Category: Home Care Hero

Home Care Hero Kate Enyan

Kate Enyan is a #HomeCareHero. Read her story. 

KATE ENYAN

Getting to the COVID-19 recovery phase is a team effort, and this is especially so when patients and staff alike are directly impacted by illness.

One such patient, Mrs. G, suffered a deep vein thrombosis on March 18 and was hospitalized for three days at the height of the pandemic. Following hospitalization, she came home on blood thinners to avoid future clotting and happily returned to the care of her aides. (Mrs. G has received aide care 12 hours a day since coming to Americare Certified Special Services following a severe stroke in 2013.) A few days later, it was reported that Mrs. G had symptoms mirroring COVID-19.

Americare's RN team called the daughter and the MD and a plan was put into place: to monitor the patient and keep her at home as long as possible.

Soon after, in a scenario that has been repeated throughout this crisis, the two aides caring for Mrs. G, one by one, called Americare's RN team to also report symptoms, requiring the caregivers to go into quarantine.

In an effort to continue providing care, Americare's Service Coordination Team reached out to Kate Enyan who accepted Mrs. G's case, knowing that the patient suffered from COVID-19 and needed assistance.

Kate provided exceptional care to Mrs. G, who is 100 percent recuperated; and both of her longstanding aides, Bertha Reyes and Argentina Prado, have also fully recuperated and are back at work!

Do you have a #HomeCareHero to recognize? Complete our online form here. We’ll post their story and picture on our website and social media. Please share on your social media accounts, too. 

Home Care Hero Lizbeth Velez Cruz

Lizbeth Velez Cruz is a #HomeCareHero. Read her story. 

Lizbeth Velez Cruz

During a time of crisis true leaders emerge and pave the way to the path of mitigation and eventual normalcy.

Since the Pandemic onslaught in early March 2020, Americare Certified Special Services had a number of leaders who revealed their mettle at the frontlines in the form of Americare's field nurses.

The pandemic blindsided and changed everything imaginable: the way we work, communicate, socialize, eat, and live. One constant remained: the way we take care of our patients in the community.

One such brave, dedicated, selfless nurse is Lizbeth Velez Cruz. "Liz is our LEADER in initiating home care services for all the COVID-19 patients in Queens," writes Bridget Gallagher, Vice President at Americare. "She pioneered the way we service these patients in all other boroughs and simply paved the way for the rest of our field staff by her magnificent example. We are truly grateful to have such Leaders here at Americare CSS."

Do you have a #HomeCareHero to recognize? Complete our online form here. We’ll post their story and picture on our website and social media. Please share on your social media accounts, too. 

Home Care Hero Henry Hill, In Memoriam

Henry Hill is a #HomeCareHero. Read his story. 

Americarehero2

HENRY HILL
In Memoriam

As a home care provider in the initial COVID-19 hotspot of NYC, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester, Americare Certified Special Services quickly recognized that it was dealing with an emergency of unprecedented scale and timeframe.

Americare nurses, therapists, pharmacists, and home health aides are serving thousands of patients. They are joined by a team of clerical/support staff doing the foundation work that makes this care possible, including an Information Technology division that has been front-and-center in Americare's planning effort.

Americare needed to establish the capability for staff to work from home wherever possible, enhance existing telehealth programs with video capabilities for clinical visits, establish online screening and educational tools for use on laptops and cellphones, and reporting systems for timely updates to track symptoms, infections, and overall status.

Right in the middle of this IT fray was Henry Hill, Americare's Manager of Network Services.

As Americare established work-from-home procedures, Henry guided the IT team to ensure quality review RNs could access Americare's system while home health aides and field nurses could conference over Zoom or Microsoft Team when anxious patients in need of care were refusing visits.

A longstanding employee of Americare, Henry knew our IT systems in and out. But more importantly, he had an invaluable understanding of Americare's employees, their roles, and their IT capabilities.

Screening questions were blasted to Americare's entire field staff daily to ensure timely symptom reporting. Staff extensions were connected to cell phones so that patients calling Americare's lines were connected directly to the team they knew.

Not surprisingly, all these efforts required a massive amount of handholding. In the midst of it all, Henry guided the IT team to ensure that all staff not only had their problems resolved but, even from a distance, always felt supported by Americare.

Henry Hill and his IT team were able to accomplish the unimaginable for Americare. Americare was not only able to ensure all of its existing patients were serviced but it also admitted hundreds of COVID-19 positive patients in need of care. Accomplishing this level of technology implementation under enormous pressure and anxiety is a true testament to our IT team under Henry’s leadership.

Sadly, Henry Hill passed away of COVID-19 in April. Henry and the impact he had on Americare's team and patients will always be remembered and cherished.

Do you have a #HomeCareHero to recognize? Complete our online form here. We’ll post their story and picture on our website and social media. Please share on your social media accounts, too. 

Home Care Hero Eileen Baez

Eileen Baez is a #HomeCareHero. Read her story. 

EILEEN BAEZ

While the coronavirus pandemic has been a fearful and uncertain time for all of us, one Staten Island nurse, Eileen Baez, with The Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY), has played a vital role in the lives of her patients throughout the crisis with attentive care, education and perhaps the most overlooked tool of all: a smile.

Baez has been a nurse with VNSNY for more than 28 years and has seen firsthand the resilience of her New York colleagues and patients. During this unprecedented COVID-19 public health crisis, she has been helping patients as they recover and grow stronger after being discharged from hospitalization with COVID-19. Going the extra mile day in and day out, she helps quell the anxiety brought on by the pandemic with facts, compassion and highly skilled care.

Armed with VNSNY’s special COVID-19 care kits, she ensures the safety of her patients — and herself — as she makes her daily home-visit rounds.

Patient and family education is paramount as the crisis continues, and is always an integral part of home care.

“I like to do one-on-one teaching,” says Baez, “It’s one of the reasons I chose home care. In their homes, patients are very receptive and willing to ask questions, whether it’s about drinking water, doing their exercises or taking medications."

She adds: "With COVID-19 and a possible second wave on the horizon, we make sure all of our patients, and especially those in COVID-19 recovery, know about and are practicing precautions like wearing masks, hand-washing and social distancing."

VNSNY also makes sure they know what symptoms to watch for in case there’s a relapse or a family member is exposed outside the home. "There’s a lot of confusion and fear out there," Baez adds. "We work to calm people and make sure they stay safe.”

While in the field, Baez is also helping to educate the next generation of home care nurses.

With PPE and a smile, Baez has displayed the same kind of resilience she’s seen in her own patients, all while helping New York battle the COVID-19 crisis each day with care, optimism, humor and encouragement.

Do you have a #HomeCareHero to recognize? Complete our online form here. We’ll post their story and picture on our website and social media. Please share on your social media accounts, too. 

Home Care Hero Chris Curley

Chris Curley is a #HomeCareHero. Read his story. 

CHRIS CURLEY

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, it became clear that the ability to secure essential personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies was vital to keeping staff and patients safe.

The national PPE supply chain was broken, critical shortages were an everyday health care crisis, and UR Medicine Home Care's normal supply channels were sold out, with most products on backorder.

Fortunately, UR Medicine Home Care had a champion and hero, Chris Curley. He worked tirelessly to get the supplies needed, demonstrated calm, and helped employees feel confident that they would have the protective equipment they needed to do their job and to stay safe.

He made it look easy and kept stress levels down. In reality, every day was a race for him. He made countless phone calls to every connection he had in the city, county, and state. He networked with local manufacturers that had switched their product lines to produce PPE supplies and, as a result, he secured donations of face shields, masks, and hand sanitizer worth tens of thousands of dollars. He also traveled thousands of miles in his car picking up supplies and transporting them back to the agency.

Chris Curley, Safety and Security Manager, is a creative problem solver and an out-of-the-box thinker. Pre-COVID-19, he was in charge of emergency management and security for the agency. He quickly embraced the new responsibilities and demonstrated a passion and dedication to his fellow workers by keeping them safe while helping limit the negative financial impact of unbudgeted and in-demand PPE supplies.

Do you have a #HomeCareHero to recognize? Complete our online form here. We’ll post their story and picture on our website and social media. Please share on your social media accounts, too. 

Home Care Hero Sam Vanini

Sam Vanini is a #HomeCareHero. Read his story. 

SAM VANINI

Sam Vanini is a full time Physical therapist in the eastern region of Monroe County.

He has been in home health care for a few years and is a high achiever. He won Rochester Regional Lifetime Care's rookie home health care clinician of the year during his first year. He is extremely personable, hardworking, kind, and caring. Sam covers a busy case load.

During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lifetime Care supported the Rochester Regional Health system in many areas. When some clinicians were redeployed to assist other departments, including skilled nursing facilities, Sam stayed in home health care and absorbed multiple clinicians' caseloads. He ensured continuity of care for all of his patients and allowed a smooth transition for their care.

During recent months, Sam has worked with a few patients that were COVID-19-positive or under investigation as suspected of having the illness. He wore additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and carefully followed all infection control guidelines.

Sam is an excellent home care therapist. He has maintained a positive attitude as he has worked through the challenges of the pandemic, allowing Rochester Regional Lifetime Care to maintain caseloads and timely care during this challenging time by going above and beyond for home care patients.

Do you have a #HomeCareHero to recognize? Complete our online form here. We’ll post their story and picture on our website and social media. Please share on your social media accounts, too. 

Home Care Hero: PT Team at Peconic Bay Home Health Services

A team of physical therapists at Peconic Bay Home Health Care are #HomeCareHeroes. Read their story.

THE PT TEAM AT PBHS

Early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, Peconic Bay Home Health Services (PBHS) realized it needed to be a part of the solution to the fact that the coronavirus was negatively impacting the Hispanic and African-American communities in greater numbers.

The cancellation of elective surgeries in New York State allowed Peconic Bay’s Physical Therapy team to spring into action in a comprehensive Community Outreach Initiative. Backed by the Suffolk County Department of Health’s Office of Minority Affairs and Hudson River Healthcare, PBHS PTs began working at county COVID-19 testing sites, including at-risk communities of Brentwood, Coram/Gordon Heights, and Riverhead.

In total, PBHS PTs volunteered over 400 hours of community service at these sites during the height of the pandemic in April and May 2020. They met with people getting tested for COVID-19, gave out COVID-19 materials and PPE, and provided instructions on proper hand washing and strategies to minimize spread. They also volunteered at weekly food lines of the Lighthouse Mission. The team handed out surgical masks, hand sanitizer, and COVID-19 education materials in both English and Spanish to the community members who were in need. PBHS team members did similar efforts at St. John Church in Riverhead and The Faith Alive Ministries in Central Islip thanks to a partnership between Northwell Health and church leaders.

Rather than furloughing physical therapists and telling them to stay home, PBHS did the exact opposite. In response, these committed individuals rallied. They showed courage and heart.

Do you have a #HomeCareHero to recognize? Complete our online form here. We’ll post their story and picture on our website and social media. Please share on your social media accounts, too. 

Home Care Hero Lovencia Ciceron

Lovencia Ciceron is a #HomeCareHero. Read her story. 

LOVENCIA CICERON

Lovencia Ciceron, a Home Health Aide at Hamaspik HomeCare, continued to provide care for a patient with advanced dementia at an extraordinarily trying time. The patient and his family were both stricken with COVID-19, but Lovencia stayed on the case, providing care for him when no other aide would do so. Because of her, the patient received total care. She is a #HomeCareHero.

Do you have a #HomeCareHero to recognize? Complete our online form here. We’ll post their story and picture on our website and social media. Please share on your social media accounts, too.