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Rising to the Challenge, Staying the Course

Posted By Louise Probst, Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Updated: Tuesday, March 31, 2020

It has been two weeks since many St. Louis and national employers responded to the COVID-19 call to action: close workplaces for employees not directly involved in essential services. In almost lightning speed, and with the aid of technology and CDC guidance, HR teams prepared their workers to stay safe, connected, and focused while accommodating social distancing and this new way of life. I am impressed with employers’ agility and compassion in supporting their employees in the face of this significant health crisis. 

In the March 27th edition of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, physician leaders from local health systems (including BJC HealthCare, Mercy, SSM Health, and St. Luke’s Hospital) reached out to the public to share their insights, actions, and recommendations. With so much disjointed COVID-19 news, I felt reassured knowing that they are working together and coordinating resources and actions to meet the health care needs of the St. Louis community during this challenging time. The main takeaways from the collaborative statement were:


  1. "No Visitor" policies are consistent across hospitals. Please be understanding of the importance of these precautions in keeping everyone as safe as possible.

  2. Each health system has COVID-19 testing centers. Information about these centers can be found on their websites, along with virtual screening tools through BJC HealthCare and SSM Health. Unfortunately, supplies remain limited, so please call your hospital or health care provider ahead of time and understand that you may be asked to self-isolate at home, unless or until you have trouble breathing.

  3. Please continue to be vigilant with hand washing and social distancing. Remember to stay active, eat healthy, sleep well, and connect virtually with family and friends in order to remain healthy and resilient.

To support well-being, the Midwest Health Initiative continues to update the LiveWellSTL website with online and at-home resources to move more, eat better, lose weight, and feel well. BHC members are also encouraged to visit our COVID-19 resource page and join fellow employers for weekly coffee chats in April to discuss evolving responses.


While there is much that we do not know about COVID-19, one thing is clear. We are in this together, and everyone has a critical role to play in slowing the spread of this virus. Social distancing will be necessary for longer than initially expected. We must stay the course. We owe this to those on the front line of health care serving our community.

Warm regards,

Louise Y. Probst,
BHC Executive Director


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