Agnesian HealthCare is Here to Care for You
Thank you for all you are doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 throughout our communities. Your vigilance in adhering to social distancing and stay-at-home guidance has helped to slow the virus and keep everyone safe. We are proud to be a part of the communities we serve and are grateful for your trust and support.
We know you still need access to quality care during this time. You can get care safely at Agnesian HealthCare while keeping your children current on vaccines, having some elective procedures, using our telehealth services or seeking emergency care.
How Agnesian HealthCare Keeps You Safe
You can safely seek medical care and protect yourself from exposure to COVID-19. Agnesian HealthCare has extensive safety precautions and infection control measures in place at all our facilities to limit the risk of exposure and keep everyone safe. This includes:
- Screening/testing of all patients prior to their scheduled procedures
- Strict visitor policy to limit unnecessary traffic in our facilities
- Entrance screening for all employees, patients and visitors to our facilities
- Adherence to all CDC guidelines and protocols regarding appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for providers and staff
- Requiring all employees, patients and visitors to wear masks or other face coverings when they enter our facilities
- Enhanced cleaning/disinfection processes in our clinics, hospitals and surgery centers
- Plexiglass barriers at check-in and registration to ensure appropriate distancing
- Realigned waiting room seating to ensure appropriate physical distancing
- Discontinuation of public water fountains
Visitor Guidelines (as of August 27)
Visitors (18 years and older) may still be allowed in the following circumstances:
- End-of-life situations or extenuating circumstances, with permission of nursing leader.
- Women & Infants patients will be allowed one visitor, with permission of nursing leader.
- Patients in pediatric settings will be allowed one visitor, with permission of nursing leader.
If a visitor meets the above criteria, they will be asked to complete a health screening before being approved to visit.
Elective Procedures & Children's Vaccines
At Agnesian HealthCare, we know you and your loved ones still need access to high-quality health care services. Our hospitals, urgent care centers and provider offices remain open and ready to provide care if and when you need it. In many of our communities, we are resuming some elective surgeries and procedures, with an initial focus on patients who have delayed non-urgent but essential treatments. In addition, providers don’t want children to fall behind on vaccines and risk exposure to measles and other diseases.
Don't Delay Care: Telehealth & Emergency Care
For routine appointments, Agnesian HealthCare is offering telehealth visits where appropriate during which patients can meet with a provider about their health concerns from the comfort of their own home. Telehealth visits are an excellent option for a variety of conditions and follow-up visits, such as:
- Chronic illness and care management
- Radiation treatment management
- Post-surgical follow up
- Mental health issues
- Physical and occupational therapies
- Annual wellness visits
- Diabetes education
Call or find a provider to schedule a telehealth visit today. Click here to learn more.
In addition to offering telehealth services, Agnesian HealthCare is offering free virtual evaluations for COVID-19. More information is located here.
Not seeking care - particularly for chronic illnesses, and urgent or emergency conditions - could negatively impact your overall health and well-being. Patients should not be hesitant to contact their provider for any health care concerns or needs - or go to the hospital in emergency situations. We're here for you and ready to provide safe, high-quality care.
The COVID-19 pandemic is an evolving situation, and Agnesian HealthCare will continue to evaluate community safety and needs on an ongoing basis. Thank you to our communities, patients and visitors for their patience and understanding during this time.
Your Donations. Your Community.
How You Can Help During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Agnesian HealthCare has received hundreds of generous offers from companies and individuals wanting to donate supplies, personal protective equipment, homemade cloth face masks or money to help prepare the medical community for an expected increase in COVID-19 cases. We will direct donations to the areas of greatest need in the coming weeks.
Your generosity is deeply appreciated, particularly at times like this.
To serve you better, visit here.
Help Protect Our Courageous Caregivers
Make and donate homemade cloth masks
Agnesian HealthCare has been overwhelmed by acts of support for our caregivers from the communities we serve during this unprecedented time. We are now asking our communities to make and donate cloth face masks that will be used as additional protection for our caregivers and patients.
The CDC says the use of simple cloth face masks can slow the spread of COVID-19 and prevent people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.
More information about how to make cloth face masks can be found on the CDC web site.
Homemade Cloth Face Masks Should
- fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- be secured with ties or ear loops
- include multiple layers of fabric
- allow for breathing without restriction
- be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
With the help of our foundations, Agnesian HealthCare is accepting and making sure cloth face masks are getting where they are needed most in the communities we serve. For more information, call Jennifer Stephens at (920) 924-4662 or Jennifer.Stephens1@ssmhealth.com.
Is coronavirus brand new?
The answer is both yes and no. Actually, coronavirus is a type of virus that was first identified nearly 50 years ago. There are many types of viruses, but recently the virus associated with China is of concern because of the increase in numbers and associated deaths, initially within China. This virus is called the 2019 Novel Coronavirus or COVID 19 - novel meaning new.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
Symptoms for the coronavirus mimic those of other respiratory illnesses - mainly fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath.
How does coronavirus spread?
Viruses typically spread by respiratory droplets. This can occur by coughing or sneezing. The spread or transmission can occur within six feet of an infected person. While this applies to the common cold or influenza, the same principle applies to the COVID-19.
Who's at risk?
There is still a lot we don’t know about COVID-19. Many people experience mild illness from the virus, but it can be more severe for others, even resulting in death. Most of the severe cases involve older persons and those with underlying conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. The general American public is still considered to be at low risk.
What are the best ways to protect myself from this or any other respiratory virus?
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water. Use an alcohol-based hand cleaner if soap and water are not available.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a sleeve or a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth to prevent the spread of germs.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, especially if someone is sick.
- Stay home if you are sick.
What should I do if I think I have symptoms of COVID-19?
Call your doctor: If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your health care provider for medical advice. Calling ahead allows the health care provider’s office to take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed. For more information on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 if you are sick, visit the CDC web site for recommendations.
How do clinicians protect themselves?
Because this virus is new, health care workers are asked to protect themselves by wearing a mask when in contact with a patient suspected of having this type of virus. The patient is also placed in a negative pressure room (if available) or contained in a private room and must wear an isolation mask. These precautions are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) because this is a new virus and how the respiratory droplets spread is still being studied.
Could all of this information change next week or next month?
Yes. The information regarding the spread of the illness and how people get sick is constantly being updated because this is a new virus. The CDC is the best source of current information on coronavirus.
What should I know if I plan to travel overseas?
If you are traveling abroad, check the CDC web site often and be aware of travel restrictions.