Today, as every day, we are here to care for you. Here is a message from CVHHH’s President & CEO, Sandy Rousse, about changes we made to how we provide care, onboard, and screen patients and staff to ensure everyone’s safety as we continue to provide the full range of services and supports for all central Vermonters at home.
As we enter the next phase of the coronavirus outbreak, I am certain that long-term containment is in the hands of our communities. As your hometown visiting nurse association, and an organization with deep local roots, we take seriously our responsibility to you, your family, and your neighbors. Embedded in our mission is a promise that we will do what is needed to meet our clients’ needs. This is why in the face of an historic pandemic, we continue to care for patients already on service and accept new referrals. We are open for business.
We Adapted to Protect You
Over the past nine weeks, we updated agency protocols to ensure our staff and patients’ safety and to provide continuity of care for people coming home for COVID and non-COVID care from hospitals or other providers. These include the following:
- Review of all patients’ medical information to determine the best way to provide care—via phone, video visit, or in person.
- Clinical managers conduct welcome calls to new clients to ask COVID screening questions the day before a scheduled visit.
- Staff providing in-person care wear a face mask and face shield for every visit and screen their clients twice before they even enter an individual’s home.
- Distribution of a reusable cloth face mask to all patients to wear during visits.
- Provide additional training to all direct-care staff on use and disposal of personal protective equipment, or PPE, i.e. masks, face shields, gloves, and gowns, to mitigate risk exposure of COVID-19.
We also keep in regular video or phone contact with clients whose in-person visits are temporarily paused. Because of the virus, many people can’t see their families or friends. It’s very important to make sure people have what they need, even if that need is to talk about the weather for 10 minutes with a member of our team. Under normal circumstances, fostering connections with our clients is at the heart of our work. The virus did not change this.
Ultimately, the pandemic inspired us to think about our role as a community-based provider, specifically our reach in central Vermont and our ability to mobilize to provide front-line care to people at home. By looking at the many connections CVHHH has with other organizations in our community, we found new ways to support the broader healthcare system. This includes providing education, support, and COVID-19 testing, when needed, of residents of assisted living facilities and community care homes. Residents and staff at these facilities know and trust us, and we are happy to go to them to ease their worries. We also embraced telehealth to provide routine nursing and therapy visits and to help physicians qualify individuals for home health care without those people leaving their homes.
As Restart Vermont moves forward, we are reviewing all of our services and continue to make adjustments as needed to accommodate the needs of central Vermonters and keep you safe. This is our top priority.
We Are Here for You
Last week, we received 15 cloth face masks from a woman, Ellen, from Barre, whose mother we cared for many years ago. Ellen said that thanks to CVHHH, her mother could stay in her own home instead of going to a nursing home. Ellen plans to sew face masks until there is no longer a need. Our community, including Ellen and the countless others who have sewn hundreds of masks for us, are the bedrock of CVHHH, and our commitment to you is as strong as ever. We are here to serve you.
What Can We Do For You?
To learn about our services, visit www.cvhhh.org.
Dated June 2, 2020