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Delivering the vaccine to the homebound and more

Posted 6/2/21

Delivering the vaccine to the homebound

LIBERTY, NY — The nurses of Sullivan County Public Health Services are ready and willing to travel to any location in the county to ensure local …

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Delivering the vaccine to the homebound and more

Posted

Delivering the vaccine to the homebound

LIBERTY, NY — The nurses of Sullivan County Public Health Services are ready and willing to travel to any location in the county to ensure local homebound residents are vaccinated against the potentially lethal COVID-19 virus. In fact, they’ve already administered vaccines to nearly 30 such residents.

“While the exposure risk is low if you live alone and only have occasional visitors or caregivers, the coronavirus is very contagious, and for anyone with underlying health conditions, the long-term health impacts are still largely unknown but can be devastating and potentially fatal,” Sullivan County Public Health Director Nancy McGraw cautions. “The good news is that vaccines are much more widely available to everyone, and our nurses are available to administer the COVID-19 vaccine shot in the comfort of your own home if you are unable to get to a vaccine clinic, pharmacy or healthcare provider on your own. We have plenty of supply and are eager to continue vaccinating as many people as we can in the weeks ahead.”

To be eligible for a homebound vaccination visit, you must be a Sullivan County resident; 18 years of age or older; unable to leave your home property unassisted, or unable to find transportation to get to your local healthcare provider or other vaccination site; and available locally to receive the second dose approximately three to four weeks after receiving the first dose (for Moderna or Pfizer vaccines only).

Homebound visits can be scheduled through the county’s Emergency Community Assistance Center at 845/807-0925. The actual visit lasts approximately 20 minutes, and both caregivers and relatives in the home can receive a dose at the same time.

Physician embraces new role with Honesdale VA Outpatient Clinic

HONESDALE, PA — Janet Erickson, MD, an internal medicine physician with over 20 years of clinical experience treating patients for a variety of medical conditions, has been appointed as the primary care physician at the Honesdale VA Outpatient Clinic. Located at 600 Maple Ave., the clinic has been serving eligible veterans since 2014. Erickson is replacing Dr. Jeffrey Ryan following his recent retirement.

Erickson was most recently employed by Physician’s Health Alliance, Scranton, where she practiced internal medicine for 11 years. She is an assistant professor at the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine and the Medical Director of Commonwealth Home Health, both in Scranton.

The Honesdale VA Outpatient Clinic, part of Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers, offers eligible veterans primary care including prevention, diagnosis, treatment and follow up.

For more information, visit www.wmchc.net or call 570/251-6543.

Prescription delivery available in Roscoe area

ROSCOE, NY — Since United Health Service (UHS) Primary Care has re-opened, UHS Delaware Valley Hospital’s Community Pharmacy can begin delivering prescriptions for Roscoe-area residents to the primary care office on Monday through Friday mornings. Residents would then pick up their medications at that office, located at 1982 Old Rte. 17, rather than having to travel to Walton to get them.

Residents do not need to be a patient of UHS Primary Care or of UHS Delaware Valley Hospital in order to take advantage of the service. However, the prescription must be filled at the Delaware Valley Hospital Community Pharmacy in Walton. Payment for medications will be completed by the patient over the phone with pharmacy staff. To arrange for delivery, contact the community pharmacy at 607/865-2781 and ask for courier delivery to Roscoe.

The UHS Primary Care, Roscoe can be contacted by calling 607/498-4800.

Garnet – Catskills honors exceptional nurse with DAISY Award

HARRIS, NY — Garnet Health Medical Center – Catskills has partnered with the DAISY Foundation to recognize its nurses for the excellent care they provide to patients. Intensive care unit registered nurse Karen Franza was chosen as the first honoree. Franza was honored for her compassionate care of COVID-19 patients. Her nomination illustrated the above and beyond steps she took to help a patient connect with their family in the last moments of life.

The Garnet Health Medical Center – Catskills Shared Governance Professional Nursing Excellence and Education Committee, led by Registered Nurse Diana Duffy, worked hard to implement the DAISY Award at the hospital. The goal of the various nursing shared governance committees, composed of frontline staff and leader advisors, is to enhance nursing practice and promote direct care nursing involvement in shared decision making.

For more information, visit www.garnethealth.org.

Sustainability concerns escalate as long-term care providers continue to face COVID-19 challenges

PENNSYLVANIA –– During a PA Senate Aging and Youth Committee hearing on Thursday, May 20, Zach Shamberg, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association (PHCA), outlined continued areas of concern and deep-rooted issues for long-term care providers as they combat the residual effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his testimony, Shamberg highlighted the financial instability of the sector, caused by skyrocketing pandemic-related costs. Those costs include personal protective equipment, COVID-19 testing, infection control protocols, “heroes pay” and “hazard pay” for staff and a reliance on agency staffing to cover shifts. According to Shamberg, the financial hardship created by the pandemic is compounded by an underfunded state Medicaid program, which falls nearly $50 short of covering the actual cost of care per day for nearly 70 percent of all nursing home residents. Shamberg pleaded with members of the committee to advocate for the prioritization of long-term care when the state legislature looks to allocate more than $7 billion in the latest round of federal stimulus funds received by the state.

“The American Rescue Plan is not about building success; it is about survival,” Shamberg said. “As the dust begins to settle from the pandemic, long-term care providers and workers are now left to operate with what remains: a depleted system in need of critical, emergency funding. Prioritizing long-term care with stimulus funds is prioritizing our most vulnerable seniors and the healthcare workers who care for them.”

For more information, visit www.phca.org.

Garnet Health to offer free virtual caregivers support group

ONLINE — The Garnet Health Community Health Department will offer a free virtual support group, Partners in Caring, the third Tuesday of each month.

For those caring for a loved one, the day-to-day tasks of making sure the person they are caring for is comfortable, safe and provided for can mean that caregivers neglect their own well-being. Our caregiver support group can provide a meaningful time that is set aside for the caregiver to focus on their own feelings and needs.

This group will share knowledge through presentations and will provide a safe space for socialization and group discussions. Partners in Caring will also provide support for caregivers to help them create a balance between family, work and other responsibilities.

To register for the next Partners in Caring support group on Tuesday, June 15, visit www.garnethealth.org/events

Wayne Memorial Hospital awarded four stars

HONESDALE, PA — Wayne Memorial Hospital earned four out of five stars in the most recent federal government’s overall hospital quality star rating system. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) April 2021 report reflects experiences Medicare beneficiaries have with their health plan and healthcare system. The measures are grouped into five
categories: mortality, safety of care, readmission, patient experience and timely and effective care. 

Out of 3,355 hospitals, only 988 received a four-star rating; 455 received a five-star rating. The majority, 1,018 came in at three stars.

For more information, visit www.cms.gov.

Vaccine Uptake Initiative promotes innovative strategies to drive vaccinations

NEW YORK — With vaccine supply now outpacing demand, the state is entering a new phase of the pandemic response—one that trades the  rush to develop and distribute a vaccine for the slow, steady trudge toward the goal of herd immunity.

To promote vaccination efforts, the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC), in collaboration with the New York State Association of County Health Officials (NYSACHO), has launched a Vaccine Uptake Initiative to collect and promote innovative strategies to encourage people to get the vaccine.

To further help people get vaccinated, this initiative provides an online resource that catalogs innovative vaccine strategies at www.nysac.org/vui.

The NYSAC Vaccine Uptake Initiative (VUI) site includes examples of vaccination efforts divided into categories including: incentive-based initiatives like free food and drink, tickets to events and a lottery; public awareness initiatives like special-themed vaccination clinics and testimonials; and improved-access initiatives like the federal agreement with ridesharing companies, home vaccination visits and the MTA’s efforts to vaccinate commuters at rail stops.

Counties are encouraged to share their vaccination initiatives with NYSAC by emailing coronavirus@nysac.org.

Lifesaving help for Mental Health Awareness Month

HONESDALE, PA — More than 7,400 students in six area school districts received a treat with a message this month: snack packs with two lifesaver candies, resource cards listing organizations offering help for mental health issues and a note that read, “Be a lifesaver. Let someone know help is within reach.”

The packs, distributed for Mental Health Awareness Month by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the Wayne/Pike Northeast Suicide Prevention Initiative (NSPI), went to students in grades seven through 12 in Wayne Highlands, Western Wayne, Wallenpaupack Area, Delaware Valley, Forest City Regional and East Stroudsburg school districts.

According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, between April and October 2020, hospital emergency departments saw visits from children for mental health needs rise sharply from the year before—up 24 percent for children aged five through 11 and 31 percent for young people aged 12 through 17.

NSPI groups involved in the effort also included the Wayne County Office of Behavioral and Developmental Programs and Early Intervention and Carbon-Monroe-Pike Mental Health and Developmental Services.

For more information, visit www.nami.org.

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