While doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals are rightfully and deservingly being lauded as heroes during the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s another set of less likely saviors facing the coronavirus frontlines every day. That’s our Homecare/Hospice nurses and therapists, along with Home Health Aides who are helping both those recovering from the Coronavirus and others with serious medical conditions. “It’s a delicate balance trying to keep our staff safe and keep our patients healthy and out of the hospital,” said Elaine Fluet, President and CEO of Care Central VNA & Hospice (formerly GVNA HealthCare/VNA of Southern Worcester County/Auburn Visiting Nurses). “I am continually in awe of our staff who have stepped up in this fight and continue to advocate for our patients recovering at home,” said Fluet.
“Our staff are strictly following the CDC guidelines to ensure their safety as they enter into homes they have never been in and that have the potential of exposing them to the virus,” she said. “Yet, they continue to be dedicated and passionate about serving this vulnerable population that rely on outside services to remain independent in the community—which is a double edge sword as it also increases their risk of several touchpoints throughout a week,” added Fluet. “We, like our healthcare partners, are seeking PPE equipment as we gear up to care for COVID 19 patients (in the 98 communities we serve) when they begin discharging in large numbers from our hospitals,” she added. “I am committed and will work tirelessly to make sure they have the PPE equipment they need to safely care for these patients,” she said.
Fluet noted that an example of just how dedicated the staff of Care Central VNA & Hospice are, we have two clinicians, Jared & Lindsay Robie, who have gone to the extreme of moving their young children out of their house to a relative’s house for their safety. “This was in preparation for the inevitable task of caring for COVID 19 patients after they have tested positive for the virus and are recovering at home or when they are released from hospital care,” said Fluet. “This decision to protect their family and continue to provide this high-risk care was not taken lightly, as you can imagine this decision was made with great sacrifice to their family life,” she said. “The Robie’s felt that this is a critical time in our healthcare system and that they needed to take their position on the frontline, as this was what they chose this profession for and it was time for them to step up,” Fluet added. Fluet shared that the Robie’s have been enjoying dinner with their children by sitting on the deck and having them in view while talking and catching up through a window. “I know that this has been hard on the Robie’s and their children not to be with each other every day and I hope they know how much admiration, respect and thankfulness I have for their dedication to our agency and our patients,” said Fluet.
“This is just one of the many stories that is happening in the Home Health industry as we work shoulder to shoulder with our healthcare partners to combat this pandemic” said Fluet. Fluet noted that she has been in the Home Health industry for the past 43 years and it has been a challenge to educate the community on the importance of Home Health services and what we, as an industry, do every day in the homes and neighborhood of the communities we serve. “It’s finally coming into the spotlight the vital role Home Health plays in the wellness of the community and the continuum of care as people are discharged from inpatient settings,” said Fluet. “Our nurses, therapists and home health aides work tirelessly every day of the year and manage patients with complex medical diagnoses in the comfort and security of their homes,” she said. “I am proud to do this work and of the staff that make up the Care Central VNA & Hospice team,” she added.
For anyone who would like to donate PPE equipment or additional homemade masks, please contact Care Central VNA & Hospice at 978-632-1230 or 508-943-0612.