"The hospital is a safe place," says Krista McFadden, president of Trumbull Regional Medical Center. It's a simple but critical message she's been trying to get across to her patients.
Of the slew of uncertainties and unknowns the COVID pandemic brought, she says the perception of care changed faster than anyone ever thought possible.

"We didn't anticipate the detrimental effects of things like shuttering elective surgeries, things like modified hours, and closing down physicians' offices at the beginning of the pandemic," McFadden said. 

She and her staff found that patients felt like those scenarios put them at higher risk of COVID.
Now that restrictions are being lifted, it's hard to get them to come back into the facility.
"I think we would do things a little bit different given what we know now," says McFadden. "...making sure we keep patients plugged into their wellness, and at the same time managing the supply chain resource issues that we were having."
That connection to patient wellness has become an area of sharp focus for McFadden and the hospital system going forward.
TMH has beefed up services at its off-site facilities like the one on Elm Road.
There's also been a $1.6 million investment into the ER at TMH to improve patient experiences and wait times.
"Taking the care to where the patient is because if they're scared to come back into the hospital, where are they going to get it?" said McFadden.

As the end of the pandemic draws closer, McFadden says keeping a continuous watch on what patients need and when and where they need it will be central to her mission.

"We want to make sure people feel comfortable coming to get the care they need and that we provide the most excellent care they can receive."