Adventist doctors Eric and Wayne Moore are among the many health-care professionals around the world who are on the frontlines in the fight against the novel coronavirus and resulting COVID-19.
Wayne, an emergency medicine physician, is the CEO and founder of Moore Life Healthcare, which operates two urgent care centers in middle Tennessee, United States. He also has extensive experience in bioterrorism, pandemic prevention, and mitigation. In 1996, he was part of a Metropolitan Medical Strike Team (MMST) that the U.S. government assembled to mitigate bioterrorism attacks and pandemics. In 2005, he served as co-medical director of a bioterrorism program for the state of Tennessee that developed a system to help track the availability of intensive care unit (ICU) beds and ventilators during a terrorist attack or pandemic. Tennessee health officials have updated the system and are using it during the current pandemic.
At a time when people may not be able to get to a physician, Wayne says, his company’s telehealth service has been beneficial. The service utilizes nine physicians in the Moore family (one family member is scheduled to start medical school).
“We’re all over the country,” says Wayne, whose expertise has made him a go-to person for pandemic commentary. “Because of COVID-19, we can work across state lines and get prescriptions to patients’ pharmacies electronically.”
One of the doctors is his brother Eric, who owns Moore Medical Group, based in Orlando, Florida. The group provides services in psychiatric hospitals in Florida and North Carolina. He is also the medical director of AdventHealth Hospice Care in Orlando.
Both brothers have been working directly with patients infected with COVID-19 and are doing what they can to help treat them, or, for those who are dying, make them as comfortable as possible.
When this article was written, hospitals and most health-care facilities were still prohibiting patients from receiving visitors to prevent the spread of COVID-19, except for extenuating circumstances, such as when a person is dying. And even in that case, visitation is challenging.
“If they don’t get a chance to say goodbye … we know that it’s going to be a very difficult road ahead for that family,” Eric says. “So, we’re trying to be on the cautious side with not allowing people to flood the unit and contract the virus themselves, but at the same time allowing them to say goodbye.”
A couple of years ago, the brothers said goodbye to their father, Earl Moore, who passed away at age 93. A full-time pastor and community services director for the Southern Union, Earl Moore was an inspiration to the brothers and their family.
The brothers say their father, a World War II veteran, converted an old recreational vehicle into a medical van and used it to travel to impoverished areas to provide screenings for high blood pressure and diabetes. He also went to disaster areas where a hurricane or tornado may have hit and attended large public events, such as the Poor People’s March on Washington in 1968.
“We need to take the message to the people; don’t wait for the people to come to us,” Wayne recalls his father saying.
In a sense, the brothers have continued to do just that as they care for patients during the pandemic and in general. Wayne is currently organizing a team of medical professionals to evaluate a potential therapy for COVID-19 that involves UV-C light to kill viruses in the lungs.
“Not only are we treating patients, but Eric and I … are on the cutting edge of technology,” Wayne says. “We hope to utilize our knowledge and relationships to help mitigate [COVID-19] in the communities that need help the most.”