March 25, 2020
UTICA, N.Y. – Today, Wednesday, March 25, 2020, Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) President/CEO Darlene Stromstad, FACHE, and Chief Physician Executive Kent Hall, MD, provided an update on the Coronavirus/COVID-19 situation at MVHS.
In response to the mandate from Governor Andrew Cuomo to stop all elective procedures, MVHS has temporarily suspended services in the following areas:
- Sleep Center
- Cardiac Rehab
The following areas remain open but services are limited:
- Pulmonary Function Testing
- Medical Imaging
- Surgical Services
St. Elizabeth, St. Luke’s and Faxton Campus draw stations are closed to public until further notice but the laboratory for processing samples is still open. The Upstate Cerebral Palsy Laboratory Patient Service Center is also closed to the public. For a full list of lab locations open to the public, please click here.
In an effort to combat the spread of coronavirus/COVID-19, the MVHS Medical Group is consolidating offices and will begin providing over-the-phone consultations and video consultations. Patients looking for appointments should still call their primary care provider’s office and they will be directed to the appropriate person to schedule an appointment. The MVHS Medical Group will do its best to connect patients with their primary care provider, but this may not be possible all the time. Patients will be scheduled for an over-the-phone consultation, a video consultation (to begin next week) or a face-to-face visit depending on the needs of the patient.
MVHS is actively preparing for a surge in patient volumes and has developed a surge plan, as required by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). This plan, submitted to the NYSDOH yesterday, outlines how MVHS will surge St. Luke’s to 100 percent of its current census and St. Elizabeth to 75 percent of its current census. This surge will add a total of 314 additional beds to the system. The plan outlines the use of each clinical unit in the health system in various stages of surge (green, yellow, red and black) and the staffing plan associated with those units.
In conjunction with the surge plan, a staff training plan is being developed and will be finalized early next week. This plan will outline the reallocation of staff from areas whose services are being suspended at this time.
Part of the surge plan is the recruitment of physicians, nurses and other healthcare specialists, such as respiratory therapists who have either retired in the past few years or moved to other facilities in the community. Anyone in these areas looking to have their name added to the MVHS list of staffing resources, can call 315-624-5607.
As was previously released, MVHS responded to Governor Cuomo’s mandate that all nonessential staff not come to work by implementing a 30-day work force plan to provide employees with authorized personnel leave. The goal of this plan is to keep people whole financially by letting them use paid time off and extended sick leave banks as well as keeping their health insurance. This was done while also protecting the resources of MVHS.
Along with the rest of the nation, MVHS is in need of PPE supplies. And the community has made their willingness to help known. For that reason, MVHS is asking those who are looking to help to make cloth masks that can be used by those not providing direct patient care. Sewing instructions can be found on the MVHS website here: https://mvhealthsystem.org/coronavirus. Those looking to make a donation should call 315-624-5574 and more information will be provided.
For updates related to the coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak, visit https://mvhealthsystem.org/coronavirus.
VP, Communications and Marketing