saw the first of the vaccines being offered through Employee Health just before the end of the year. During this time of unprecedented challenge and stress, we finally had a light at the end of the tunnel.