What's new for healthcare in the Upper Delaware region
NATIONWIDE — The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced changes to nursing home visitation policy stating that “Visitation is now allowed for all residents at all times.”
The Long Term Care Community Coalition (LTCCC), an advocacy group supporting nursing home staff, residents and residents’ families, suggests that families bring a copy of the policy change memo when they visit their loved one. If they are told they can’t visit, the LTCCC suggests showing the memo to the staff person.
The memo reads in part: “Facilities must allow indoor visitation at all times and for all residents as permitted under the regulations. While previously acceptable during the PHE, facilities can no longer limit the frequency and length of visits for residents, the number of visitors, or require advance scheduling of visits.”
There is no limit on the number of visitors a resident can have at one time, but social distancing should be maintained and care should be taken not to spread disease.
For a copy of the memo, go to https://bit.ly/3xB9eIF.
To learn more about the Long Term Care Community Coalition, go to https://nursinghome411.org/.
NATIONWIDE — Every year for three years, CVS Health will close 300 stores. Which ones are affected has not yet been announced.
The company has a 9,900-strong chain of drugstores.
The closures are part of what the company calls its “omnichannel” health strategy, with a stated aim of “making health care more affordable, accessible and convenient for consumers.”
“Our retail stores are fundamental to our strategy and who we are as a company,” said Karen Lynch, president and CEO of CVS Health, in a statement. “We remain focused on the competitive advantage provided by our presence in thousands of communities across the country, which complements our rapidly expanding digital presence.”
According to the statement, the company expects to record an impairment charge between $1 billion and $1.2 billion or between $0.56 and $0.67 of diluted earnings per share, in the fourth quarter of 2021.
MIDDLETOWN/HARRIS, NY — Seven physicians from Garnet Health Doctors were selected for Castle Connolly’s list of America’s top doctors.
The seven physicians are: Dr. Joseph Chavez Carey (family medicine), Dr. Samer El-Zarif (sleep medicine), Dr. Bella Fradlis (rheumatology). Dr. Raghuram Gorti (vascular surgery), Dr. Cleveland Lewis (thoracic and cardiac surgery), Dr. Eric Martin (orthopedic surgery) and Dr. Emanuel Nketiah (cardiology).
“These physicians exemplify the quality of patient care we provide at Garnet Health,” said Dr. Gerard Galarneau, president of Garnet Health Doctors. “We congratulate and thank them for their dedication to the health of our patients.”
Garnet Health Doctors is a primary care and multi-specialty practice that is part of Garnet Health Medical Center.
HONESDALE, PA — Are you buying your own health insurance for 2022?
The Outreach and Enrollment office at Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers can help.
Open enrollment began on November 1 and goes through January 15, 2022, but if you want coverage in January, you need to get your application in, and pay for your first month, by December 15.
Laura Resti and Rebecca Mead, at the Outreach and Enrollment office, are trained and registered with the PA Insurance Department.
“There are many coverage and payment options available,” said Resti. “We encourage everyone needing help to find out what’s new and which plan is right for them to contact us as soon as possible to make an appointment.”
According to the most recent U.S. Census survey, in 2020 8.6 percent of people did not have health insurance at any point during the year.
Outreach and Enrollment services are free of charge to everyone, not just patients of WMCHC physician practices. All appointments must be scheduled in advance by calling the numbers below. Masking is required in the office and precautions such as Plexiglas barriers are in place.
For more information, call either 570/251-6554 or 570/251-6569.
CALLICOON, NY — Dr. Trevor McGinley will take over as medical director at Grover Hermann Hospital.
In addition to providing patient care in Garnet Health emergency departments, over the past several years Dr. McGinley has served as chair of emergency medicine and associate director of emergency medicine. He has been an attending physician at Garnet Health since 2013.
He earned his medical degree at the University of Texas Health Science Center Houston Medical School. He completed his residency in emergency medicine at Geisinger Health System in Danville, PA, and is board-certified in emergency medicine.
HONESDALE, PA — Anyone who’s been a caregiver knows the insidious threat of bedsores, and the damage they can do.
Recently the staff of the Wayne Memorial Advanced Wound Care Center dispersed information to other staffers on how to prevent pressure injuries.
The wounds can form if you lie in place, sit in a wheelchair, or wear a cast for a long time.
Bedsores damage the skin and soft tissue, usually over a bony bit, or under medical devices that are in place on the skin.
The constant pressure restricts blood flow and the skin underneath dies.
For more information, visit the Advanced Wound Care Center at https://www.wmh.org/services/wound-care/.
CALLICOON, NY — The Grover M. Hermann Hospital, part of Garnet Health Medical Center—Catskills, received Press Ganey’s 2021 Guardian of Excellence award for patient experience in the emergency department.
This is the fourth year Press Ganey has recognized the tiny hospital.
Grover Hermann’s emergency department also received the 2021 Pinnacle of Excellence award for patient experience for the second consecutive year.
Press Ganey is a healthcare consulting company. They focus on patient experience improvement and better worker engagement and are known for their patient satisfaction surveys.
The awards are data-driven, given to facilities that “consistently sustain performance in the top 5 percent of all Press Ganey clients for each reporting period over the course of the assessment year.” The surveys are widely used, according to the AMA Journal of Ethics.
MILFORD, PA — In September, GAIT Therapeutic Riding Center hosted the second of two workshops for equine specialists in mental health and learning.
Nine participants attended lectures, took part in role plays using GAIT’s specially trained horses, and were evaluated on their horsemanship skills.
GAIT provides programs in both equine-assisted psychotherapy and equine-assisted learning. It also offers horsemanship through adaptive riding as well as speech and language pathology that uses the horse’s movement.
GAIT is in its 26th year of operation. For more information, visit https://www.gaittrc.org or call 570/409-1140.
MIDDLETOWN/HARRIS, NY — Raquel Rios-Ortiz has been promoted to vice president of operations at Garnet Health.
She will focus on improving quality, patient experience and safety for the system, which owns hospitals in Orange and Sullivan counties.
Rios-Ortiz was previously the senior practice administrator.
She holds a B.S. and M.S. in healthcare administration and is certified in practical nursing, emergency preparedness, incident command structure and advanced healthcare leadership.
For more information about Garnet Health, visit https://www.garnethealth.org/.
HONESDALE, PA — Dr. Tara McGraw, D.O., has joined Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers (WMCHC) as a general surgeon. She performs a broad range of procedures including endoscopic and laparoscopic surgeries at Wayne Memorial Hospital.
Dr. McGraw is a graduate of Forest City Regional High School and earned her medical degree at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed a general surgery residency through Geisinger Health System in Wilkes-Barre, PA. and served as administrative chief resident.
Honesdale Surgical Associates is located in the Stourbridge Medical and Professional Complex, 600 Maple Avenue, Suite 1, Honesdale. The practice, which includes Louis D’Oro, MD and Lisa Medvetz, MD, accepts most private insurance managed care plans and medical assistance. A sliding-fee scale is also offered for those who qualify. For more information, call 570/253-8635.
MILFORD, PA — Horseback riding provides a range of benefits, especially to people with special needs. But it takes a special person to work with them.
GAIT Therapeutic Riding Center recently added Alyssa Baron to the staff following her recent certification as a therapeutic riding instructor (CTRI).
Baron spent eight months working with GAIT’s mentors Martha Dubensky and Vera Remes. She has spent at least 25 hours instructing with supervision—12 hours on a one-on-one basis and 13 in group instruction. She also completed a riding skills test and a proctored written exam.
For more information about GAIT, visit http://gaittrc.org/.
HONESDALE, PA — After spending two years working in urgent care in Middletown, NY, Honesdale resident and physician’s assistant Carley Neinas says she’s “thankful for a five-minute drive” to work.
She began working at Lake Region Urgent Care (LRUC) on Grandview Avenue in Honesdale early this month.
Neinas evaluates and treats patients ranging in age from six months and on for non-life-threatening conditions. Having always been drawn to the “pace and variety of patients” within the urgent care setting, the opportunity to be closer to home came with more than one plus. “It’s nice to be in my own town,” Neinas said.
LRUC Medical Director Richard Hacker, MD, said he looks forward to having Neinas as a member of the health center’s team. “Carley is a very bright, energetic and enthusiastic provider whom we are thrilled to have joining us.”
Lake Region Urgent Care, part of Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers since 2020, treats conditions such as lacerations, burns, sprains, colds and allergic reactions seven days a week. Also offered on-site are lab, x-ray, and respiratory services as well as occupational medicine, i.e. pre-employment screenings or CDL physicals.
For more information, visit https://www.lakeregionurgentcare.com or call 570/390-4545.
HONESDALE, PA — To become board-certified you have to pass a really rigorous exam and discuss the latest scientific developments and how they relate to your specialty.
Dr. Zaima Choudhry just became board-certified in nephrology from the American Board of Internal Medicine.
She provides inpatient and outpatient consults for those suffering from kidney disease.
Dr. Choudhry’s ABIM certification means she has achieved the highest standard in nephrology, possessing essential clinical judgment and skills required to provide excellence in patient care, according to a statement from the hospital.
“Dr. Choudhry’s arrival at Wayne Memorial allowed us to expand our patient services with a much-needed specialty,” said James Hockenbury, director of ancillary services. “Her commitment to continual education speaks highly of her as an individual and a physician.”
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