Dr. Ken Jones, Floyd’s chief medical officer: COVID beds at capacity; 18 more ready in former Kindred floor. He’s ‘proud’ of the work done by Floyd’s healthcare team. The hospital has ‘signed up for the COVID vaccine’ and is preparing to use it.

Dr. Ken Jones, Floyd’s chief medical officer: COVID beds at capacity; 18 more ready in former Kindred floor. He’s ‘proud’ of the work done by Floyd’s healthcare team. The hospital has ‘signed up for the COVID vaccine’ and is preparing to use it.

The 20-unit mobile ward set up outside Floyd Medical Center’s main entrance is at capacity but more of the former Kindred space is coming into use as well. Hometown photo.

 

Kenneth Jones, M.D., is the executive vice president and Chief Medical Officer at Floyd. He was named interim chief medical officer in March and the interim tag was removed in September. With so many changes this week in just about everything involving coronavirus, we asked him a few questions. Please see below:

Dr. Ken Jones, a very familiar name in Rome’s healthcare community, now serves as executive vice president and Chief Medical Officer at Floyd.

Hometown: Dr. Jones, thanks for your time today. You stepped up as chief medical officer as the pandemic began and have witnessed some incredible cycles of ups and downs — and sadly ups again. What has it been like for you and your staff?

Answer: It’s been an emotional rollercoaster as we’ve watched the numbers go up and down, as you described. It’s been very stressful for our doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and supporting staff, as we’ve all faced a disease process that is unprecedented in recent U.S. history . Early in the pandemic, the CDC guidelines related to the care of patients and clinicians were constantly changing and we had to always be ready to change with them, and those changes were happening on a daily, and sometimes hourly, basis.

Hometown: How has the care offered by Floyd’s healthcare team changed in these eight months? We noted the new treatment option started Tuesday.

Answer: The treatment for COVID has certainly evolved over the past eight months and we now have more options available to offer patients. First, there was Convalescent Plasma therapy. Thankfully, we were able to be very early adopters because of the work of Dr Matt McClain and his team.  We added Remdesivir later and saw success with that treatment. And, as you mentioned, we began use of the new monoclonal antibody treatment Bamlanivimab earlier this week.

In terms of our overall approach, I can’t say enough about how proud I am of our folks at Floyd. When our core team gathered late that night back in early March when our first patient was diagnosed, I don’t think any of us could imagine what was to come over the next eight months. If you had a list of most used words at Floyd since that night, fluid would probably be at the top but the thing that has remained constant is our team’s willingness to go beyond the call of duty in their efforts to provide the best care for these patients.

Hometown: Floyd was aggressive in preparing for multiwaves of the virus, both with the 20-unit mobile complex and the enclosure of the parking deck. Also in the mid: incorporating the extra space that had been used by Kindred. We does Floyd stand in usage of all these options — as well as the main hospital and affiliates in Polk and Cherokee County (Ala.)?

Answer: Currently, Floyd is utilizing the third floor of the Northeast Building, which was previously part of Kindred Hospital. We have 12 ICU type beds and 15 lesser acute beds there, plus 20 beds in the temporary medical unit provided by Georgia Emergency Management Association. These units all have patients right now. We’ve also readied the second floor of the Northeast Building. There are 18 beds on that floor we could use, if needed.

About the time I began my role at Floyd, there were predictions of patient numbers so large that would overwhelm our capacity. We were so fortunate that we had access to the space in the Kindred Hospital at that time. Even with that additional space, Kurt Stuenkel and our executive team knew it might not be enough, if the worst case scenarios played out. It was at that point that we began working on enclosing the parking garage and accepting the mobile ICU provided by the state. We’ve used that GEMA mobile ICU for some time now and continue to do so. We haven’t yet had to use the parking garage and I pray that we never will! We have cared for some COVID patients at Floyd Cherokee Medical Center in Centre, Ala. Polk Medical Center has been used to rehabilitate some post-COVID patients.

(Friday afternoon, Floyd reported 45 COVID patients as well as two others awaiting test results. That’s a record for the pandemic).

Hometown: There’s an interesting story in Friday’s AJC about healthcare workers imploring the community to wear masks and take other precautions because, frankly, they’re exhausted. We’ve seen tributes and meal donations and such to bolster our healthcare workers but what else must we do in Northwest Georgia and Northeast Alabama?

I cannot say this enough: all of us, both we as healthcare workers, as well as citizens of our community, need to wear our masks, practice social distancing and wash our hands to try prevent the spread of this COVID virus. The biggest reliever of stress for our providers will be a community that helps us get this COVID virus under control!

Hometown: Finally, any early word on the vaccination and Floyd’s plans?

Answer: Floyd has signed up for the COVID vaccine. We are making preparations for when it arrives but we don’t yet know when that will be.


About Dr. Ken Jones: 

  • Jones has worked for several years as an emergency physician at Floyd Medical Center, Polk Medical Center and Cherokee Medical Center.
  • He received his Doctor of Medicine with a specialty in emergency medicine from Mercer University and earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia. He completed his residency with Floyd Family Medicine Residency.

 

 

 

 


 

Hometown: Dr. Jones, thanks for your time today. You stepped up as chief medical officer as the pandemic began and have witnesses some incredible cycles of ups and downs — and sadly ups again. What has it been like for you and your staff?

A:

Hometown: How has the care offered by Floyd’s healthcare team changed in these eight months? We noted the new treatment option started Tuesday.

A:

Hometown: Floyd was aggressive in preparing for multiwaves of the virus, both with the 20-unit mobile complex and the enclosure of the parking deck. Also in the mid: incorporating the extra space that had been used by Kindred. We does Floyd stand in usage of all these options — as well as the main hospital and affiliates in Polk and Cherokee County (Ala.)?

A;

Hometown: There’s an interesting story in Friday’s AJC about healthcare workers imploring the community to wear masks and take other precautions because, frankly, they’re exhausted. We’ve seen tributes and meal donations and such to bolster our healthcare workers but what else must we do in Northwest Georgia and Northeast Alabama?

A:

Hometown: Finally, any early word on the vaccination and Floyd’s plans?

A:

 

Hometown: We thank you for your help and your dedication in perhaps our great time of need. Please let us know if we can be of any help.

 

 

 

 

 

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