Lori Ellwood | OSHA Compliance Director and Clinical Risk Manager, Resurgens Orthopaedics
There is a lot of red tape that goes into a pandemic. Just ask Lori Ellwood, RN, ONC, OSHA Compliance Director and Clinical Risk Manager for Resurgens Orthopaedics. At the start of COVID-19 she was given the responsibility of heading up their COVID-19 Response Team. It was now her job to keep up with all of the ever-changing CDC protocols and disseminate that information to all 24 of Resurgens’ facilities.
Because Resurgens is an orthopedic practice, their doors were never fully closed. Patients with urgent and emergent conditions, like fractures, and patients who were newly injured during the lockdown were still seen in person. This added an extra layer of responsibility to Lori and the rest of the Response Team.
“The first six weeks of the pandemic are still a blur,” admits Lori, who felt such a responsibility to the safety of the staff and patients that some nights she couldn’t sleep. Fortunately, Resurgens was able to adopt a telehealth platform rather quickly, enabling them to provide their less urgent cases with care. Lori also took steps to ensure that open communication was at the forefront of their efforts, sending daily COVID-19 informational emails to staff and physicians.
“It has been so inspiring to see our employees and our community come together during the pandemic,” she says. “The employees sharing [their] ideas on what is working for them, the challenges they are facing and helping each other by sharing their experiences. In addition, our employees have taken to heart that what they do outside of work affects what happens in work.
By staying home, limiting their social activities, using masks in public and social distancing, these efforts allow them to decrease the risk of being exposed to COVID-19 and possibly exposing someone at work.” This community spirit also extended outside of the staff, with several patients and a hospital partner donating much needed PPE including N95 masks, shields and gowns at the start of the pandemic.
Because of her newfound expertise navigating COVID-19 protocols and safety measures, Lori has recently offered her knowledge and experience to her church’s Pandemic Re-Entry Task Force. When asked what she had learned about herself during the pandemic, Lori responds, “I am a stronger person than I knew.”