Hospice of Southern Illinois makes headway to help protect against and combat the COVID-19 virus. To date, our staff is fully immunized! Thank you to the local health departments and healthcare workers who’ve worked tirelessly to distribute vaccinations for a safer tomorrow. We are proud to be part of the solution.
Hospice of Southern Illinois’ employees have begun receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. We are committed to our patients, families, healthcare facilities and community’s safety. Our healthcare team is educated on the importance and role of the COVID-19 vaccine. Our caregivers play a critical role in caring for individuals at the end of their lives. We continue to do so, through the Pandemic, as we have for the past 40 years. Our protocols align with the CDC guidelines so we can continue protecting others and following our mission, to enhance the quality of life for individuals and their loved ones touched by a terminal illness.
Here we are, 8 months into our 3 week quarantine that started in March of 2020. It’s important for everyone to be informed and what to expect going forward.
We have come a long way in treatment since the discovery of the virus. There have been a number of existing medications that have theorized benefit in treating COVID-19, specifically, corticosteroids. Additionally, there is a brand new medication, Veklury ®, which has recently been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for patients > 12 years old who require hospitalization.
Many companies are currently developing a vaccine and, as I am sure most of you have seen, some of them have had issues leading to the trials being paused while investigations have happened. In September, 9 separate pharmaceutical companies signed an agreement stating they would not submit anything for approval until clinical trials are completed and they know that the product is safe. Moderna, one such company, is in a phase 3 trial (large scale trial to look at how well the medication works and determine side effects) which could be approved by end of year 2020. Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson, AstraZeneca, and Novavax all have additional phase 3 trials underway. The other companies likely would not release a vaccine until early to mid-2021 pending FDA approval after trial completion. (New York Times 2020).
Where can I find more information about COVID-19?
- Health and quarantine recommendations: www.CDC.gov
- Medication, test, and vaccine approvals: www.FDA.gov
Contributing Writer: Timothy Cruz, Pharm D, PGY-2 Pharmacy Resident
Rising to the Challenges Together
August 3, 2020 – During these uncertain times, Hospice of Southern Illinois is still here as we always have been. We are the ones behind the masks. Our team is here to support you through these uncharted waters. COVID-19 has greatly changed the landscape of healthcare. Adaptation is on the forefront. One goal remains, ensuring that your comfort, peace and dignity remain intact during the end-of-life journey. We will rise to the challenges that are ahead. And, we will continue to do what we do best, enhancing the quality of life for people touched by a life-limiting illness.
The pandemic has shaped how clinicians offer support and compassion. However, it doesn’t change the philosophy of our care. A person’s quality-of-life matters more now than ever before because of the additional barriers people are experiencing. Hospice of Southern Illinois is leading the way. You and your family can count on us. We will help you plan for the future. The circle of care will provide support and relief you didn’t even know was possible. Count on our experience to show the love and compassion every person deserves through the end-of-life.
The mission of Hospice of Southern Illinois is to enhance the quality of life for individuals and their loved ones touched by a terminal illness. We stand behind our mission as we make changes and grow to better serve those who need us. Not all hospices are the same. Ask for Hospice of Southern Illinois by name. www.hospice.org/ourcare
COVID-19 Update from our Medical Director, Dr. Ellen Middendorf
June 17, 2020
Telehealth services added! If there is anything we can do regarding end-of-life care, grief support or community engagement, please let us know.
March 18, 2020
To Those We Serve:
As an organization dedicated to providing exceptional care to the communities we serve, our uncompromising priority right now at Hospice of Southern Illinois is protecting those in our care and our team members from exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19). We know that our patient population is among those at high risk to the effects of this virus and we understand that our patients and families may have fears and concerns.
Our team is strictly following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Illinois Department of Public Health:
- We currently have the hand hygiene, disinfectant, and personal protective equipment supplies that we need.
- We are adhering to changing clinical protocols at long term care facilities/assisted livings and hospitals.
- We are educating patients and families receiving care in their homes.
We regularly care for patients with infectious diseases and we do have robust infection control protocols already in place for COVID-19 (Coronavirus). We are dedicated to providing the best care possible for you and your family and at the same time protecting the health of our employees, volunteers, care partners and the communities we serve.
We are in constant communication with the State of Illinois Health Department, our local health departments, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and the CDC about best practices to reduce the spread of the virus.
Below are actions the CDC and our local health departments are asking we practice every day to ensure we all stay as healthy as possible and prevent the disease from spreading:
- The main symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, difficulty breathing, and coughing. Alert your healthcare team if you experience these symptoms.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom, before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick or those exposed to the virus.
- Avoid touching your, eyes, nose and mouth.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Cover your mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect all frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes.
- Follow the CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask. The CDC does not recommend people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Remain calm and stay informed.
CDC information website is https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
It is our commitment to keep our communities as healthy as possible and slow down the spread of the virus.