WMC COVID-19 Update

Brandi Krajewski
Winston Medical Center Marketing/PR Director


As the number of cases of confirmed COVID-19 cases rise in Mississippi, family physicians are consumed with trying to best care for their patients while protecting themselves and their staff.  Virtual visits have become of paramount importance to ensure that patients are still being seen by his or her providers.

Dr. Dustin Gentry states, “Our volume is down, and we are holding off all physicals and wellness visits until a later date.  All acute care and routine follow-up visits, or patients who need to be seen with chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, asthma, and diabetes are able to be seen in the clinic or on a virtual visit call.”  Winston Medical Center is currently using apps such as Skype or FaceTime to see patients on a virtual visit.  The virtual visits allow patients to be seen with having to directly come into the clinic.

The virtual visits have been working well for most; but the obstacles have been patients who need help using their cell phones and navigating the steps to use an app and connect to a video visit. Our patients are relieved to be able to connect with us and to see our faces.  It gives them a sort of reassurance that we are still here providing care for them,” said Heather Gilmer, FNP.

It is important that people do not allow their chronic conditions fall to the waste side during this pandemic.  If a person with a chronic health condition, does have COVID-19, we want to have those chronic conditions managed.  The CDC reports that people who are high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 include:

    • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
    • People who have serious heart conditions
    • People who are immunocompromised including cancer treatment
    • People of any age with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] >40) or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk
    • People who are 65 years or older.

Winston Medical Center has a Respiratory Clinic set up on the campus of Winston Medical Center.  All patients who have respiratory issues are going through the Respiratory Clinic.  WMC has asked that all patients call their provider before coming to any clinic for care.  The physicians will access the patient over the phone and make the recommendation of what step to take next.  Patients will either be sent through the Respiratory Clinic or they will be provided with a clinic visit or virtual visit.

“If you don’t meet the criteria for COVID-19 testing, the hospital encourages people to stay home, call their primary care physician, and continue to follow the CDC’s recommended prevention methods.  We want to mitigate the COVID-19 outbreak by doing what we do best: coordinating care, managing acute and chronic illnesses, and preventing unnecessary emergency room visits and hospitalizations.   We know our patients well and are well-equipped with the strength of today’s technological advances to make this happen,” said Dr. Micheal Ard.

Winston Medical Center providers also want to stress the importance to those in the community to wear face masks such as a bandanna or other material over their nose and mouth  if they go out to the grocery store or run errands.  This is a new CDC recommendation that was released.

Winston Medical Center has a Facebook page that is being updated daily with the latest information that is made available along with informative videos with Dr. Michael Ard and Dr. Dustin Genty on the latest updates on COVID-19.

If you have any questions that you would like to ask about COVID-19, email those questions to bkrajewski@winstonmedical.org or text them to 662-803-4039.

For more information about Winston Medical Center, follow us on FaceBook or visit our website at www.winstonmedical.org