Dr. David Tam

Dr. David Tam is the new president and CEO of Beebe Healthcare. He has taken the post earlier than planned, in order to help Beebe deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

We called and you answered — 24 days into my role as president and CEO of Beebe Healthcare, I still am absolutely blown away by this community’s support of its local, independent, not-for-profit healthcare system.

More than $400,000 has been raised in less than a month through the Beebe Medical Foundation for our COVID-19 Relief Fund to support Beebe Healthcare’s efforts to battle this pandemic, and that’s not even including the wonderful hand-sewn masks, N-95s, face shields, restaurant gift cards and many other items donated for your local healthcare team.

When I was searching for the next step in my life journey, I really wanted to come to a local, independent non-profit healthcare system just like Beebe — a community where the philanthropy and giving are integral. To the team and this community, a heartfelt thank-you for welcoming me with open arms these past few weeks.

I want you to know that we are using these funds directly to benefit our team and the community to improve and sustain our efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

We invested in the necessary equipment to ensure in-house test processing in our lab at the Margaret H. Rollins Lewes Campus as an additional option for COVID-19 test results. Although the test kits are in short supply, I am happy to report that, next week, we’ll be able to obtain novel coronavirus confirmation test results in a few hours, rather than multiple days in some cases. We will continue to send specimens to other labs, as our allotted supply cannot meet the demand, but it is progress.

I need to stress that the actual collecting of the specimens that will be processed in our lab at the Lewes campus are still being done via our mobile sites. Please do not come to the Lewes campus to receive a COVID-19 test, and please only use the emergency room if you are having a true emergency. Please continue to call your provider, or use our COVID-19 Screening Line (302-645-3200) if you do not have one, to be scheduled for a COVID-19 test as appropriate.

We have used these generous funds to purchase PPE that will be needed when the surge comes to our community. We are prepared, but continuing to plan for all contingencies and worst-case scenarios, and want our PPE supplies to last longer than the surge.

This is where your generous monetary donations help the most. Beebe is able to secure the needed equipment for our team, because our internal teams are working hard to procure, order, inventory and distribute PPE and other equipment. Giving to the fund ensures that those funds can be used on the equipment that is needed at that moment, which can change rapidly. What we might need at 9 a.m. may come in on a shipment that evening.

Part of our internal team’s job is categorizing all the wonderful item donations, making sure each caregiver has a face shield, which we have distributed to direct patient caregivers as part of our COVID-19 combo for protection — a face shield and surgical masks can keep our team safe. Those items can be reused if intact and cleaned as we preserve these resources to extend them as far as possible during this crisis.

Right now, all non-patient team members are also wearing a mask, but they are the wonderful hand-sewn cloth masks donated by the community. This is based on the CDC guidance that was recently announced that people — if they must go out in public to essential places — should be wearing a cloth mask.

All of this means so much to our Beebe team. We thank you and ask that you continue to support us during this time so we can take care of ourselves and the community. We will continue utilizing every avenue we can to supply our team with PPE.

If you are willing to help, please visit our COVID-19 Relief Fund page at https://www.beebehealthcare.org/covid19-relief or contact the Beebe Medical Foundation at (302) 645-2900. If you wish to donate or make items, please click on the items tab. Before sourcing these items, please contact our Community Services Manager Kim Blanch at Population Health. She may be able to lend insight into what resources are needed most right now, as it changes on a daily basis. She can be reached at (302) 645-3337 or kblanch@beebehealthcare.org.

Thank you again for all your support and being Beebe Believers. We are here for you in this time of need.

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Beebe Healthcare logo

Dr. David A. Tam, MD, MBA, FACHE, assumed the role of Beebe Healthcare president and CEO on March 17. He is an experienced administrator, with experience as an officer in the U.S. Navy and in large public health systems. He completed his pediatrics residency at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Oakland, Calif., and a pediatric neurology fellowship at the Medical College of Virginia.