Dr. Gregg DeNicola and staffPhoto courtesy of Caduceus staff
Gregg DeNicola is my hero. I have known Dr. DeNicola for many years as a community member and a patient of Caduceus on Thalia in Laguna Beach. I decided to nominate him as My Hero of the Year for the category of local heroes who have done magnificent work for the community during COVID. Over the last 15 months, Dr. DeNicola and his staff have worked double and triple shifts and booked double appointments to meet the demand of patients concerned that they had contracted COVID-19. I’m sure their early and aggressive treatment of COVID-19 symptoms saved hundreds of Laguna residents from hospitalization or worse. They were one of the first to test in OC on March 12th, first to offer curbside exams and testing, and promoted the “KNOW IF YOU’RE CONTAGIOUS, KNOW IF YOU’RE IMMUNE” from the very start. Their COVID treatment team has diagnosed and treated over 2000 cases, now emphasizing long-haul COVID cases at Caduceus locations across Orange County.
I remember when I first met Dr. DeNicola, the Chief Medical Officer for Caduceus Medical, I asked if he would be a model for a “Pin the Shot on the Doctor” for the Laguna Playhouse children’s play “Treasure Island” event. He laid on an examining table and I took a photo of him, and then my daughter drew him and that became the illustration used for the game at the Playhouse event for children. The kids were given a paper shot, and blindfolded, they tried to place the shot on his behind on the illustration. It was pretty funny!
Dr. DeNicola wrote a blog which first introduced the extraordinary virus that was spreading at a rate he had never seen before. He wrote: “Stephen Stills had it right, There’s something happening here... What it is ain’t exactly clear.”
Over the past year, he used his blog to share regular updates from the WHO, the CDC, Governor Newsom and the State Health Department, the Department of Insurance, and others. He created “Mousecalls,” “Testing 101,” “Video Visits,” “PDQ” Pretty Darn Quick clinic visits, and curbside video visits. In fact Caduceus was one of the first medical practices to offer COVID-19 screenings and curbside testing in Southern California.
Dr. DeNicola used humor to warn of false information common to social and news media, and to explain the myriad characteristics and extreme risks of COVID-19. He explained the types of tests, the range of symptoms, false negatives, treatment options, etc.
The Caduceus treatment protocol details four steps to take, including trying a COVID cocktail: “NO, not that kind...A twist is optional.” One could perform “Aggressive Pulmonary Toilet”... you’ll need to read the blog to get the full picture on this one!
I also related to Dr DeNicola, because like me, he had never been hospitalized – until he was. After spending nine days in the ICU with COVID pneumonia last December, this first line worker would say he definitely dodged a bullet.
His blog incorporated quotes from authors, musicians, statesmen, and poets to cleverly illustrate serious points he made relative to this pandemic and to the virus itself. A verse in a song by Bob Dylan became “Everybody must get swabbed,” and from Yogi Berra, “We made too many wrong mistakes.” “That sums up my viewpoint on our response to the COVID pandemic, both nationally and here in California.” And then there is Dr. DeNicola’s view on “only test if you have symptoms?"
“Hooey. Poppycock. Horse feathers.”
Page created on 5/23/2021 4:53:18 AM
Last edited 5/31/2021 5:14:24 AM