The Lompoc Valley Medical Center Medical Staff recently presented two colleagues with plaques recognizing special care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the monthly Med Staff meeting, Dr. Christopher Taglia and Dr. William Pierce were honored for their roles in the hospital’s response to the global pandemic.
The physicians were surprised by the awards, which were presented at the conclusion of the gathering by Chief Medical Officer Randall Michel. Noting that COVID was “far from over,” Dr. Michel explained that LVMC’s work for the response to COVID-19 began last winter, during the early days of the virus.
‘The thing that impressed me most was the way the Medical Staff and Administration worked together,” he said.” It reminded me of an old World War II movie, where everyone mobilized, got everything moving.”
People shared ideas, he added, about how to take care of the staff on the front lines, how to test and screen, and more. A COVID Task Force was created and a Command Center was established with daily briefings. LVMC Chief Executive Officer Steve Popkin conferred regularly with his counterparts at other local hospitals.
“Every aspect has been addressed,” Dr. Michel said.
He gave credit to the pharmacy for ensuring proper medication supplies and Purchasing for working to get personal protective equipment. He acknowledged Environmental Services employees for their cleaning and the laboratory for keeping up with screening and testing. He said the anesthesiologists stepped up to create an intubation team and applauded medical staff who either took care of COVID patients or handled overflow medical-surgical patients. He gave appreciation to perinatal services for screening and physicians such as Dr. Lawrence Reimer for caring for COVID patients. He called out the Emergency Department physicians and staff and the Lompoc Health clinics as well.
“We got a great response from everyone,” Dr. Michel said. “It really has been a fantastic thing to watch. It’s really been a great effort.”
Dr. Michel said the Medical Staff wanted to acknowledge Dr. Taglia for stepping up, and for “his tremendous care” of COVID patients.
A bariatric and general surgeon, Dr. Taglia, DABS, DABOM, was presented with a plaque that read:
“We, the Medical Staff and Administration of Lompoc Valley Medical Center would like to express our appreciation to Christopher R. Taglia, MD, for his Outstanding Leadership in the Intensive Care of our COVID-19 patients during the 2020 pandemic.”
Dr. Taglia said he was honored to receive the recognition.
“I appreciate it,” he said. “This really belongs to all the nurses in the ICU, to Dr. Pierce, Dr. Reimer, the hospitalists who took care of these patients, the whole hospital. Really, it was such a group effort.”
Dr. Taglia said he hopes the worst part of the virus is over.
“We’ve had some really great outcomes (with patients), for a hospital that really doesn’t have the benefit of having all the resources of the bigger hospitals,” he said. “It’s been just an incredible job overall. I’m extremely proud of this hospital and extremely proud of the people I work with.”
LVMC Pathologist Dr. Kali Freeman presented Dr. Pierce’s award.
“There’s one other individual we wanted to thank for his leadership and all the behind-the-scenes work that he does with the administration and medical staff, setting all the policies to keep us safe and our patients safe,” Dr. Freeman said.
Dr. Pierce’s plaque read:“We, the Medical Staff and Administration of Lompoc Valley Medical Center would like to express our appreciation to William J. Pierce, M.D. for his Outstanding Leadership as Chief of the Medical Staff during the 2020 COVID pandemic.”
Dr. Pierce expressed his thanks for the award, and said special credit belongs to the “ICU and floor nurses who are in and out of these COVID rooms eight times a day.”