A message from physicians regarding COVID-19

Dear Fellow Community Members,

We need your help! Just as we were beginning to settle into a “normal” relaxing summer with our loved ones, our community is once again challenged with a life-threatening resurgence of COVID-19 infections. Hospitalizations throughout the Huntsville Hospital System are increasing at an unprecedented rate. SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, has proven to be relentless in its ability to mutate and attack the young, the old, those with good health, and those less fortunate with chronic disease. As physician leaders in our community, we are asking for your help to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions and, sadly, avoidable deaths.

Just as COVID-19 has changed, we must also change our behaviors if we are to return to the lifestyle that made Huntsville the 3rd Best City to Live in America (U.S. News & World Report, July 2021). We have the means to defeat COVID-19 - we now need to step forward as a community to see this through.

Almost 100% of our Medical Staff and the majority of our employees have been fully vaccinated because they know it is 92-95% effective in reducing hospitalizations and death. Is it a perfect vaccine? No vaccine is perfect, but for the last 200 years, vaccines have enabled us to defeat or at least control devastating diseases like polio, smallpox, measles, mumps, and more recently, influenza, pneumonia, and shingles. The studies indicate the COVID-19 vaccine to be our best defense when augmented with safe behaviors such as social distancing and masking.

Over 90% of our hospital admissions for COVID-19 are unvaccinated. We know that some of these patients will leave the hospital with long-term complications and others will unfortunately die from their infections. We are so proud of our physicians, nurses, and other caregivers that heroically worked to save lives during the first surge while putting their own safety at risk. We should now step forward like these caregivers and do what is necessary to prevent hospitalizations and COVID-19 spread.

For those who have been vaccinated, we thank you. For those who remain at significant risk and at risk to infect others we ask you to reconsider.

Warmest regards,

Michael Dean McFadden, MD, President, Medical Staff

Darrin L. Johnson, MD, Vice President, Medical Staff

Paul B. Tabereaux, MD, Secretary, Medical Staff

Macon Phillips, MD, Health Care Authority Board

Amit Arora, MD, Health Care Authority Board

Robert W. Chappell, Jr., MD, Chief Medical Officer/Chief Quality Officer HH Health System