ARIZONA NEWS

Banner Health concerned about resources ahead of flu season in Arizona

Sep 30, 2021, 4:25 AM

(Banner Health Photo)...

(Banner Health Photo)

(Banner Health Photo)

PHOENIX — The upcoming flu season is expected to be more severe than last year and that has Arizona’s largest hospital system concerned about the potential lack of resources as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

“We do expect it to be a fairly moderate to severe season,” Dr. Marjorie Bessel, chief clinical officer with Banner Health, said in a press conference on Wednesday.

She said there is a concern the hospital systems will be “very, very busy.”

“Resources that can become strained when we are having things like COVID surge, as we have experienced several times during this pandemic, as well as increased winter volumes when influenza or other respiratory pathogens become more prominent, is that we can have a run on things like availability of timely ED (emergency department) visits, availability of inpatient beds,” Bessel said.

What is expected to be the most constrained resource is skilled staff, including nurses, respiratory therapists, clinicians and physicians.

“Our staff have been fighting this pandemic for over a year and a half and they are quite fatigued, and our volumes remain still high,” Bessel said.

She added the hospital is actively recruiting for more skilled staff and are working to secure external contracted labor from outside of Arizona to help.

While noting there has been a decline from the most recent COVID-19 surge, Bessel said models still show there will be an increase in cases during the winter months.

“There are variables that are very much under our control within our communities to help make that either not happen or happen to a lesser degree,” she said.

Bessel recommended those who are eligible get vaccinated against both COVID-19 and the flu.

“We’re asking for everybody to help us to make sure that we can be available to everybody who needs us in our communities, both those patients that have COVID, those patients who may get influenza and anybody else who does not have one of those infectious diseases,” she said.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Many U.S. $100 bills are spread out. One Arizona lottery player recently won a $10,000 prize, while...

KTAR.com

Arizona Mega Millions player wins $10K while deadline nears for $50K Powerball ticket

One Arizona lottery player recently won a five-figure prize, while another is running out of time to claim an even larger payout.

6 hours ago

UoA student convicted of first-degree murder after killing professor...

Associated Press

Former UArizona grad student sentenced to life in prison for murder of professor

A former University of Arizona graduate student was sentenced Monday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for fatally shooting a hydrology professor.

7 hours ago

Jack Smith, left. (Jack Smith for Congress Photo)...

KTAR.com

Watch: Arizona Congressional District 2 Republican debate

The Arizona Congressional District 2 Republican debate occurred on June 24 but only one candidate, Jack Smith, participated.

8 hours ago

...

KTAR Video

Video: A preview of Arizona Congressional District 8 Republican Debate

Arizona Congressional District 8 Republican Debate is scheduled for Tuesday, June 25, but Chris Merrill and guest host Barry Markson consider the candidates running in that district.

10 hours ago

...

KTAR Video

Video: A look at the state of Arizona politics amid primary debates

As the Arizona primary election debates continue, Chris Merrill and guest host Barry Markson take a closer look at the current state of politics in the 48th state. Video: Jeremy Schnell and Felisa Cárdenas/KTAR News

10 hours ago

(Maricopa County Recorder's Office Graphic)...

KTAR.com

Watch: Maricopa County Recorder Republican primary debate

Three candidates squared off in the Maricopa County Recorder Republican primary debate on June 24.

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Banner Health concerned about resources ahead of flu season in Arizona