Yukon hospital at capacity

‘Crisis staffing’ as nurses take on extra cases

Helping patients at Yukon’s Integris Canadian Valley Hospital are clinical managers Christine McMurray, RN (left) in the intermediate care/intensive care unit and Liz Lambert, RN in the emergency department. (Photo provided)

By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer

Yukon’s hospital remains overflowing with patients as nurses continue to take on more cases during the COVID-19 crisis.

Integris Canadian Valley Hospital President Teresa Gray

Teresa Gray, president of INTEGRIS Canadian Valley Hospital at 1201 Health Center Parkway, updated the Yukon COVID-19 Task Force at its Jan. 20 meeting.

“We are at 105% capacity this morning,” Gray reported. “We are overflowing into our ER (emergency room). We have 22 positive COVID patients.”

Seven of eight intensive care unit beds and 14 of 16 intermediate care beds had COVID-19 positive patients.

One patient in labor/delivery also was positive.

Patient volume has remained generally consistent at INTEGRIS Canadian Valley Hospital.
“We’ve been full for the past few months,” Gray said.

The hospital implemented “crisis staffing” due to the virus as nurses take on much larger caseloads.

Because bed space is at a premium, the hospital staff continues to transfer patients regularly to other hospitals – even outside Oklahoma.



Yukon Mayor Shelli Selby wants to remind the public how the hospital’s healthcare heroes are going above and beyond during the pandemic. She noted the hospital is “slammed”.

“We’re at capacity, and our nurses are tired,” Selby said.

“I have a friend who’s a nurse, and she is having six patients – sometimes seven – added to her caseload each day.”

Treating a COVID-19 patient is Mary Wahweah, RN in the emergency department at INTEGRIS Canadian Valley Hospital, 1201 Health Center Parkway. (Photo provided)

Yukon’s hospital chief shared other data with task force members.

“We only have six caregivers out right now with positive COVID tests,” Gray said. “Across all of our (INTEGRIS Health) hospitals and clinics, we have 61 caregivers out.

“That’s quite a drop for us and we are attributing that to some of the vaccines that we started giving back in December.”

The second round of vaccinations has been completed for health care workers at INTEGRIS Canadian Valley Hospital. Some 350 caregivers were vaccinated at Yukon’s hospital; more than 10,000 across the INTEGRIS Health system.

Gray and Mayor Selby both encourage the public to register for the COVID-19 vaccine through the Oklahoma State Health Department’s online portal at vaccinate.oklahoma.gov
People without Internet access should call the Canadian County Health Department at (405) 354-4871 or dial 211 for more information.