A Vaccine Delivery Update from Summit Medical Group CEO, Ed Curtis January 25, 2021
Dear valued patient:
At Summit Medical Group, we have been planning and taking the necessary steps to ensure that our community receives the vaccine in as timely a manner as possible. Despite these efforts, we have yet to receive any allocation of vaccines whatsoever from the state — including the 1a2 allocation intended for our essential, front-line medical caregivers.
Despite my repeated inquiries, we have not even received a delivery date for the vaccines. I diligently continue to work directly with federal, state and local authorities on securing a timeline and allocation for Summit, but it continues to be a very frustrating and complicated process for the State of Tennessee.
In the meantime, to provide our most at-risk patients with the vaccine, Summit is partnering with various local healthcare organizations that have received their allocations and have a surplus of vaccines available. We are currently working with these organizations to schedule our highest-risk patients for vaccinations at the various locations. In conjunction with federal and state guidelines, the level of risk is determined by age; the older the patient, the higher the perceived risk.
Therefore, we have created a list of our patients 75 and older, from our most senior to our youngest within the 75+ age group. If your name is on this list we will be reaching out to you individually to schedule an appointment once one of the hospital systems has provided us with the number of appointments/vaccinations they have available. While this isn’t the preferred method of providing this vital service to our patients, we are thankful and fortunate to have these organizations team with Summit to care for our patients. We truly are all in this together.
We hope this helps ease any fears or quell any rumors that may circulate regarding the availability or distribution of the vaccine by Summit Medical Group. As always, I will provide real-time updates as they become available regarding our timeline and eventual receipt of the vaccine. We are grateful to you, our patients, for your continued confidence in us. It’s your trust that allows Summit Medical Group to do the remarkable and for that, we thank you.
Stay safe and be well.
Ed Curtis, CEO
Summit Medical Group
COVID-19 Vaccines – A message from Summit Medical Group CEO, Ed Curtis
Dear Valued Patient,
Summit Medical Group continues to work closely with federal, state and local officials to develop the plan for COVID-19 vaccine distribution here in East Tennessee. We understand and appreciate that as our patients, you want to know exactly when and how you will be able to access the vaccine. To help keep you informed, I will share regular updates via our patient portal and email as the Tennessee State Department of Health releases more detailed guidance on the next phases of vaccine administration.
We do not yet know the specific timeline for when we will be able to provide the vaccine to patients and must follow Tennessee’s mandated plan, which is to ensure vaccination of all front line responders and health care workers prior to offering vaccinations to the residents of our local communities. Presently, we are awaiting the delivery of vaccinations for our medical staff. On Tuesday, I spoke directly with a state health official regarding this timeline and was not given a definite date.
We are aware that the Knoxville Health Department did offer a ‘clinic’ this past weekend to provide vaccinations to individuals aged 75 and older. However, Summit Medical Group is not on the same timeline as the Health Department, so there is no need to contact your provider or provider’s office to schedule a vaccination appointment at this time.
I will continue to share updates and let you know when it is time for you to schedule your vaccine appointment as soon as we receive our supply of the community vaccines. For general COVID-19 vaccine information, visit the CDC’s FAQ as well as its page on Facts About COVID-19 Vaccines. For now, I ask you to continue to focus on prevention — wear a mask, socially distance, and wash your hands.
The most important thing is to stay on top of your overall health and well-being. Telehealth and in-person appointments are available for all your other primary care needs. Please call your provider’s office to make an appointment. Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation.
With gratitude and optimism,
CEO, Summit Medical Group
Thank you for your patience.
To help us provide better service for our patients, we have upgraded to a new and improved electronic medical records system.
We appreciate your patience as we continue to learn how to use our new system and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
We are also experiencing problems with our telephone system, and we understand your frustration with not being able to contact us. We are working diligently to resolve these issues. If you receive a message that you have reached a non working number, please call back. The problem is intermittent, and you should be able to eventually reach us. We sincerely apologize for this and hope to have it resolved very soon.
Thank you for choosing Internal Medicine Associates!
We wanted to provide an update to our patients regarding our office response to the coronavirus pandemic. Our office is open, and we are going to great lengths to follow CDC guidelines regarding social distancing and cleaning while continuing to provide all of our patients with quality care. Everyone who enters our building, including employees, must have their temperature checked prior to entry. We also ask that everyone wear a cloth mask while in the building. When we call to remind your of your appointment, you may be instructed to wait in your car and call when you arrive. We are doing this to minimize the number of patients in our reception area at the same time. All patients with a fever or respiratory symptoms are screened and treated in a separate area outside the building. We want to assure you that we are taking every possible precaution to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. In addition to these precautions, our physicians are offering patients the option of telemedicine appointments when it is appropriate. This allows patients to have a virtual visit with their physician if they don’t feel comfortable getting out during this time. A recent article in the Knoxville News-Sentinel provides more information about Telemedicine. Please call the office if you would like to schedule a telemedicine appointment.
Farewell to Elizabeth Gager, NP
Nurse Practitioner, Elizabeth Gager and her family have moved to Nashville. We will certainly miss Elizabeth at IMA, and we know our patients will miss her as well. We wish her the best and know she will be an asset in the new community she serves. Here are some pictures with IMA family on Elizabeth’s last day.