The following content is created in partnership with Virginia Hospital Center. It does not reflect the work or opinions of NBC Washington's editorial staff. Click here to learn more about Virginia Hosptial Center.

In recent months, so much has changed in our lives. But one thing remains the same: It’s more important than ever to take care of your health.

With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, many people postponed treatment for chronic illnesses, preventive screenings, and elective surgery. In some tragic cases, people chose not to go to the hospital when their conditions were true emergencies.

Through it all, Virginia Hospital Center (VHC) has continued to provide emergency and essential health care for our patients. Babies were born. Hearts were healed. Broken bones were set.

VHC has always been committed to putting patients first, especially when it comes to their safety. This high level of safety has been recognized by The Leapfrog Group—an independent nonprofit hospital safety organization—which awarded 16 straight “A” Hospital Safety Grades and named VHC a Top Hospital.

During this challenging time, VHC instituted extra precautions to ensure the safest possible environment for caregivers and patients, including limiting visitors, screening everyone prior to entering the Hospital for potential COVID-19 symptoms, social distancing in all common areas, and providing surgical masks for all individuals. This extra measure of safety is also applied to patients coming in for surgery and procedures, such as joint replacement, heart catheterizations, and colonoscopies.

“If you’ve been waiting to schedule an important procedure or if the elective surgery you planned was postponed, there’s no reason to delay,” says Kevin Hoak, assistant vice president, Perioperative Services & Operations at VHC. “Often, the pre-operative visit with your surgeon can be done through a Telehealth Video. In addition to screening all patients and visitors, surgical patients have their pre-operative testing done the same day as their surgery, including a rapid-result test for COVID-19 as a precautionary measure.”

Another way VHC has streamlined the process for surgical patients is by carefully scheduling appointments at intervals to create social distance and bringing you to a private pre-op room soon after arrival. The reception areas are rearranged for social distancing. “Preparation for the day of surgery is organized to minimize your time away from home and reduce trips,” says Dr. Jeff DiLisi, Chief Medical Officer at VHC. “We are leveraging technology to make treatment safer and more convenient for our patients.”

“We recognize that some people are still hesitant to come to the Hospital,” says Hoak. “And yet, this is probably the safest place in town. Talk with your physician about what is right for you.”

National medical experts believe that COVID-19 will continue to affect us for many months to come. With any planned surgery or procedure, you and your physician must weigh the risk of delay with the benefit that can be achieved by moving forward with treatment. Put your health first. You can have confidence and trust that VHC is doing everything to ensure your safety when you come to the Hospital.

To learn more about how Virginia Hospital Center is putting safety first, click here.

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