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UPMC must take lead on COVID-19

As a registered nurse in Blair County, I am very concerned with the rise in COVID-19 cases in our community and the lack of support and leadership from large health systems like UPMC.

Although I am proud to shoulder the responsibility of caring for our sick and providing essential services to our community, nurses and health care professionals have been greatly and needlessly challenged by chronic short staffing and inadequate access to the personal protective equipment that keeps us and others safe.

As the largest health system in the state of Pennsylvania, UPMC should be serving as a model for treating coronavirus patients and ensuring a safe, supportive workplace that reduces the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19.

Instead, we’re witnessing unorganized chaos that ignores nurses’ expertise and a complete lack of leadership.

Despite these challenges, UPMC Altoona nurses remain dedicated to serving our community and saving as many lives as we can.

However, if we are going to reduce the spread of coronavirus in our community, UPMC must start valuing their front-line staff and start providing adequate staffing, access to the right PPE and protect its staff by limiting hospital visitors.

Paula Stellabotte

Altoona

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