For those on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak, working from home is not an option.
Dr. Daniel Curran, 35, of Radcliff, is a hospitalist at Hardin Memorial Health. Along with the 27 other hospitalists at HMH, Curran specializes in caring for patients who require extra care while they are hospitalized.
The hospitalist program at HMH started in 2012, he said. It was formed to provide the best possible patient care while meeting demands of increased complexity of care in the hospital and clinic settings, he said.
“We lead the hospital medical team, coordinating care for inpatients and making sure they can transition back to the community as successfully as possible once better,” Curran said. “Together, hospitalists care for over 60 percent of hospitalized patients at HMH, with every kind of medical conditions, including COVID-19.”
He co-chairs the infection prevention and control committee at HMH with Dr. Aaron Mulhall.
“HMH administration was on the ball in February and called me and Aaron in to help plan for Hardin Memorial Health’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Curran said. “Since that first day, we have been working together daily to adapt and innovate so we can continue to deliver the best care to our community.”
He’s seen what he calls “tireless work” that’s gone on behind the scenes that stretches from the parking lot to the administration.
“I have had the opportunity to work on multiple teams on several projects, from our supply and logistics team on securing personal protective equipment and innovating and implementing sterilization techniques, to preparing for possible surges with our emergency medicine physicians, pulmonology/critical care physicians, infection control, facilities and planning teams,” he said.
Individuals from the entire organization with a variety of expertise have been brought together to develop solutions for the challenges HMH has faced in the past several months, he said. Physicians, staff and the administration have been in constant communication so all are moving in the same direction in taking care of the community and each other during this time, he said.
“Because of the familial environment at HMH and the extra stress on staff emotionally, spiritually and financially, many of the physicians including the hospitalist group have looked for ways to help, whether it’s donating to the HMH Foundation COVID-19 fund or buying lunch for staff or simply asking a staff member we see every day how they are holding up,” Curran said.
His work is acknowledged by many at HMH.
“Dr. Daniel Curran is not only a fantastic hospitalist, a physician who specializes in hospital medicine and takes care of oftentimes very ill in-patients, but he also serves as one of our in-house COVID-19 experts,” said Dennis Johnson, HMH President and CEO. “We cannot thank Dr. Curran enough for his tireless leadership and expertise during this pandemic and for compassionate care he gives patients in the hospital including those who are COVID-19 positive.”
It’s telling, Johnson said, that physicians, nurses and his team chose him as the HMH Patient Experience Physician of the Year in 2018.
“HMH is beyond fortunate to count Dr. Curran as physician and friend,” Johnson said.
Curran called his medical career a calling from God.
“It is something I felt a calling to do since I was a kid talking with my best friend on the bus about setting up a clinic in our backyard,” he said. “From the beginning of middle school through college, practicing medicine for the good of my community and the glory of God was always the goal.“
He spent time in rural communities around Western and Eastern Kentucky Universities and knew he wanted to work in a rural area when he put down his roots.
“Living and working in Hardin County has allowed me to have some room for my kids to run and grow, a warm loving community to raise them in and an opportunity to work in a strong growing health care system that is the natural expression of that loving community,” he said.
Curran and his wife, Bet, are members at Crossroads Baptist Church in Elizabethtown, where he helps lead a small group.
“My effort and passion at work, church and home are hopefully an overflow of Christ’s love for me and this community,” he said.