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COVID-19 pandemic brought Advocate Aurora Health together, says CEO

COVID-19 pandemic brought Advocate Aurora Health together, says CEO

Advocate Aurora Health CEO Jim Skogsbergh said Monday that the COVID-19 pandemic helped its Wisconsin and Illinois operations come together.

Skogsbergh gave an update at a Greater Milwaukee Committee meeting on the four-year mark of Aurora Health Care and Advocate Health Care’s merger.

He said the pandemic, while “an unmitigated disaster” financially for the health system, helped it culturally.

“We go into this pandemic with two organizations striving to become one – we come out of this pandemic with one very strong organization,” he said. “It’s been wonderful to see. So I think it’s nothing but, you know, blue sky and tailwinds for us going forward. Tremendous challenges in healthcare, believe me. But the way we’ve kind of come together, I’m betting on us.”

Skogsbergh said telehealth use is likely to persist post-pandemic as well as remote work, which has allowed the health system to reduce its real estate footprint and invest more in care.

“We must make lemonade out of lemons,” he said. “We must look at these as opportunities to learn and to adapt and to innovate and so on.”

As of Sunday, 777 Illinoisans were in the hospital with COVID-19, up 26 from Saturday and up 78 from the prior week.

Of the patients in the hospital, 85 were in intensive care units, down eight from Saturday and up 13 from the prior week. Twenty-three percent of Illinois’ ICU beds were available, down 1 percentage point from the prior week.

There were 22 patients on ventilators, down six from Saturday and up one from the prior week.

Fourteen counties are rated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as having a “medium” risk of community spread.

IDPH reported 4,745 new COVID-19 cases and zero deaths on Monday. The new cases bring the state total to 3,183,742, while the death toll remains at 33,669.

The seven-day average for new cases on Monday was 5,154, up 1,515 from the prior week. The seven-day average for daily deaths is seven, up one from the prior week.

The seven-day case rate per 100,000 people is 40.5, up 11.9 from the prior week.

About 81.5 percent of eligible Illinoisans ages 5 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 73.2 percent are fully vaccinated.

Illinois vaccinators have administered 22,044,363 COVID-19 vaccines, including 4,417,226 booster doses. The seven-day average for doses administered is 13,180.

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