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Maria Parham Health

Maria Parham Health CEO Thanks Community, Encourages Continued Support

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Op-Ed: Thank You Vance and Franklin Counties – Bert Beard CEO, Maria Parham Health

For the past several months, Maria Parham Health (MPH) has been facing the impact of COVID-19 with our community. We have built upon our robust emergency operations plan that we have in place year-round by updating policies, implementing new protocol, educating our staff, and working with our community partners in ways we never have before. But in all this preparation, MPH has never been alone.

Today, I write to share my appreciation for our community. Thank you to the countless individuals and organizations who have generously donated critically important supplies and resources and offered inspiring words of encouragement to our team. In this crisis, the true meaning of community has never been more apparent or appreciated. Patients, board members, staff, community providers, our sister facilities – all segments of the communities we serve and partner with have shown their support during this pandemic

Community members have brought in surgical masks and N95 respirators to add to the resources we are working to preserve. Local restaurants and businesses have sent food to treat our folks as they work. Many people have donated homemade cloth masks to our hospital and local EMS – an incredible labor of love. Posted signage, sidewalk chalk messages and decorated rocks cheer on our heroes and have infused our campuses with pride. And these are just a few of the many examples that exist.

The outpouring of love and encouragement from our community has been overwhelming, and it makes us so proud to call Vance and Franklin Counties our home and to serve the northern triangle. MPH stands ready to serve you – our neighbors, family and friends. Please continue to keep our community safe and prevent further spread of this disease:

  • Practice social distancing.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • If you must go out in public, wear masks to protect those around you.

To learn more about Maria Parham Health’s COVID-19 preparedness and what you can do to help stay well, visit Mariaparham.com.

Maria Parham Health

Maria Parham Health Eases Visitor Restrictions

THIS STORY IS PRESENTED IN PART BY DRAKE DENTISTRY

-Press Release, Maria Parham Health

Maria Parham Health announced yesterday that it is transitioning from a zero-visitor protocol to limited visitor restrictions as the hospital gradually resumes elective and non-urgent cases and services at its facilities.

The decision was made as current projections continue to indicate a lower than expected volume of COVID-19 in the region and after careful review of state and federal guidance. The updated restrictions, which will now allow most patients to have one visitor or support person per day, have been implemented effective immediately.

“Our hospital’s top priority is safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our patients, providers, employees and community,” said Bert Beard, chief executive officer (CEO) of Maria Parham Health. “We continue to monitor closely the prevalence of the virus in our community as we adapt our operations to safely care for and support our patients, and we feel confident that it is safe to begin allowing limited visitors again at this time.”

As part of the updated visitor restrictions, patients are now limited to one well visitor per day, including one companion for outpatient appointments and one support person for obstetric patients. All visitors must be 18 years of age or older, will be screened upon entry and are required to wear a mask and an armband/sticker while in the facility.

Visitors who do not pass the screening at entry will be asked to reschedule their visit until they are symptom-free. Visitors are not allowed for high-risk, isolation, immunocompromised or patients who are under observation or test positive for COVID-19.

Maria Parham Health continues to screen everyone who enters the facility for symptoms consistent with COVID-19, per CDC guidelines. For additional updates on how the hospital is working to maintain a safe and supportive environment during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit mariaparham.com.

Maria Parham Health Celebrating National Hospital Week May 10-15

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-Press Release, Maria Parham Health

Maria Parham Health (MPH) is proud to join the American Hospital Association and healthcare organizations around the country in celebrating National Hospital Week, which is observed May 10-15.

Each May, National Hospital Week provides an opportunity to pause and honor the millions of healthcare professionals who dedicate their lives to taking care of people in their greatest times of need and to recognize the positive difference hospitals and healthcare organizations make in the communities they serve.

“As our community continues the fight against COVID-19, the pivotal role our healthcare workers play in the well-being of society is clearer than ever,” said Bert Beard, CEO of Maria Parham Health. “Their tireless efforts on the front lines of this disease and their commitment to quality care and patient safety year-round are critical to our mission of Making Communities Healthier. We proudly honor these heroes during National Hospital Week and commend their inspiring efforts to serve others.”

Maria Parham Health in Henderson and Maria Parham Franklin will be marking the national observance with special gifts and prizes for all staff. Community members are encouraged to leave a special note of thanks for hospital employees at www.thankahealthcarehero.com.

As one of the region’s economic leaders, the organization employs approximately 800 staff and contributed more than $8 million in taxes to the local and state economies last year. Additionally, it is proud to sponsor a number of local community organizations and non-profits.

Ensuring that everyone has access to the high-quality and compassionate care they need is a top priority for the organization and fundamental to its mission. In 2019 alone, Maria Parham Health provided more than $62 million of charity and other uncompensated care, regardless of patients’ ability to pay.

“We are privileged to have a significant impact on its health and economic well-being,” said James Johnson, chair of MPH’s board of trustees. “As we celebrate National Hospital Week amid unprecedented challenges this year and begin to look to the future, we are aware that healthcare – like other aspects of life – might look a little different. What will not change, though, is our mission and our commitment to this community. We will continue to put the health and well-being of our neighbors first, ensuring safe places of care and a healthier community for us all.”

Maria Parham Health

Maria Parham Health to Resume Elective, Non-Urgent Surgeries & Procedures

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-Press Release, Maria Parham Health

Maria Parham Health announced today that it is taking the appropriate steps to safely resume some elective and non-urgent surgeries and procedures that were previously rescheduled out of an abundance of caution amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The decision to reschedule procedures when clinically appropriate was made in accordance with federal and state guidance and aimed to help preserve critical resources in the event of a surge of COVID-19 patients in the community.

Today, current projections indicate a lower than expected volume of COVID-19 in the region, which means less strain on healthcare resources.

“Resuming these important services is an essential component of meeting our community’s health needs and advancing our mission of Making Communities Healthier,” said Bert Beard, Chief Executive Officer of Maria Parham Health. “As this work gradually gets underway in our hospital again, we remain committed to conserving critical supplies, being vigilant in our fight against COVID-19, and ensuring that our facility is a safe place for all patients, providers and employees.”

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Maria Parham Health has continued to carefully follow guidance from federal, state and local officials, monitor the prevalence of the virus in the community, and evaluate supplies and resources – including personal protective equipment like masks, gowns, gloves and goggles.

The decisions about which procedures can safely move forward will be made only after assessing a comprehensive pre-operative checklist and evaluating potential risks. The hospital will initially focus on scheduling patients with more time-sensitive health needs, and those decisions will be made in partnership with the attending physician/surgeon/proceduralist. Patients who are scheduled and approved for procedures must meet specific requirements, including passing standard COVID-19 screenings.

Surgical patients also will be asked to practice “safer at home” behaviors for seven days prior to their procedure to minimize potential exposure; check their temperature twice a day during this 7-day period and report temperatures over 100°F to their provider; and undergo testing for COVID-19.

Patients awaiting information about their previously postponed procedure can expect to hear from their provider or provider’s office to discuss rescheduling at the appropriate time.

Maria Parham Health will continue to screen and mask everyone who enters the facility and maintain a zero-visitor protocol for the foreseeable future. These important measures have had a positive impact on ensuring a safe environment, and they also are aligned with the federal government’s guidelines.

Additionally, the facility has implemented new processes and procedures to further protect the health of patients, providers and employees. Visit mariaparham.com to learn more.

As a reminder, if you are having a medical emergency, you should call 911 or go directly to the Emergency Room. If possible, tell the dispatch agent if your emergency involves symptoms possibly related to COVID-19.

Maria Parham Health

Town Talk 04/14/20: MPH CEO Discusses COVID-19 Testing, Lower Hospital Volume

THIS STORY IS PRESENTED IN PART BY DRAKE DENTISTRY

Bert Beard, CEO of Maria Parham Health (MPH), appeared on WIZS Town Talk Tuesday at 11 a.m.

Beard reported that MPH has tested 150 people for possible COVID-19 infection at this point, with 14 positive cases. Of those positive cases, Beard said a “handful” have been admitted for treatment.

“Anyone who is a rule out is treated like someone who is positive for it until we get a negative test,” said Beard. “Our ability to test and get quick results has improved vastly since the start of this six weeks ago.”

According to Beard, a new partnership with Mako Medical Laboratories, along with recently approved testing, has reduced turnaround time for results from several days to approximately 24-hours.

While Beard said MPH and its staff are well-prepared to handle a possible increase in patients, the hospital is currently experiencing a lull in numbers. “We are seeing a lot less volume currently at the hospital. I think people are rightfully concerned and aren’t coming in if they don’t have to.”

With Granville Vance Public Health announcing the first COVID-19 death in Vance County – a 72-year-old male with pre-existing health conditions who died Sunday – Beard said he couldn’t stress enough the importance of continuing to take safety precautions.

“Continue to observe stay at home orders from the governor and the president. Continue to observe good infection prevention practices – handwashing hygiene, no touching your face and social distancing. Be mindful of your interactions when you have to go out.”

To do its part in mitigating the spread of the virus, Beard said the hospital enacted a zero visitor policy with a few exceptions: pediatrics, end-of-life care and mother/baby.

Visitors and MPH employees are also currently required to enter the hospital through either the main or emergency entrance, where their temperature is checked with an infrared thermometer. Visitors are also given a cloth mask – many donated by members of the community – to help stop the spread of infection.

“I am hopeful that on the back-end of this, people will have, not a new-found, but re-found respect for our first responders and frontline healthcare workers,” Beard said. “It is wonderful to see the outpouring of support and love for these people; I hope that element is held in the wake of this event.”

To hear the interview with Beard in its entirety, go to WIZS.com and click on Town Talk.

Maria Parham Health Physician Practices Launch Telemedicine Services

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-Press Release, Maria Parham Health

Virtual visits connect patients and providers beyond the clinic setting. Maria Parham Health Physician Practices announced today that it has added telemedicine to its offerings. The announcement comes on the heels of the Trump administration’s unprecedented expansion of telehealth services.

“We are pleased to offer convenient telemedicine solutions to help connect patients and providers and ensure the continued delivery of high-quality care,” shared Iris Berry, Director of Physician Practices at Maria Parham Health. “As the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve, telehealth capabilities enable our clinical team to practice social distancing to further reduce the spread of illness while still meeting our patients’ health needs. We look forward to the many ways this new offering will further advance our mission of Making Communities Healthier.”

For patients who meet certain clinical criteria, Maria Parham Health Physician Practices are offering two types of telehealth visits: telephonic and televideo. A telephonic visit is simply a patient phone call with a provider, and a televideo visit is a virtual, face-to-face visit with a provider using a video conferencing service. Virtual visits may not be available in all cases and will be evaluated based on a patient’s specific clinical needs.

Patients can request a telehealth visit by calling their provider’s office, just as they would for an in-person visit. The provider will determine if a telehealth visit is appropriate based on the patient’s health condition. If the virtual visit is deemed clinically appropriate, the patient will be given an appointment time and instructions for the best way to connect given the available platforms. Then, instead of coming to the office, he or she would call back at the scheduled time and be “checked in” by a nurse or office manager, and then transferred to the provider for the call or two-way video.

A few restrictions on telephonic visits may apply, including that they cannot be utilized to treat patients for a condition that the patient has been seen for in the previous seven days, and they cannot be used to treat a condition that the patient is already coming in for within the next 24 hours.

Patients who are concerned they may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 are encouraged to consider telemedicine appointments to help further reduce the spread of respiratory illness. Leveraging telemedicine also conserves personal protective equipment (PPE) and other clinical resources that are needed when treating a patient with suspected COVID-19 in the clinic or hospital setting.

Maria Parham Health

Maria Parham CEO Asks Community to ‘Thank a Healthcare Hero’

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-By Bert Beard, Chief Executive Officer of Maria Parham Health  

As we continue to fight COVID-19, it has been so encouraging to see the outpouring of support from our community for Maria Parham Health. We have always striven to be a place where you choose to come for healthcare, and we take our responsibility as a community leader very seriously.

As our neighbors have come together to do everything possible to slow the spread of this vicious virus amid unprecedented challenges, we have never been more proud to be a part of this community. It is more important than ever that we all continue to take the important steps necessary to keep our community as safe and healthy as possible, including staying home as much as we can, practicing social distancing and following sound medical guidance.

Today, I would ask one more thing of our community, including myself: thank a healthcare hero.

Some moments ask more of us as a society, as a community and as individuals. Moments like those need heroes. From grocery store employees and delivery workers to educators teaching remotely and those keeping our infrastructure and essential services running, this current moment has no shortage of heroes. And that includes our heroes on the frontlines of this crisis – our healthcare workers.

Our healthcare workers are not only a cornerstone of our hospital’s mission of Making Communities Healthier, they are integral members of our community. They are moms and dads. Brothers and sisters. Friends and neighbors. And – today especially – they are heroes, fighting on the frontlines to provide compassionate, quality care when it’s needed most.

At Maria Parham Health, we honor all our providers and employees working hard to ensure a safe place of care and a healthier community for all of us. I hope you will join me and add your voice to the chorus of appreciation for our community’s healthcare heroes by posting your own message of thanks on your favorite social media, with the hashtag #ThankAHealthCareHero.

Let’s show our hometown heroes how much we appreciate their incredible and inspiring efforts to keep us safe.

And thank you again for supporting Maria Parham Health and trusting us with your care as we help guide our community through the COVID-19 situation as safely as possible. We will get through this together.

Maria Parham Health

Maria Parham Health Provides COVID-19 Policy Updates – March 17

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-Press Release, Maria Parham Health

As the situation regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve, so does our hospital’s response. In addition to measures we’ve taken including restricting visitors, closing common areas, and adhering diligently to North Carolina State Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, Maria Parham Health is taking more precautionary steps to help ensure the safety of our patients, employees and visitors.

Effective immediately, we will be limiting entry points to our facility, eliminating all visitor hours and screening everyone – employees, patients and the very limited permissible visitors currently allowed – who enters the building. The following provides additional detail about these safety measures:

  • Limited Entry Points: Until otherwise notified, everyone entering the facility should come through the Main Front Hospital entrance and the Emergency Department entrance. All other entry points will be closed until further notice.
  • Zero Visitor Policy: Maria Parham Health is eliminating all visitor hours, with the exception of the following:
  • One visitor for obstetrical patients
  • Two visitors for pediatric patients
  • One caregiver if necessary, for emergency department patients
    • No other visitors will be allowed at this time without approval from Administration. This includes outpatient treatment.
  • Screening Process: All patients, visitors and staff entering the facility will be screened with questions regarding respiratory symptoms and travel history, per CDC recommendations. Patients with symptoms will immediately be provided masks and managed per CDC guidelines. Based on the screening, visitors may also be asked to take their temperature, speak further with someone, or come back at a later date. Screening will occur upon every entry.

PLEASE NOTE, WE HAVE NOT LIMITED OR RESTRICTED SERVICES AT THIS TIME.

We know that these increased precautions may seem concerning. We do not want to cause alarm, but we do want to send a clear message to our community that we are prepared, responding appropriately and remain committed to protecting the well-being of our patients, visitors, employees and community.

These increased safety measures do NOT mean that you cannot access the hospital or your providers. Please seek medical care as needed. And if you are concerned you may be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, call your provider in advance of going to his or her office. Of course, if you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the emergency room.

Maria Parham Health values the trust our community places in us, and we appreciate your understanding as we shift our visitation policies during this time.

For details about our COVID-19 response, please visit mariaparham.com.

MPH Further Restricts Visitation, Limits the Number of Open Entrances

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-Information courtesy Maria Parham Health

Maria Parham Health is committed to providing the highest quality care and ensuring the safety of our patients, employees, providers, volunteers and visitors. We are continuing to monitor the evolving situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19) and are taking the necessary steps to ensure we are fully prepared to care for patients, in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and in partnership with our local and state health departments.

In keeping with our commitment to public safety and security, we are implementing the following policies, effective immediately:

Maria Parham Health is eliminating all visitor hours, with the exception of the following:

• One visitor for obstetrical patients
• Two visitors for pediatric patients
• One caregiver if necessary, for emergency department patients

No other visitors will be allowed at this time without approval from Administration. This includes outpatient treatment.

Effective Tuesday, March 17, we are limiting the number of open entrances at the hospital to include the emergency department entrance, the front entrance, and the cancer center entrance. The emergency department entrance will be open 24 hours per day. The front entrance will remain open from 6 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily.

At our Franklin facility, the emergency department and 20-bed behavioral health entrances will be open.

Staff will screen and log all staff, providers, and visitors at the designated entrances.

Please note, we have not limited or restricted services at this time.

These measures are in place to protect our facility and our community. Please know that our providers and clinical teams are well-trained and prepared to manage outbreaks of infectious diseases, including COVID-19, seasonal flu and other respiratory illnesses.

Please be reassured that our number one priority is the health and well-being of our community – and that includes you. We are prepared to manage an outbreak of respiratory illness, and we encourage you to follow the guidance above and stay tuned to updates from the CDC to help protect you and your loved ones. Keeping our community healthy is a community effort, and we are committed to doing everything we can to keep our community healthy today and for generations to come.

For more information and to stay abreast of the latest updates on COVID-19, you can visit https://www.mariaparham.com/coronavirus-covid-19-preparedne… and www.cdc.gov.

Maria Parham Health

COVID-19: What Maria Parham Health is Doing and What You Can Do

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-Press Release, Maria Parham Health

It probably feels as if coronavirus – or as it is officially known, COVID-19 – is all anyone is talking about these days.

As COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses like the seasonal flu continue to spread across the U.S., you also may feel a certain level of concern over how this disease could affect you or your loved ones, or if your local healthcare provider is prepared to respond to any local cases that may arise. That’s certainly understandable and natural. We want to provide you with essential information outlining what we are doing to stay prepared and offer you guidance on what you can do to help protect yourself, your family and our community.

What we are doing

Maria Parham Health is committed to providing the highest quality care and ensuring the safety of our patients, employees, providers, volunteers and visitors at all times. While COVID-19 is new, effectively responding to other infectious diseases is not. We have tested processes and plans in place to respond to situations involving infectious disease year-round. Here is what we are doing to stay ready and effectively respond to COVID-19:

  • We continue to work closely with the Vance County Health Department/North Carolina Health Department and follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure that we are prepared with appropriate plans to detect, protect and respond should anyone in our community contract or be exposed to COVID-19.
  • We have a robust emergency operations plan in place and are reviewing and proactively completing a number of preparation checklists out of an abundance of caution.
  • We have hand hygiene products easily accessible throughout our facility.
  • We are screening patients in our emergency department, inpatient units and outpatient clinics based on CDC guidance.
  • Staff treating a potential COVID-19 case are provided with all appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to help prevent exposure.
  • Patients with respiratory or COVID-19-related symptoms are immediately provided masks to wear to help prevent exposure to others.
  • In the event that we identify a potential COVID-19 case, we will follow all CDC guidelines for placing that individual in isolation for their care and for the protection of other patients, employees and visitors.
  • We have implemented visitor restrictions at our facility as follows:
  1. Only one visitor per patient at all times:  Limiting the number of visitors per patient will help control the spread of the illness
  2. Children under 12 not allowed on hospital visits:  Since children are more likely to get sick and spread the flu, our staff will only allow children under 12 to visit patients in special cases.
  3. Visitor Check-in/Check-out:  All visitors will be required to check in and check out when visiting patients at Maria Parham Health until further notice. Please sign-in/sign-out with the appropriate staff at point of entry.

These measures are in place to protect our facility and our community. Please know that our providers and clinical teams are well-trained and prepared to manage outbreaks of infectious diseases, including COVID-19, seasonal flu and other respiratory illnesses.

What you can do

It’s easy to feel helpless when faced with a barrage of news reports and social media updates regarding COVID-19. The good news is that there are some key steps you can take to help protect you and your loved ones and help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19:

  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Staying home when you are sick
  • Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces, including your phone, computer, remote controls and doorknobs
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • Using an alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not readily available (Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty)
  • Practicing social distancing behaviors, including working from home, avoiding public gatherings and unnecessary travel, and maintaining a distance of approximately six feet from others when possible.

What to do if you are experiencing symptoms

First and foremost – if you are having a medical emergency, you should call 911 or go directly to the Emergency Room. If possible, notify the dispatch agent that your emergency involves symptoms possibly related to COVID-19.

For non-emergency needs, if you need medical attention due to respiratory illness symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) and plan to visit our hospital, your primary care provider or an urgent clinic, please call ahead before you go and let them know that you are experiencing symptoms that may possibly be related to COVID-19. This will allow providers to properly prepare for your visit and take the necessary precautions to keep others from being infected or exposed.

Please be reassured that our number one priority is the health and well-being of our community – and that includes you. We are prepared to manage an outbreak of respiratory illness, and we encourage you to follow the guidance above and stay tuned to updates from the CDC to help protect you and your loved ones. Keeping our community healthy is a community effort, and we are committed to doing everything we can to keep our community healthy today and for generations to come.

For more information and to stay abreast of the latest updates on COVID-19, you can visit https://www.mariaparham.com/coronavirus-covid-19-preparedness-information and www.cdc.gov