WRH CEO presents enthusiastic presentation to Marengo County Commission

Published 1:22 pm Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Whitfield Regional Hospital CEO/Administrator Doug Brewer presented an in-depth presentation during the October 11 Marengo County Commission meeting regarding the hospital’s success over the last three years.

“Almost three years ago to the day, we were all standing here and the Commission helped us,” Brewer said to begin his report. “It’s unbelievable what the last three years have held, and what might have been had you all not helped us out.”

The Commission helped to stabilize the hospital’s operations through funding just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020. That action played a large part in WRH weathering the initial outbreak and keeping their doors open to treat patients.

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“We faced probably the worst pandemic in the history of the world, certainly in modern times,” said Brewer.

Brewer said that WRH was one of the first hospitals in the state to set up a drive-through COVID-19 testing site. Together he and his staff tested more than 20,000 people, treated over 1,000 in patient cases, and had more than 400 patients on vents since March 2020, the largest number in WRH history. He said at one point they had 12 vents running at once, one in each of its eight ICU rooms, and two that had been set up in the Emergency Department.

The hospital also administered 15,000 doses of vaccines across the county. Because of the hospital’s quick response to the pandemic, Marengo County was considered the “fifth most vaccinated county in the state.”

“Who would have ever guessed Marengo County? I truly believe it’s because our hospital took the lead and got out there to vaccinate as many as we could,” said Brewer. “At least 10 times during COVID, I would get a call from other surrounding hospitals saying, ‘if can’t take this patient they’re going to die.’” I never said no to them.”

WRH took in patients from several different places like Thomasville, Grove Hill, Camden, and even UAB who flew in transplant patients that they could not take in and treat.

“We really supported a large geographic region, including our own people,” said Brewer.

Brewer went on to discuss the improvements and renovations the hospital has gone through over the past three years, and he recognized a list of doctors and surgeons who worked around the clock to care for all of the hospital’s patients.

He also acknowledged the recently reopened Birthing Center and reported that over 50 babies have been born in the time it has been open.

Brewer ended his presentation by thanking the Commission for its long-time support.

“Our employees are proud of what they do and we couldn’t do it had the Commission not helped us get those bonds three years ago.”