To the editor:
With summer well upon us, it is no secret that the Cape Ann population significantly increases, with folks who call Essex, Gloucester, Manchester or Rockport home for the summer months.
Cape Ann communities also play host to visitors from around the globe. With that being said, we want permanent residents, seasonal residents and tourists to know that Addison Gilbert Hospital and the Cape Ann Emergency Planning Team share a collaborative relationship that benefits all of Cape Ann not only during the summer months, but throughout the entire calendar year.
The CAEPT consists of elected and appointed officials, emergency responders, health-care professionals, and individuals from the private sector from each of Cape Ann’s four communities, who actively participate in an on-going effort to ensure that the emergency service needs of Cape Ann are being met.
The committee works to plan, prevent and respond to the emergencies that can occur in the four member communities. In addition to periodic meetings of the entire CAEPT, smaller work groups focus on care delivery, education, continuity of operations, communications, mental health, sheltering areas and school safety.
Many members of the CAEPT call Cape Ann home. It is the understanding, empathy and intricate knowledge of our unique communities that makes the CAEPT an invaluable asset to all residents and visitors alike.
The commitment of AGH to the CAEPT dates back to the inception of the CAEPT. As vice president of AGH, I am privileged to serve as a member of the committee in addition to Ruth George, RN, the nurse manager in the AGH Emergency Department; Edward “Bud” Holden, Director of Facilities at Addison Gilbert Hospital and David Lacaillade, director of emergency management for Beverly and Addison Gilbert hospitals.
Advanced training and technology allows AGH to provide high quality emergency care. The AGH emergency department is an award-winning stroke center and provides the Cape Ann community with a dedicated emergency care team that includes board-certified emergency medicine physicians and specialty trained emergency nurses. The AGH emergency department has ten exam rooms including a trauma room, a cardiac room, a pediatric/OB/GYN room, one negative pressure room for airborne illnesses and one close observation room.
Working together, CAEPT and AGH have demonstrated the ability to anticipate and respond to community need. Throughout the fall and winter months, CAEPT members and volunteers held numerous free flu clinics, with many of the sessions held at AGH. We collaborate on all Cape Ann road race emergency planning and medical staffing needs.
This past spring, more than 125 Cape Ann residents attended a CAEPT and AGH co-sponsored community forum on mosquito and tic-borne illnesses. And recently, CAEPT and Addison Gilbert and Beverly hospital leadership have begun routine meetings to identify additional ways to collaborate to ensure that the emergency service needs of Cape Ann residents and visitors are being met.
You can expect to hear more from us in the future as we plan on continuing to strengthen our relationship for the betterment of the entire community.
CINDY CAFASSO DONALDSON
Vice President, Addison Gilbert Hospital
Fire Chief, Essex Fire Department
Chairman, Cape Ann Emergency Planning Team