Some elective surgeries returning at Providence hospitals

Oct 20, 2021

Dr. Christine DeForest, a military healthcare provider assisting with the increased COVID-19 load at Providence hospitals, addresses the media Wednesday.
Credit Rebecca White/SPR

Providence Healthcare now has help from 20 military doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists. That assistance, as well as a lower COVID hospitalizations, might allow the provider to address the backlog of canceled elective surgeries.

Dan Getz, the chief medical officer for Providence Sacred Heart and Holy Family hospitals, says the system is on track to have 80% of its surgery capacity back by early November.

“Getting this team here has been great,” he said. “Physicians are great, they’re kind of the frosting on the cake. But the nurses and the RT’s, that’s kind of the cake, and that helps us get people back to the OR, and get some of those compelling surgeries done.”

Though surgeries may resume soon, Providence health officials say their patient load is still above normal. The hospital’s COVID patient census is still above the December 2020 record. Most patients are unvaccinated and under the age of 50.