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Medical professionals gather for annual awards dinner, express concern for local hospitals

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 9:40 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Medical professionals from across the Big Bend gathered in the same room for the first time during the pandemic on Tuesday, meeting at the University Center Club to honor a few of their distinguished colleagues at the Capital Medical Society’s annual awards dinner.

The current state of the pandemic and local hospitals were not far from their mind. Attendants told WCTV that this event had to be rescheduled at least three times because of the pandemic.

“Basically the hospital is completely shut down,” said Dr. David Saint, recipient of this year’s outstanding physician award and an accomplished cardiovascular surgeon at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. He explained that the recent COVID surge has elective surgeries on hold once again.

“We have got a long waiting list of patients that need to come to the hospital, but the reality of it is we have hundreds of patients in the hospital who have COVID,” said Saint.

Capital Medical Society President Rohan Joseph says the group helped connect doctors in the area with life-saving PPE early on in the pandemic.

“Having that liaison between hospitals and physician practices and physicians themselves was really instrumental,” Joseph explained.

As months pass, reality for doctors is hard to ignore, but Joseph is trying to stay positive. “Obviously there’s some pandemic fatigue...it’s challenging to take care of young patients who are critically ill,” said Joseph. “I would say I’m cautiously optimistic, I think if we can give more of the public vaccinated, I think we can truly move ahead and have this behind us”

Doctors at the event all reiterated the same message: get vaccinated and keep wearing masks in appropriate settings.

This is the 19th year the Capital Medical Society presented an outstanding physician award. The dinner also commemorates one doctor with a humanitarian award each year.

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