The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday November 30th

Unc Hospitals


Even in the snow, the Red Cross trucks in Durham are ready and waiting. Around the state, North Carolina blood banks are currently facing new shortages.

NC hospitals face severe blood shortage, call for donors

Hospitals across North Carolina are facing a severe shortage of blood donors, primarily due to COVID-19 related issues. "... To have a substantial shortage for such a long period of time is really unprecedented,” Dr. Lisa Pickett, chief medical officer at Duke University Hospital, said. Despite the severe shortage of blood donors, many gay and bisexual men are currently unable to donate blood because of longstanding federal restrictions.

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The UNC health care office's entrance pictured on Sept. 26.

Local health workers resign over COVID-19 vaccination requirement

Seventy workers have resigned from UNC Health because of their refusal to abide by the system's COVID-19 vaccination mandate.  Thirty-nine workers have resigned from Wayne UNC Health Care in Goldsboro.  In light of the shortage of health workers in North Carolina, a departure of employees because of the vaccine mandate could add stress to those workers who are vaccinated. 

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The UNC Heelgram club makes cards and sends them to people with disabilities. Photo courtesy of Reagan Fleeher.

UNC Heel-Gram: Sending love one letter at a time

MacKenzie Maddox is a co-founder of the HeelGram club. She has an extended family member who regularly received letters from his community over quarantine. Seeing how much he enjoyed them, she was inspired to bring that dynamic to UNC. “Writing and receiving the letters has been therapeutic for our volunteer letter writers, especially since it provides a break from schoolwork,” she said. “It's just as rewarding for me as those with whom we communicate.”

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A tent stands outside the emergency wing of the UNC Medical Center on Monday, March 23, 2020. The tent was set up to keep coronavirus patients separated from other patients and hospital staff members.

N.C. hospitals are changing operations and procedures, adapting to COVID-19 spread

Hospitals across the state of North Carolina are taking steps to ensure that they are ready for the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, expected to come to North Carolina at the end of April. Many hospitals, including UNC Health Care, have limited visiting and nonessential surgeries, but one of the major strains is the lack of personal protective equipment and the long hours now confronting workers. "For the COVID ICU patients, it was just me," Dr. Thomas Bice said. "In addition to the usual thinking about critical care that I had to do, we all had to take on some additional administrative duties, like fielding phone calls or writing notes or writing orders, that are more along the lines of what often the residents take care of."

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Mike Gardner, Carolina Air Care ground critical care paramedic and Alan Wolf, UNC Health Care spokesperson, stand with Tar Heel 1 at the helipad at UNC Medical Center on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. Carolina Air Care is the only true 24/7 neonatal pediatric special care team in North Carolina.

The medics of the sky: how Carolina Air Care transports critical patients

In the limited space of the helicopter, Hooks and Snow provide critical care throughout the duration of the flight, using ventilation devices and IV drips. Both men dedicated decades of public service, including time as emergency responders, to reach this point in their career. “The next time you see a helicopter, you know what’s in the back,” Hooks said. “It could be a family member, a friend or anyone like that. It’s not just a cool helicopter flying through the air.”

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Patrick Conway mugshot; June 22, 2019 – photo courtesy of Randolph County Sheriff’s Office 

Ousted Blue Cross CEO still eligible to treat UNC Hospitals children after charges

Details emerged publicly last month regarding the arrest of Patrick Conway this past summer, when he drunkenly crashed his vehicle into a tractor trailer while his two young daughters were in the backseat. Conway, who was CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina at the time, stepped down at the urging of the his company's trustees amid the public backlash. However, the incident hasn't cost Conway all opportunities in the health industry. Despite his currently-pending charges, which include DWI and misdemeanor child abuse, Conway still "has privileges and works occasional shifts" at UNC Hospitals' N.C. Children's Hospital, and it's unclear if his pediatrician privileges will face any impact from the arrest.

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