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Dear Council Members,

For purposes of informing the public and making recommendations to the elected city leaders of Duncan regarding the current COVID-19 public health crisis, an alliance of healthcare professionals, local healthcare entities, and community leaders has come together to make recommendations for our community’s safety. 

Please consider the following:

*Transmission of the COVID-19 virus is at an all-time high in our nation and community. Therefore, we are experiencing the most challenging time of this pandemic in our area. 

*There are a record number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Duncan Regional Hospital.  Hospitals within our region and state are also at capacity or close to capacity.   

*There is a record number of active cases in Stephens County at 173 as of today. This number has more than doubled in three weeks in Stephens County.

*The Oklahoma State Department of Health recorded a record-breaking 1,829 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, October 24th for the state.

*The Washington Post reported last Saturday that Oklahoma has the third-highest rate of citizens hospitalized for COVID-19 per 100,000 persons.  

*Currently, Duncan Regional Hospital has 86% of "staffable" beds occupied and has been as high as 94% this past week. 

*Nursing and other key staff members can also become quarantined, need to manage sick family members and fall ill themselves which impacts all hospital's ability to care for more patients. The ability to care for more patients depends on staff availability and not bed availability. 

*Indoor activity will increase with the colder weather, and the flu season is upon us.  If it is a typical flu season, we will experience an even more significant challenge in managing both viruses concurrently, especially in the ICU. In other words, we are not managing a short-term event.

*We see the positive effects of wearing masks in our offices and facilities daily.  Duncan Public Schools are having success going about in-person school days by following a mask-wearing protocol.

If cases continue to rise, we believe the following may occur:

*Nursing home and assisted living residents will not be allowed to leave their facilities for any reason, and their families will not be allowed to visit in person.

*Local hospital beds will become full. Additional inpatient care may only be available out of town; however, there is a shortage of beds across the state now.

*Very compelling evidence comes from Greg Eaton, assistant professor of finance at the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University. He says "I, with other researchers at the Spears School of Business, have worked with the Oklahoma State Epidemiologist on studying the effects of mask mandates on COVID-19. Oklahoma is a good place to study because some cities have mandates and some don't, creating variation in who the policy impacts. The impact is stark. Cases for mandated cities closely follow those for non-mandated cities prior to mask mandates, but cases are substantially lower for the former group following mandates."

Promoting a mask mandate is not a political maneuver, ploy, or strategy.  The pandemic is a public health crisis affecting the health and safety of our citizens. We have worked diligently in our facilities and offices to educate the community.  We have made suggestions and counseled our patients about their risks and avoidance.  We have worked hard to follow the published guidelines. The main thing we have not utilized to combat this virus in our community is a mask requirement. 

The healthcare providers and other community leaders listed below want nothing else but to protect the health and welfare of the citizens of Duncan, Stephens County, and our region.  Because of these facts, we are imploring Mayor Dennington and the Duncan City Council to issue a TEMPORARY MASK REQUIREMENT for the City of Duncan. We are suggesting a mask requirement for no less than four (4) weeks. A sunset provision would require everyone to revisit the local data for another decision. Of course, we are willing to continue informing the council and the public on the progress being made. Time is of the essence, and we are requesting this to be on the agenda for November 10th.

We bring this to you now because of the impact this pandemic has on lives in our area. It is impacting patients, but it's also affecting our direct caregivers. When you vote on this topic, please consider the women and men working overtime away from their families. The task ahead for these workers, including first responders, is immense. A mask requirement is a tool we have not used yet to make sure our local resources are not overwhelmed and required to reduce services. We are asking you to partner with us, your local healthcare professionals.

Sincerely,

 

Jody Atchley, OD

Duncan Family Eye Care

Owner/Optometrist

Tonya Bardsher, APRN-CNP

Pennypacker Nurse Practitioners

Family Medicine

Katy Barnett, APRN-CNP

Waurika Family Care

Family Medicine

 

 

 

Michelle Bivans

DRH Health

Director, Human Resources

Brian Bobrovicz, DPh

Star Medical Center Pharmacy

Owner/Pharmacist

Melody Branscum

DRH Health

Executive Assistant

 

 

 

Matthew Bridges, DDS

Chisholm Trail Smile Center

Dentist

Sherrie Burton, APRN-CNP

Duncan Family Medicine

Family Medicine

Tanya Case

DRH Health

Board Member

 

 

 

Sarah Chancey, DDS

Gregg Family Dentistry

Dentist

Mel Clark, MD

Integris Cardiovascular Physicians

Cardiology/Cardiac Rehab

Ben Collins, MD

Duncan Allergy and ENT

Otolaryngologist

 

 

 

Juan Cornejo, MD

Duncan Obstetrics & Gynecology

Obstetrics/Gynecology

Glen Cottrill, PA-C

Duncan Allergy and ENT

Otolaryngologist

Dustin Cox

Chisholm Trail Assisted Living

Owner

 

 

 

Demetra Cox, MD

Duncan Family Care

Family Medicine

Dan Criswell, MD

Duncan Behavioral Health

Behavioral Health/Add Med

Cyndi Crook

DRH Health

Director, Marketing & Foundation

 

 

 

James Curry

DRH Health

Board Chair

Kim Davis, APRN

Ringling Family Care

Family Medicine

Meredith DeWitte, APRN-CNP

Duncan Obstetrics & Gynecology

Obstetrics/Gynecology

 

 

 

Greg DiSalvatore, DO

Hospital Care Consultants

Hospitalist/Family Medicine

Lauren Duroy, APRN-CNP

Velma Family Care

Family Medicine

Nathaniel Edwards, OD

Edwards Family Vision

Owner/Optometrist

 

 

 

Jeffrey Edwards, OD

Duncan Family Eye Care

Owner/Optometrist

Colby Eisenbach, MD

Duncan Pavilion Clinic

Internal Medicine

Nathan Elfrink, MD

DRH Health

Board Member

 

 

 

Stacie Elfrink, MD

Duncan Obstetrics & Gynecology

Obstetrics/Gynecology

Jayci Fleming. PA-C

Team Health

Emergency Medicine

Andy Flesher, APRN-CRNA

Duncan Anesthesia

Nurse Anesthetist

 

 

 

Gina Flesher, RN

DRH Health

Nurse Educator

Jodie Franzen, APRN-CNS

Director

Performance Excellence

Brendhan M. Fritts, OD

Brendhan M. Fritts OD PC

Owner/Optometrist

 

 

 

Robert Schick, DDS

Southwest Dental Group

Owner/Dentist

Judy Gilbreth, MD

Gilbreth Family Medicine

Family Medicine

Danny Giles, MD

Duncan Orthopedics

Orthopedic Surgeon

 

 

 

Jacque Gillespie, APRN-CNP

Sanford Children’s Clinic

Pediatrics

Richard Gillespie

Jefferson County Hospital

President

Sheila Goforth, PA-C

Team Health

Emergency Medicine

 

 

 

Steven Gregg, DDS

Gregg Family Dentistry

Owner/Dentist

Myra Gregory, DO

Duncan Family Care

Family Medicine

Lynn Gregston

Country Club Care

Owner/Administrator

 

 

 

Jeff Gregston

Elk Crossing Nursing & Rehab

Owner

Steve Hallford, APRN-CRNA

Duncan Anesthesia

Nurse Anesthetist

Monica Harden, D.O.

Duncan Family Care

Family Medicine

 

 

 

Michael Hemphill, MD

Duncan Pavilion Clinic

Pulmonologist/Critical Care

Burke Hendricks, DO

Team Health

Emergency Medicine

Chris Herndon, MD

Duncan Medical Associates

Family Medicine

 

 

 

Amber Hill, APRN-CNP

Ryan Family Care

Family Medicine

Gaye Hutchinson, RN

DRH Health

Infection Preventionist

Mat Ivory, MD

Family Med

Family Medicine

 

 

 

Jeff Jennings., MD

Duncan Behavioral Health

Behavioral Health/Psychiatry

Jay Johnson

DRH Health

President & CEO

Jeff Jones, MD

Duncan Medical Associates

Family Medicine

 

 

 

Jimmy Jones, M.D.

Retired

General Surgeon

Mina Joseph, D.O.

Sanford Children’s Clinic

Pediatrician

Patti Kaspereit

Comforting Hands Hospice

Executive Director

 

 

 

Leslee Kern, DPh

R&S Drug Stores

Owner/Pharmacist

Crystal Kizarr, APRN-CNP

Duncan Family Care

Family Medicine

Andre’ May, MD

Hospital Care Consultants

Hospitalist/Internal Medicine

 

 

 

John McGath, MD

Duncan Allergy and ENT

Otolaryngologist

Jim McGouran, MD

DRH Health

Board Secretary

Che’ Miller, MD

DRH Health

Board Member

 

 

 

Ron Miller, MD

Miller Eye Care

Ophthalmology

Maria Mithlo, MD

Elgin Family Care

Internal Medicine

Brandy Montes, MD

Team Health

Emergency Medicine

 

 

 

Rachel Morales, RN

Chisholm Trail Hospice

Director

Delisa Morgan, APRN-CNP

Duncan Family Care

Interventional Pain

Teddy Morrison, APRN-CNP

Surgical Institute at True North

Advanced Practice Nurse

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kris Mullins, MD

Duncan Pavilion Clinic

Interventional Cardiology

Nathan Murray, PA-C

Marlow Family Care

Family Medicine

Laura Myrick, MD

Duncan Medical Associates

Family Medicine

 

 

 

Roger Neal

DRH Health

VP/Chief Operating Officer

Jed Nguyen, APRN-CNP

Team Health

Emergency Medicine

Chelsea Patrick, RN

DRH Health

Director, Acute Care Services

 

 

 

Julie Pennypacker, RN

DRH Health

Director, Critical Care Services

Reggie Pennypacker, APRN-CNP

Pennypacker Nurse Practitioners

Family Medicine

Jim Petersen, DO

Team Health

Emergency Medicine

 

 

 

Carmen Phillipi, APRN-CNP

Comanche Family Care

Family Medicine

Raven Piontek, APRN-CNP

Walters Family Care

Family Medicine

Doug Proctor, MD

Duncan Medical Associates

Family Medicine

 

 

 

Tammy Ressler, APRN-CNP

Duncan Family Care

Interventional Pain

Taylor Rhoades

DRH Health

Director, Radiology Services

Michael Rice, OD

Rice Family Optical

Owner/Optometrist

 

 

 

Donald C. Rice, OD

Rice Family Optical

Owner/Optometrist

Matt Roberson, APRN-CRNA

Duncan Anesthesia

Nurse Anesthetist

Brian Robinson, MD

Hospital Care Consultants

Hospitalist/Internal Medicine

 

 

 

Miguel Sabedra, MD

Marlow Family Care

Family Medicine

Missy Schreckengost, APRN-CNP

Duncan Family Care

Family Medicine

Brad Scott

DRH Health

Board Member

 

 

 

Chad Scott, DPh

Baker Express Pharmacy

Owner/Pharmacist

Greg Shepherd

DRH Health

Board Vice Chair

Amy Shultz, MD

Duncan Rheumatology Center

Rheumatologist

 

 

 

Mendy Spohn

OSDH District 8

Regional Administrative Dir.

Robert Stewart

Regional Medical Response

Director, Region 3

William Stewart, MD

Solutions Practice Management

President

 

 

 

Scott Stone

DRH Health

Legal Counsel

Louise Tate, APRN-CNP

Duncan Medical Associates

Family Medicine

Steve Tate, PA-C

Duncan Medical Associates

Family Medicine

 

 

 

Denise Thompson

Canoe Brook Assisted Living

Resident Care

Miguel Tovar, DO

Duncan Obstetrics & Gynecology

Obstetrics/Gynecology

Doug Volinski

DRH Health

VP/Chief Financial Officer

 

 

 

Krystal Vonfeldt, DO

DRH Health

Chief of Staff

Preston Waters, MD

Duncan Family Care

Family Medicine

John Webb

DRH Health

Director, Security

 

 

 

Kristen Webb, RN

DRH Health

VP/Chief Nursing Officer

Robert J. Weedn, MD

Retired

General Surgeon

Harbour Whitaker

DRH Health

Board Member

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chaz White, APRN-CRNA

Duncan Anesthesia

Nurse Anesthetist

Wendy Wilkerson

Canoe Brook Assisted Living

Executive Director

Melanie Wilkins

Wilkins Health & Rehabilitation

Owner/Asst. Administrator

 

 

 

Tony Wilkins

Wilkins Health & Rehabilitation

Owner/Administrator

Tyler Wilkins

Wilkins Health & Rehabilitation

Asst. Administrator

Dustin Woods, MD

Southwest Oklahoma Surgery

General Surgeon

 

 

 

Annaleisa Zumwalt, APRN-CNP

Duncan Family Care

Family Medicine

Gerald Davis, DDS

Gerald Davis DDS Inc PC

Dentist

Gerrad Davis, DDS

Gerald Davis DDS Inc PC

Dentist

 

 

 

Holly Ottinger, DPh 

Baker Express Pharmacy

Pharmacist

Julia Case, APRN-CNP

Urgent Med

Advanced Practice Nurse

Dana Payne, RN

Comforting Hands Hospice

Director of Nursing

 

 

 

Cayley Inmon, RN

Country Club Care

Director of Nursing

Bethany Stewart, RN

Elk Crossing Nursing & Rehab

Director of Nursing

Shaston York, LPN

Elk Crossing Nursing & Rehab

Asst. Director of Nursing

 

 

 

Jennifer Loucks, PA-C

Urgent Med

Physician Assistant

Steve Saltiel, APRN-CNP

Urgent Med

Advanced Practice Nurse

Kate Attaway, RN

Wilkins Health & Rehabilitation

Director of Nursing

 

 

 

Ruth Ann Thompson, APRN-CNP

Family Med

Advanced Practice Nurse

Thomas Eiser, MD

Duncan Bone & Joint

Orthopedic Surgeon

Ricky L. Reaves, MD

Heartland Pathology

Pathologist

 

 

 

Ruth H. Oneson, MD

Heartland Pathology

Pathologist

 

 

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