Thank You for Your Dedicated Service
It has been a busy few months since the last issue of The Innovator. Since that time, we celebrated the winter holidays and welcomed in a new year. In February, the entire state of Texas experienced a historic cold spell that ravaged the area with ice, snow, and subsequent power outages and severe water damage. Concurrently, we continued our diligent perseverance in the fight against the COVID pandemic. Throughout these dynamic events, however, the one thing that has remained constant is your tremendous commitment to combat casualty care and the care for the patients in the Burn Center. Even during the worst of the devastating winter storm, while the rest of the city remained paralyzed due to icy roads and loss of power, many of you continued to come to work to make sure that we accomplished the most critical elements of our mission. Your unwavering dedication to our organization during such a trying time was inspiring to me, and I want to personally thank you for your continued dedication to our patients and our research.
We also experienced some great news on the COVID front. In December, the COVID vaccine became available to many of the ISR staff and nearly two-thirds of the ISR team have received the vaccine at the time of this writing. Additionally, the number of cases in the San Antonio area have dropped to the lowest level in many months. While these are causes for optimism, I ask that we continue to remain disciplined in our COVID protection measures of mask wearing and social distancing both at work as well as when we are out in the community. For those teammates that remain ambivalent about receiving the vaccination, I ask that you take some time to get more detailed information about any concerns you might have. The vaccination will only reach its maximum benefit when a greater majority of the population receives it. Based on the vastly improved COVID environment and high vaccination rates, we plan to gradually increase our research activities and the number of people in the building over the next few months.
The last thing that I would like to address is the Extremism stand-downtraining that we recently conducted. I am incredibly grateful for the outstanding job that 1st Sgt. Roberson, Sgt. 1st Class Wingerter, and Sgt. 1st Class Jimenez did leading our sessions. I thought the resulting conversation was extremely valuable and provided a good starting point for what I hope becomes continued dialogue within your work sections and departments. I continue to believe that the diversity of background and experience within the ISR continues to be one of our greatest strengths and allow us to identity innovative solutions to the most challenging patient care and research questions.
Finally, I would like to end by saying "thank you" to everyone for all that you do every day. It has been a difficult last few months, but I firmly believe that things will continue to improve as we head into the summer. Stay committed, vigilant and continue to look out for each other. I am proud of you and proud to be part of the ISR Team.
Col. Mark Stackle, MD
"Forge the Future"