Employee Spotlight – Dr. Kevin Hurtt is Always Moving

They say that it’s more difficult these days to really end a work day, with cell phones and virtual meetings pulling at our out-of-office time. Rather than fight this reality, Dr. Kevin Hurtt, a surgeon at Meritus Health, has been known to embrace it.

The weekend of Christmas 2021 was a challenging one for Dr. Hurtt when his mother came into the hospital with significant health concerns exacerbated by the COVID-19 virus. Dr. Hurtt came in with her through the emergency department and the scene in front of him was anything but quiet.

“We were in another peak of the pandemic with a high number of patients with the virus in our hospital,” said Dr. Hurtt. “The staff that day was scrambling with the waiting room at a standstill.”

Once his mother was stable and settled into treatment space and knowing that it was less than ideal for a patient with COVID-19 to have any visitors in their room, Dr. Hurtt called the administrative nursing supervisor (ANS) on duty and offered his time and talent to help.

“I was already on-site and very familiar with the staff and the emergency department, so I offered to help,” said Dr. Hurtt. “The ANS told me not to go anywhere and that she would give me the green light as soon as she found out more about the ED’s needs at that moment.”

In no time at all, Dr. Hurtt was paired up with an advanced practice provider.

“I was essentially her resident for the next eight hours!” said Dr. Hurtt.

They went right to work setting up a temporary triage area to “fast track” those in the waiting room who had fewer symptoms of concern and could be moved out of the que safely, quickly and efficiently.

Dr. Hurtt felt right at home in the emergency department and was very familiar with staff there as a member of the one-year-old acute care emergency surgery (ACES) team.

“I’ve been working for 35 years in a traditional model of surgery, with patients coming to see me at a surgical practice and covering ED needs through a rotating, on-call schedule alongside colleagues,” said Dr. Hurtt. “The ACES team was adopted to fit the current community needs, so while I didn’t see myself having this kind of schedule at this stage of my career, I’ve adapted to do my part in meeting those needs.”

Dr. Hurtt said the 24-hour-shifts schedule is “physically taxing,” his mindset for patient-centered care makes the work incredibly worthwhile.

He is humble about being recognized for stepping up during the Christmas holiday weekend and quick to say that “everyone is really working hard at this hospital.” While he may not want the spotlight, Dr. Hurtt’s willingness to step in and help, positive attitude and contagious smile are worth a shout out now and then as an example of all that a Meritus team member can be! #MeritusPride