First Case Message to Team Members and Staff


Earlier this afternoon, the Louisiana Department of Health confirmed the first presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in Louisiana. The patient is located in an Orleans Parish hospital. At this time, it is the only known case in the state. There are still no confirmed cases in Mississippi. 

We are working with federal and state leaders to monitor COVID-19's impacts in our communities. Catherine O'Neal, MD, and Steven Gremillion, MD will attend a healthcare briefing with Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and the Louisiana Department of Health shortly. Our health system’s COVID-19 Task Force will meet tomorrow afternoon and we will have additional information to share with you following that meeting.

As we expect to see more cases of COVID-19, please take this opportunity to again review our resources on 
Dominet and the process for handling suspected patients. We also have clinical resources, flyers and tip sheets available for physicians and team members on our website.
 We have been preparing to treat COVID-19 patients and we are confident our ministry is ready. 

We realize this is a fluid situation that may cause some anxiety and stress. We remain committed to your safety and to communicate with you openly and often, including through new methods. We offer continual prayers for everyone impacted by this illness.

Steven Gremillion, MD
Chief Medical Officer, FMOLHS 

Eric “Buster” McVey, MD
Executive Vice President, Medical Affairs and Quality, St. Dominic Hospital


Coronavirus Task Force Update


There is important new information for you to know about COVID-19 and our organization’s preparation and readiness. We’re working with federal and state leaders to monitor the COVID-19 situation and the health system’s COVID-19 Task Force will continue to meet regularly and engage additional partners as needed.

Because the number of countries severely impacted by COVID-19 is increasing, we are restricting work travel for the safety of our team members and patients. Human Resources, Employee Health, Infection Control and the COVID-19 Task Force have jointly determined these standards for team members, physicians, contract partners, vendors, students and volunteers:

  • Any international travel for work by FMOLHS team members is suspended until further notice.
  • FMOLHS domestic travel for work is highly discouraged, unless the travel is considered mission-critical to the welfare of our ministry. 
  • Team members, etc., should report to their leader any personal travel to/from countries identified as a Level 2 or 3 on the Travel Alert Advisory as issued by the Centers for Disease Control.
  • Team members are encouraged to evaluate personal travel plans for both domestic and international locations. Situations are changing rapidly.

 Team members who choose to personally travel to high-risk areas will follow these requirements:

  • The team member will be furloughed for 14 days from the last possible day of exposure.
  • The team member will be provided a tracking form to document signs and symptoms during this 14-day period.
  • The team member may be allowed to work from home, if available, or will use available PTO. If PTO is not available, then the time during the monitoring period will be an excused absence.
  • After the 14-day self-monitoring period, the team member will return to work through the Employee Health Office and provide completed self-monitoring documentation.

Even if you do not have symptoms, team members who may have been potentially exposed to COVID-19 will communicate that potential to their supervisor and also follow 14-day monitoring requirements as defined by the organization.

DO NOT report to work if symptoms develop. Notify your supervisor immediately. The supervisor will notify Employee Health or Infection Prevention. Call your primary care physician for evaluation and let them know you may have been exposed to COVID-19. Follow the physician office’s instructions.

You can click here to review the new COVID-19 travel and monitoring procedure. If you have questions, please talk to your supervisor. We’re aware that your personal travel may have been previously planned and ask that you work with your supervisor to determine the best course in keeping with the individual situation and safety of the organization.

We care deeply about your safety and well-being and understand the stresses this illness may be adding to everyone’s lives, professionally and personally. We will communicate as often as there is new information, recognizing that developments are occurring quickly. We have also compiled great resources on

Steven Gremillion, MD
Chief Medical Officer, FMOLHS

Eric “Buster” McVey, MD
Executive Vice President Medical Affairs and Quality, St. Dominic Hospital


COVID-19 - St. Dominic Update


Attached is the most recent update from MSDH regarding COVID-19.  We are providing this to you in addition to the below update sent to you on Friday via email.  We will be utilizing our Medical Staff website to communicate future updates as we receive these.  We rely on MSBH and CDC to provide the most accurate information available.

Please see that testing is only available through the MSBH and will be directed by the MSBH until commercially available testing is available to us at StD and clinics.  We will notify you when this changes.

This is what we should do now: --screening protocol --continue diligent hand hygiene --and conserve mask supply for our staff when it is indicated

If you believe you need testing for a screened patient or a high clinical suspicion, please call MSBH and then our Infection Prevention Office at numbers in Friday email/update. 

Thank you for staying abreast of this evolving situation and using your best clinical judgment and common infection prevention principles to educate your staff and patients. 

 Update from MSDH

Eric McVey III, MD, FACHE | Executive Vice President
Medical Affairs and Quality
St. Dominic Hospital



Coronavirus / COVID-19


We have been closely monitoring the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) spread globally and preparing for several weeks. As we read the briefings from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), we expect to treat COVID-19 patients in the coming days or weeks. We are always prepared to meet the needs of our communities and this recent event is no different. No matter our role, it’s important that we are all prepared to treat patients or suspected cases from the moment they arrive in one of our facilities. 

We have created a “COVID-19 Task Force” at the health system level to manage our preparedness and response across all of our ministries. Incoming chief medical officer for the health system, Steven Gremillion, will lead this task force along with Dr. Catherine O’Neal, infectious diseases physician at OLOL. The task force will also include physician representatives from all of our markets. This approach will ensure consistent information, operations and procedures to respond to COVID-19 once it impacts our communities.

We want you to be informed and prepared. This message includes:

  • What to do if a suspected COVID-19 patient presents to one of our facilities
  • Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) Conservation and Management plan


What to do if a COVID-19 Patient Presents to One of Our Facilities

In the coming days, we will be placing signage at facility access points that instruct visitors who have flu-like symptoms to ask a team member to get a face mask and to use hand sanitizer.

If a patient identifies as having traveled in a region flagged by the CDC (
click here for the CDC screening tool for guidance), or a physician suspects the patient could potentially be infected with COVID-19, the treating clinician is to activate the following call tree:

  • Call the Mississippi Department of Health - 1-800-556-0003
  • Call Selma Hill, Director, Infection Prevention, 678-988-5139 (c) or 601-200-6822 (o)
  • If unable to reach Selma Hill, call 601-200-2000 and ask for the Administrator on Call

A single patient should be placed in an airborne isolation room. If a room is unavailable, place the patient in a room with a door closed to the hallway. If there are multiple patients, they may be placed in a designated area.


Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) Conservation and Management

Our supply chain team across the health system is working to ensure adequate supplies of all PPE across our ministries. However, we do expect nationwide shortages as COVID-19 spreads. Masks are for specific uses only and we must carefully manage our supply.   

Use the following tips for decreasing PPE usage:

  • Discontinue surgical "mask on" for healthcare workers who did not receive the influenza vaccine
  • Limit personnel in isolation rooms. Only those team members providing direct care to the patient should enter the room. 
  • Update Duration of Illness for Respiratory Viruses to mirror Influenza: 
    • “Isolate patient for a minimum of 7 days, as well as 24 hours after resolution of fever” whichever is longer
  • Annual N95 fit testing will be delayed. New-hire N95 fit testing will continue.
  • Reinforce process of only requiring a single negative PCR result to rule-out TB

The CDC announced today that a physician can request a COVID-19 test from their state department of health if the patient is suspected of having COVID-19. To request that test, initiate the call tree, which includes the Department of Health, Selma Hill, Director, Infection Prevention or the Administrator on Call.  The State Public Health Laboratory has validated the testing for COVID-19 and has the ability to perform the test in Mississippi. This will shorten the time to diagnosis or rule-out. 

We are keeping our leadership teams informed of our preparedness efforts and will share additional information as it is available. Thank you for being a calming presence for our patients and each other.


Steven Gremillion, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System 

Eric McVey III, MD, FACHE | Executive Vice President
Medical Affairs and Quality
St. Dominic Hospital