March 19, 2020
To our patients, families, business associates and community members:
Chautauqua Hospice & Palliative Care (CHPC) is taking extra precautions during the Coronavirus outbreak to assure the health and safety of our patients, family members, employees and volunteers.
CHPC maintains very strict infection control protocols as our normal operating procedure. In addition to those protocols, we have implemented additional procedures to monitor our employees’ health and guard against the possible infection and transmission of the Coronavirus. Many office staff are working from home to reduce the possibility of transmission of the disease.
If we are providing care to your loved one in an assisted living or skilled nursing facility, the operators of the facilities have set visitation procedures which must be adhered to. Please contact them directly to find out procedures for visiting a loved one who is receiving hospice care.
All bereavement support group activities are cancelled until it is safe to resume. If anyone is in need of grief support, please contact our office and we will be happy to schedule a phone visit. We will support all our bereaved clients through phone contact in the interim.
If possible, please avoid unnecessary visits to our office.
We are in close communications with, and following the guidance of, numerous health authorities including the Chautauqua County Health Department, New York State Department of Health, the Center for Disease Control, as well as other hospices.
Finally, if you exhibit any of the following symptoms, call your physician immediately:
o Shortness of breath
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and range from mild to severe.
We continue to provide end-of-life care to our patients and families and expect to do so without any interruption going forward. We are here for you, if you need us.
March 25, 2020- A message from Shauna Anderson, CEO
The last 3 ½ weeks have flown by since March 4, 2020 when we received our first correspondence regarding COVID 19 from CMS (Center for Medicare & Medicaid) asking that all providers practice optimal infection control measures to prevent spread of the virus. Since then, we have maintained close contact with the CDC, the County Health Department, State Health Department, State Hospice Association, National Hospice Association, as well as participated in many webinars, trainings and conference calls.
In this short timeframe we have written new policies and modified others, developed guidelines and protocols and ordered lots of supplies. In addition to the normal precautions we take to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases, we have implemented strict new health screening procedures for our employees and volunteers, as well as the homes where we are caring for patients. We are creating new ways of providing bereavement services in a time when we can’t sit together in the same room. Most of our office staff are now working from home while just essential functions are maintained in our office operations.
We have been in contact with our lawmakers to make sure we have a voice as regulations and relief are determined. We are pleased to report that important changes allowing the wider use of telemedicine have been approved that will greatly reduce the possibility of the transmission of Covid19. We expect more regulatory relief in the days ahead that will greatly speed our work and reduce risks for our staff, volunteers and families.
Challenges and uncertainties still remain. We face many of the same shortages of supplies and personal protective equipment and are working to find new sources of these critical supplies.
We are extremely grateful to the Chautauqua County Health Department for it’s leadership and support during this challenging time. Likewise, we are extremely appreciative to the long-term care facilities, hospitals, medical practices, pharmacies, vendors and community agencies who support our work. Together we will work through this health crisis by educating, adjusting, and communicating.
April 8, 2020- A radio interview with Shauna Anderson, CEOClick here to listen.