What Happens When The Only ER Doctor In A Rural Town Gets COVID-19?

  • Kurt Papenfus, a doctor in Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, started to feel sick around Halloween. He developed a scary cough, intestinal symptoms and a headache. In the midst of a pandemic, the news that he had COVID-19 wasn’t surprising, but Papenfus’ illness would have repercussions far beyond his own health.
  • Papenfus is the lone full-time emergency room doctor in the town of 900, not far from the Kansas line. “I’m chief of staff and medical director of everything at Keefe Memorial Hospital currently in Cheyenne County, Colorado,” he said.
  • “He is the main guy. And it is a very large challenge,” said Stella Worley, CEO of the hospital. If she couldn’t find someone to fill in while he was sick, Worley might have to divert trauma and emergency patients nearly 40 miles north to Burlington. “Time is life sometimes,” she said. “And that is not something you ever want to do.”

See full story here.



Categories: Infrastructure

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