Medina hospital prepares for influx of patients, while maintaining other services locally

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 11 April 2020 at 8:41 am

MEDINA – In light of the current coronavirus pandemic, Orleans Community Health is making changes which will enable Medina Memorial Hospital to accept patients, should that need arise.

“We are trying to ramp up in case we get an influx of patients,” said Cindy Perry, director of outreach, education and marketing at Community Partners for the hospital. “We are cross-training staff now.”

Already in effect, visitations to the hospital are forbidden, and lab testing is only being done at the Orleans Community Health Center in Albion. Some X-rays can also be performed in Albion, by appointment only, and in addition, they are offering Telehealth medicine in Albion. Albion is still seeing primary care patients, but people should call first, not just walk in.

In an emergency, X-rays and certain surgeries can be done at the hospital. MRIs continue to be done at the hospital, as the MRI unit is separate at the back of the hospital, near the business office, and patients do not need to enter the hospital for this service. They may make a reservation by calling 798-8054. There is reserved parking for MRI patients, who can also register there.

Perry said the hospital is working with the Health Department and Center for Disease Control and Prevention. They are taking applications for jobs to develop a pool of people, such as nurses, CNAs, physician assistants, lab technicians, maintenance personnel, housekeepers and security people in case the hospital gets inundated with patients.

In the meantime, hospital personnel are working with Rochester Regional Health, Medina’s affiliate health care system, to see if the best option would be accepting COVID-19 patients or an overflow of regular patients.

Heather Smith, director of the Orleans Community Health Foundation, said in a letter to community supporters that the events have thrown the hospital for a loop.

“We were in the midst of planning events and social gatherings, working on grant and foundation applications and meeting with corporate and private supporters, and then it all changed,” Smith said. ‘Events have been postponed and some have been canceled entirely. The focus of our funding applications is changed along with how we reach out to everyone in the community.

“We are in unprecedented times,” she continued. “Having to shift gears when we are moving full speed in one direction, then making a quick change down another path has been challenging. However, there has not been time to stop and ponder it. This new path is focused on fulfilling the immediate need of supplies for Orleans Community Health that are vital to the protection of our staff and patients. We are meeting this need with a tremendous amount of support from the local community.”

Smith said, at this point in time, more than 150 community members and businesses have donated supplies, safety equipment, comfort items, food and personal protective equipment. Yet, with all the supplies that have been donated, the hospital is still in need of purchasing additional medical grade N-95 masks and much needed and more efficient sterilization equipment.

“We are receiving information that this supply is becoming available for purchase and we need to secure orders now,” Smith said. “The financial impact of preparing for COVID-19 has yet to be realized, but one thing is for certain, it will be significant.”

In her letter Smith has asked those who are able to consider a donation to the hospital at this time.

“If there was ever a time to help us out, now would be it,” she said. “We will get through this – together while apart. We will adapt. We will learn lessons.”

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