The CEO of NorthShore University HealthSystem was among the hospital network's first COVID-19 cases.
In an internal company memo updating staff on NorthShore's response to the outbreak, J.P. Gallagher said he was diagnosed several weeks ago after experiencing a mild fever. The memo was obtained by our sister publication, Crain's Chicago Business.
"I went to one of our immediate care centers and was evaluated according to our guidelines," he said. "I went home and self-quarantined while awaiting my test results," which came back positive a few days later.
Evanston, Ill.-based NorthShore was the first local hospital chain to do COVID-19 testing in-house.
Gallagher, 49, was not hospitalized. His symptoms have since passed and he has been cleared to return to work, according to the memo. He noted that his wife and children—including his oldest daughter, who has a chronic autoimmune disease—did not become infected.
Patient volumes continue to rise amid COVID-19, but NorthShore facilities are not at capacity, the memo says. It adds that when it comes to securing personal protective equipment such as face masks, the health system will "spare no expense, while being responsible stewards given the realities of a greatly pressured global supply chain."
Swedish Hospital on the North Side, which NorthShore acquired earlier this year, is among local hospitals that have asked for donations of masks, gloves and other medical supplies to protect workers.
In addition to practicing social distancing and proper hand hygiene, Gallagher in the memo encouraged employees to "get rest, recharge and enjoy time away from work with family and friends—whether virtually or otherwise."