Salem, VA. — LewisGale Regional Health System, as part of HCA Healthcare, one of the nation’s leading healthcare providers, is announcing a comprehensive effort to protect its colleagues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Like the majority of hospitals nationwide, LewisGale Regional Health System facilities - including LewisGale Hospital Alleghany, LewisGale Hospital Montgomery, LewisGale Hospital Pulaski, and LewisGale Medical Center – have experienced a decrease in surgery and outpatient volume as a result of COVID-19 preparations, leading to a reduction of hours for many staff members. In response, HCA Healthcare announced a new Pandemic Pay Continuation Policy to help protect the financial security for front-line caregivers. It applies to all HCA Healthcare employees, including those with LewisGale Regional Health System.

LewisGale Regional Health System will attempt to redeploy staff with reduced hours who work in clinical positions or support areas so they can keep working. Those who cannot be redeployed will receive 70 percent of base pay for up to seven weeks until HCA Healthcare better understands the long-term implications of this pandemic on the organization. A similar plan is being implemented at the corporate office.

In addition, those working in patient care facilities who are quarantined per CDC guidelines, LewisGale Regional Health System will pay 100 percent of their base pay for scheduled hours regardless of where the exposure took place. HCA Colleagues who do not work in a patient care facility and are quarantined per CDC guidelines will be eligible for short-term disability while they are ill.

Each of LewisGale Regional Health System’s facilities will provide scrub laundering for those who care for COVID-19 patients to help prevent potentially carrying the virus home on clothing. In addition, HCA is working with major hotel chains to provide free housing for caregivers to COVID-19 patients who prefer not to go home to loved ones after their shift.

Other benefits and programs already in place include options for child or elder care, free Doctors on Demand telemedicine to assist those who cannot get in to see their regular provider, HCA Hope Fund grants for colleagues with financial needs, and emotional support and counseling services.

“This pandemic is unique, and our colleagues’ concerns are real,” said Lance Jones, LewisGale Market President. “We sincerely appreciate all our colleagues are doing and want them to know that we will care like family, and stand with them. If we are to emerge stronger, more resilient and more capable to meet our region’s healthcare challenges, we recognize that this cannot happen without supporting all of our colleagues in these trying times.”

In addition, HCA Healthcare announced that its senior leadership team will take a 30 percent cut in pay until the pandemic passes. HCA Healthcare CEO Sam Hazen will donate 100 percent of his paycheck for eight weeks to the HCA Hope Fund, and other senior leaders will make significant contributions. Similarly, HCA Healthcare’s Board of Directors has waived their cash compensation for the remainder of the year, allowing the company to make an additional contribution to the HCA Hope Fund.

tags: covid-19