ELKHART — Elkhart County’s two hospitals temporarily closed their outpatient offices after this past weekend’s winter storm slammed Michiana with snow.
Elkhart General Hospital rescheduled elective surgeries and outpatient appointments Monday, Jan. 6, but vice president of nursing Karra Heggen said the hospital plans to reopen with full services when weather permits. Heggen said patients with upcoming appointments should call their doctors beforehand to check the status of their visit because of the weather.
Dr. David Van Ryn, medical director at EGH’s emergency department, said Monday was a busy day with doctors caring for sick patients and people who slipped and fell on patches of ice. Van Ryn said he has not seen cases of frostbite or hypothermia at the hospital this week.
“We’re also in the middle of a nasty flare-up in the flu season, and the weather is certainly not helping us with that,” he added.
IU Health Goshen Hospital closed a couple of “non-essential” departments — information technology and media relations — on Monday. The hospital’s outpatient offices were also closed. As of Monday morning, hospital spokeswoman Melanie McDonald did not know when outpatient offices would reopen.
The emergency department at IU Health Goshen Hospital has not been inundated with patients, McDonald said.
“We’re seeing sick people like we always do, but we’re not seeing more people because of weather-related injury or illness,” she said. “The majority of our staff made it to the hospital, so within the hospital, we’re operating as normal clinically.”