Piedmont Fayette Hospital’s lead doctors give pandemic advice

File Photo.

The following is a statement released to the public Dec. 23:

We, the physician leaders from Piedmont Fayette Hospital, are writing you not just as medical care providers but also as members of your community who are neighbors, fellow parents, fellow grandparents, and friends.

The last nine months have been hard on everyone. We saw the incredible sacrifices you made at the beginning of the pandemic to help flatten the curve and we have been grateful to see the community rally during this pandemic. We see you wearing your masks at the stores and businesses in our community and sending your children to school with masks and an awareness to be safe.

We are asking you to consistently follow the 3 W’s whenever you are with people from outside your immediate household: 1. Wear your mask, 2. Watch your distance, staying at least six feet away even when masked, and 3. Wash your hands frequently.

We know holidays can make it tough on all of us to follow all three steps; however, if we do we can flatten the curve and make it safe for all. Some models have predicted that if we all use masks consistently, including gatherings such as birthday parties, weddings, etc., we can save between 2,000-4,000 lives in the state of Georgia alone.

Lastly, please remember that the hospital is a safe place for patients to receive care. Every hospital in the nation has seen a sharp decline in the number of patients coming to the Emergency Department with chest pain, heart attack symptoms, stroke symptoms, and other critical illnesses because of fear of Covid-19.

This is alarming because these are medical emergencies and need immediate treatment. Left untreated, these issues can lead to permanent disability or even death.

We at Piedmont are aware of the many challenges that our community faces. We are dedicated to caring for our patients and keeping our community safe. We wear masks and screen daily for Covid-19 symptoms. Patients who come to our Emergency department with symptoms associated with Covid-19 are immediately escorted to isolation rooms away from other patients.

Vaccinations have begun in earnest for the workforce at all Piedmont hospitals. The first wave includes approximately 11,000 team members who have the highest risk, due to the potential exposure during their daily routines.

The development of vaccines and advancing knowledge of the treatment of Covid-19 means there is a light at the end of the tunnel. With that being said, we all must remain vigilant for a little while longer.

If you have any questions regarding care please don’t hesitate to contact your medical provider.

Please take these precautions. Be a hero and potentially save a life.

We are all in this together.

The statement was signed by the following:

The Medical Executive Committee of Piedmont Fayette Hospital: Dennis Choat, MD, President of the Medical Staff; Matthew Ralsten, MD, President-Elect of the Medical Staff; Secretary-Treasurer: James Franklin, MD

Department Chairs — Medicine: Kodjo Ayertey, MD; Surgery: Maurice Goins, MD; OB/GYN: Patricia Moore, MD; Diagnostics & Therapeutics: William Bottoms, Jr., MD; Pediatrics: Rod Robinson, MD; Emergency Medicine: Jason Gordon, MD; Anesthesia: Melissa Darlington, DO


  1. Many thanks this holiday season to the unsung heroes on the frontlines in healthcare who have worked tirelessly this past year with only sporadic recognition from time to time. Thank you Piedmont Fayette Hospital for your dedication and service, and also for the reminders up above in your 12/23 public statement.