Our world has changed.
Restaurants, gyms, coffee shops, and other businesses have been closed for weeks, and all of us personally know someone who is out of work. We have learned the meaning of shelter in place as we fight an unseen enemy. Our weeks have been filled with press briefings and changing statistics, adding to the uncertainty of how we move forward. During a time when we need each other most, we must continue to stay 6 feet away from each other.
While we see restrictions lifting, we understand we operate in a different world.
In March, like other medical practices under executive orders, we closed our office to all but the most urgent surgeries or procedures. While we could not see you in person, we knew we had to fill prescriptions, monitor lab results, and answer your medical questions. Our team worked around the clock to launch Vanguard Virtual Visits, so that we could take care of your medical needs while you remained at home. We delivered care, while keeping the majority of our staff and medical providers at home.
We will maintain Vanguard Virtual Visits patients who need to remain at home, but we know that many skin conditions require in-office appointments.
With Colorado’s lifted restrictions, we reopened our office this week at limited capacity. During May, we are gradually adding patients to the schedule, so we can maintain social distancing. We will do everything to minimize contact in order to deliver excellent safe care. We have also gone overboard with aggressively cleaning and disinfecting all surfaces in the office. We call it the Vanguard “cookie test.” Before we bring a patient back, we ask ourselves “If I dropped my favorite cookie in here would I still pick it up and eat it?”
This may be a funny test, but we are absolutely serious about being that clean.
I could not be prouder of our team. We have been working around the clock and making tremendous personal sacrifices to take care of each other, our patients, and our community.
While we must physically distance ourselves from one another, Vanguard will do everything possible to connect with and to care for you. If you have any concerns, we can video chat, talk on the phone, or see you in the office. For our vulnerable patients who must still be seen in the office, we are running a secure check in process. When you pull into the parking lot, please give us a call over the phone. We will meet you at the door and take you straight to your room.
We have also been offering Free Fridays in April, complimentary teledermatology appointments on Fridays to those affected financially by COVID-19. In May, we are offering complimentary skin cancer screenings to our heroes– front line healthcare workers, first responders, and essential employees at critical infrastructure businesses (grocery store workers, delivery drivers, farmers). This is how we express our love and gratitude through action.
In moments of crisis, it is prudent to turn our attention to experts with special knowledge, resources, or power to change things. Some of us may turn to God to provide hope and comfort. We must never forget that God has given us the greatest power of all. And that is the power to love one another. This has been the guiding principle in our response during this time.
In the book of Corinthians, the Apostle Paul wrote:
“Love is patient. Love is kind. Love does not envy or boast…Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
Personally, I’m not afraid of death. I believe that there is more to my life than what I can touch and see. I also believe that there is an eternity beyond the point when I breathe my last. I am fully at peace with my own personal well-being. And I pray that you all can have the same peace.
Regardless of what we do during this season and the months ahead, let us remember to love one another.
Your doctor, your neighbor, and your fellow human being,