As leaders of some of the largest and most prominent health systems in Georgia, we have a history of competing in ways that have made us all better and have served our patients and communities well. During these unprecedented times, we have come together in unique ways such as a daily incident command center for sharing resources, ideas, protocols and learning from one another. Our community and health care systems have benefited from our shared vision and strategy.
Tragically, many lives have been lost to COVID-19. The collaborative efforts of our health systems, combined with the social distancing efforts and the leadership of our civic leaders have resulted in many lives being saved, and suffering from this pandemic being less than what it otherwise would have been.
We must all recognize, however, that as we gradually reopen businesses and take small steps towards normalcy, our adherence to the guidelines that got us this far is critical and will define how many lives will be lost and how many will suffer in coming months.
Our Atlanta health systems are strong and united in being here for our community to save lives and reduce suffering. We cannot succeed alone. How each of us responds to the relaxing of restrictions will define our future. Stay home if you are sick and not requiring medical attention. Continue social distancing, wear masks, maintain excellent hand hygiene and avoid touching your face. We are counting on all of you. We will get through this — together.
Jonathan S. Lewin, M.D., president and CEO, Emory Healthcare; Kevin Brown, president and CEO, Piedmont Healthcare; Candice Saunders, president and CEO, WellStar Health System; John Haupert, president and CEO, Grady Health System.