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Latest from the water advisory front

24 Jun 2018

Teamwork prevailed in this unprecedented challenge

By: Bahaa Wanly, Chief Operating Officer

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The City of Salem continues a water advisory for possible cyanotoxin water contamination.

We’re asking staff and providers to continue following protocols outlined in previous communications (available through Common Ground “urgent” emails). We’ll continue to update medical staff as we get new information.

Other assurances and observations:

  • You have among the best Incident Command structures at work behind the scenes at Salem Health. I’ve been privileged to be part of this team as the most recent Incident Commander.
  • Infection Prevention staff have been monitoring health related issues that may be connected with the advisory.
  • The water advisory was unprecedented in the state, so innovation was essential. We found flexibility/adaptability throughout the organization. 
    • Surgical Services, Emergency Department, inpatient units and clinics all adjusted their work to safeguard patients.
    • Nutrition Services changed food and services – on the fly.
    • Engineering Operations plumbed filters to fixtures where they could, turned off fixtures that could not be made safe and flushed our system for hours when the first advisory lifted.
    • And those not directly affected by the water advisory (EVS, Supply Chain Services, Infection Prevention, etc.) supported areas that were.
  • Complaints were rare from patients, visitors and employees. 

Again, thank you for your patience and cooperation during this unprecedented challenge to Salem Health and the community we serve.