Orthopedic surgeon helps lead city of 30,000 through a state of emergency

Angie Stewart -   Print  |

Orthopedic surgeon Edward Vanek, DO, was tapped in March to serve as medical adviser to the mayor of Atwater, Calif., a city with a population of 30,000, Medscape reports.

Atwater Mayor Paul Creighton named Dr. Vanek medical adviser after declaring a state of emergency March 9. In the newly created role, Dr. Vanek is helping develop citywide COVID-19 response efforts.

In Merced County, where Atwater is located, the public health department has reported 125 positive COVID-19 cases, including three deaths.

Four ways Dr. Vanek has shaped Atwater's public health strategy:

1. Under Dr. Vanek's guidance, city officials distributed infrared thermometers to police officers, the fire department and city hall workers. Atwater officials also bought gallons of disinfectant to sanitize police and fire department vehicles.

2. Dr. Vanek advised police and firefighters to wear goggles, masks and gloves while on duty so they don't have to put them on at the scene of an emergency. This kind of guidance is giving city workers psychological relief, Mr. Creighton told Medscape.

3. With Dr. Vanek on his team, Mr. Creighton collaborated with the mayor of Los Banos, Calif., to implement safety precautions for public transportation. Drivers were given shields, riders are encouraged to wear masks and buses are thoroughly disinfected to keep commuters from spreading infections.

4. Mr. Creighton and Dr. Vanek plan to move forward cautiously when the city's COVID-19 numbers decline and when state and county orders are relaxed, returning more authority to local government.

More articles on orthopedics:
Geoff Martha, Kevin Lobo & more: 5 CEOs to know in the spine industry
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How COVID-19 has affected Medtronic, Stryker, Johnson & Johnson's shares over the last month 

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