Davidson College sports physician helping fight COVID-19


With college sports on hold, Davidson College’s lead sports physician saw his work load slow to a halt. That’s when a close colleague offered him a way to help in the battle against COVID-19.

Dr. Robert Lutz has dedicated his life to helping others. He served in the Army for nearly 30 years in emergency medicine. After retiring, he returned to his alma mater as the school’s primary care sports physician. But when the covoronavirus outbreak hit the states he was called upon by his colleagues at Atrium Health, Doctors Tom Batechlor and Carly Rivet, to serve again.

“When I joined the team he was standing up what atrium calls a COVID-19 virtual hospital. It went live that third week of March, and provides support and a safety net to patients diagnosed with COVID-19 who are well enough to recover at home but need some support in terms of daily check-ins to make sure they don’t get worse,” Dr. Lutz said.

So Dr. Lutz was asked to provide help in a different manner.

“Dr. Batchelor asked for my assistance in the development and execution of an advanced urgent care model where we take some select urgent cares from around town, and increase their capabilities, to treat patients, so that we can help offload some of the volume in the emergency department. That frees them up to focus on the covid-19 more seriously ill patients.” 

Dr. Lutz says of the approximate 15 non-coronavirus emergency patients they treated at his location in the past five days – only four still needed to go to the hospital but avoided the ER. That helped to free up resources for other staff to treat severe coronavirus cases.

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