Elderwood at Amherst again responds to surge in COVID-19 pandemic
With COVID-19 cases surging in Western New York, Elderwood has responded by establishing a COVID-only care center to provide an effective way to isolate and care for residents recovering from COVID-19 and mitigate the spread of the virus within other Elderwood senior care communities in Western New York.
As a COVID-only care center, the 92-bed Elderwood at Amherst facility will care for residents recovering from COVID-19 transferred from area Elderwood communities. This maximizes the effectiveness of isolation protocols in those senior care facilities, allows them to allocate staff more efficiently, and decompresses demand on subacute care beds in the region.
“This is an experienced staff with a deep understanding of the needs of COVID-19 patients,” said Paul Shields, DO, medical director for Elderwood at Amherst and vice president for post-acute care at General Physician, PC. Between March and July this year, Elderwood at Amherst cared for more than 100 patients in a special 22-bed unit designated for COVID-19 patients and achieved exceptional outcomes. The unit halted its COVID-only status and resumed serving subacute rehab patients as cases waned in late July.
Dramatic increases in COVID-19 cases and a heavily burdened healthcare workforce spurred Elderwood to expand on the lessons learned from the success of its original COVID-19 unit strategy early in the pandemic.
“With the healthcare workforce already stretched, a designated COVID-only care center enables us to deploy clinical and support personnel more efficiently,” said Jeffrey Rubin, DMD, Co-CEO for Elderwood.
Current residents who have never tested positive for COVID-19 will be safely transferred to nearby Elderwood skilled nursing facilities. Two units will be established as COVID-only in the first phase with the facility’s third unit added as demand indicates. “We have a great team working on the transfer process and will make the move seamless and safe for our residents,” said Angela Hauser, administrator. “We know our residents will be in great hands and their families will be fully informed throughout the process.”
Anticipating the need for additional staff, Elderwood at Amherst is currently recruiting for clinical and non-clinical positions, all of which are eligible for premium compensation. Applications are being accepted at elderwoodcareers.com.