Ever since the COVID 19 pandemic forced itself into our lives, medical facilities have been limiting or even prohibiting visitors from visitation which has caused distress for both patients and their families.

Enter ‘Howl for Missoula’, a nonprofit organization that helped to promote the Howl for Heroes movement, where people howl their support for healthcare workers every evening at 8:00 p.m. Community Medical Center Public Information Officer Megan Condra explains.

“Howl for Missoula actually has t-shirts that people can purchase,” said Condra. “Their Facebook page says they just got in a new shipment this week. All the proceeds they get from these t-shirts, they are giving the proceeds to the Foundation for Community Health, so that the funds can go back into the community helping healthcare workers and patients in the community.”

Director of Emergency Trauma Services at Community Medical Center, Alex Redfern explained where some of those funds have been used.

“Howl for Missoula has donated three I-Pads and three Bluetooth speakers to our hospital,” said Redfern. “This is to help with some of our visitor restrictions due to the COVID 19 pandemic. We just want to ensure that families can communicate effectively with their loved ones while they’re here in the hospital.”

Redfern explained the reasons for the visitation restrictions.

“We are limiting access to visitors throughout the hospital,” he said. “We’re allowing one visitor to visit a patient during their hospital stay. The ER here allows visitors for their pediatric patients. We’ll also allow visitors for patients with significant cognitive issues and mobility issues, but we also want the community to know that every situation is different. We want families to feel like they’re being communicated with and that they’d know what was going on with their loved ones, and they have an opportunity to advocate and communicate with their healthcare providers who are providing that care.”

Both hospitals in Missoula have limited or prohibited visitation since the COVID pandemic began.