MKE Health & Economy: Health System Update

Guest: Bernie Sherry, Ascension

Dr. Raymond sees ‘excellent news,’ but calls for more efforts to flatten the curve

In Wednesday’s daily briefing on Milwaukee’s Health and Economy, Medical College of Wisconsin President and CEO Dr. John Raymond cited continued progress in the Milwaukee area and state of Wisconsin on “flattening the curve” to prevent an overwhelming spike of new COVID-19 cases.

According to the Medical College, the daily growth rate of cases fell to 12.1%, and the doubling time for cases has extended to 5.72 days in the Milwaukee area.

“This is excellent news,” Raymond said, adding that continued strict social distancing efforts are needed to extend the doubling time to 7-plus days to help prevent our region’s health care systems from being overwhelmed. As of now, the capacity of the health care system could be exceeded within 7-10 days.

“We must continue to work hard, be vigilant and act with a sense of urgency so we can continue to flatten the curve,” Raymond said.

Ascension Wisconsin Ministry Market Executive Bernie Sherry joined the briefing to discuss region-wide collaborative efforts among Milwaukee area health care systems to respond to COVID-19. Sherry said all health systems within the region are working closely together to address and sustain care during the Covid-19 crisis. Chief Medical Officers, Chief Clinical Officers and CEOs of the medical systems meet at least weekly to align efforts. They are also working to support the leadership structure that has formed to deliver care at the planned State Fair Park field hospital to handle overflow from traditional hospitals.