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Community Letter from Southwell President/CEO Chris Dorman
Dear Community Friends:

In my last community letter dated March 26, I outlined our system’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since that time, our entire team pulled together to care for the sick and reduce our use of limited supplies. Thankfully, we have passed the peak of positive cases in our communities and I am pleased to report we managed the storm well, especially at the edge of one of the nation’s most intense hotspots.

I am so proud of our Southwell team who were, and continue to be, professionals in every sense of the word. I am also proud of our community who served along with us, prayed for us, and stayed home for us so we could shift our services. We are so thankful that everyone worked together to keep the situation manageable, which ultimately saved lives.

Managing the ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic is more like a marathon than a sprint. It is clear that COVID-19 will be with us for the foreseeable future. Thankfully, the scientific community continues to learn more about the disease and make progress towards better treatments.

I would like to address a few important topics as we navigate the future together:


Much of the world is beginning the process of reopening to a new normal. Many are eager to resume their favorite activities and are doing so in a thoughtful and cautious way. COVID-19 is still active in our communities and we are each doing our part to take care of one other.

Some of you may also be feeling anxious, and even overwhelmed. These feelings are normal. We will each approach reopening differently, and take it at our own pace. I hope we show respect and consideration to each other throughout this evolving process.


Although we limited many of our health care services, the Southwell health system has been open this entire time. We have learned how to responsibly protect our patients and our staff. We trained for this and our preparation is paying off.

As the pandemic stabilized, we gradually reopened our services in a phased approach. We were cautious in each step and only moved forward when we felt it was safe to do so.


We have new measures in place to keep you and your care team safe. These steps include screening, wearing masks, social distancing, isolated testing and designated COVID areas.

Our limited visitation policy is still in place. There is nothing I want more than to allow families to be together and support one another while in our care. I watch daily for the time we can safely lift these restrictions. Until then, I appreciate your patience and encourage you to use other means to communicate with your loved ones.


Part of your new normal may be choosing to make better lifestyle choices. Now is a great time to add healthier eating and exercise to your daily routine. The statistics show this disease thrives on poor health, so please recharge your motivation to stay healthy.

If you are sick, or have a medical condition, please do not delay your care. The consequences of delaying care may be significant. We are here and ready to safely take care of you.


In my first letter to our community, I expressed my gratitude for the team I am honored to serve with. Since then, that gratitude has grown tremendously. I am so incredibly grateful for the privilege to serve such phenomenal people, and for the blessing God has given me to serve alongside them. I am also grateful for the privilege to serve the people of such remarkable and resilient communities.

We join with other health systems across the country in calling for healing and reconciliation. We pledge to do our part in working toward meaningful change in the communities we serve and in the world. It is our mission to serve the health needs of our patients and the communities we serve. We recognize that healthy communities are those whose citizens appreciate diversity, promote fairness and equality and social justice for all.

Every day, I pray for God’s miraculous protection over my family, at home, and at Southwell, Tift Regional and Southwell Medical. I’m praying for the strongest hedge of protection over all of you. Thank you, thank Him, and may He bless you all.


Christopher K. Dorman