Kaleida Health today released the following updates regarding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic:

KALEIDA HEALTH UPDATES ON COVID-19
by Michael P. Hughes, MBA, Senior Vice President, Chief of Staff, Kaleida Health

May 13

FREE TRAUMA THERAPY FOR FRONTLINE WORKERS – Kaleida Health and CWA Local 1168 have teamed up to offer a new mental health resource to employees on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. A team of licensed trauma therapists, The Western New York Trauma Recovery Network Association, is now providing pro bono Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy via telehealth to healthcare workers and first responders who have been impacted by COVID-19.

EMDR therapy is widely considered an effective and efficient treatment for trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is also a suggested primary treatment option by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs & Department of Defense, World Health Organization (WHO) and International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

Frontline workers who are interested will receive up to 10 free psychotherapy sessions by licensed psychotherapists trained in EMDR.

To request services, visit https://wnytrn.com/request-services

MEDICALLY SPEAKING CORONAVIRUS EDITION – Darcy Craven, president at DeGraff Memorial and Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospitals, shares what the two hospitals have had to face to date in response to COVID-19. He explains the facilities’ surge plans created to accommodate an increased patient load and thanks the staff for their tremendous efforts during this crisis.

See interview here: https://www.kaleidahealth.org/medically-speaking/.

May 10

DOULAS AT KALEIDA HEALTH HOSPITALS OFFER MOMS ADDITIONAL SUPPORT – Effective immediately, Kaleida Health will allow doulas back into Oishei Children’s Hospital and Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital as an additional support person for laboring moms.

Governor Andrew Cuomo recently accepted recommendations from the New York State COVID-19 Maternity Task Force that doulas are an essential part of the support care team and should be allowed to accompany a pregnant woman during labor and delivery as an additional support person, as medically appropriate.

Doulas will be required to follow all temperature screening and personal protective equipment (PPE) protocols to protect our healthcare workers and patients.

“Allowing doulas will be a great support to our laboring moms – especially those from the Buffalo immigrant and refugee communities,” said Cassie Church, MSN, NEA-BC, RNC-NIC, chief nursing officer at Oishei Children’s Hospital.

CHINESE CLUB OF WNY DONATES MEALS FOR FRONTLINE STAFF – As part of the Chinese American Food of Love Day – a nationwide effort to help people in need to commemorate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – the Chinese Club of Western New York today delivered meals to support frontline staff at Kaleida Health.

The Chinese Club of WNY previously donated 13,000 surgical masks to Kaleida Health.

STATEMENT ON COVID-19 HOTSPOT FUNDING – Kaleida Health today released the following statement regarding the COVID-19 hotspot funding for local hospitals as announced by Congressman Bran Higgins.

“Since the pandemic hit, Congressman Higgins has been relentless in his pursuit to help the hospitals here in our community,” said Jody Lomeo, President and CEO, Kaleida Health. “While we have been rightly focused on taking care of our patients and keeping our employees safe, these much-needed dollars will help us rebuild the financial health of our organization which has been battered by COVID-19.  We are grateful for his leadership and thank the entire New York State congressional delegation for ensuring hotspot funding for Western New York.”

May 9, 2020

ANTIBODY TESTING OPEN TO GENERAL PUBLIC – Kaleida Health is now offering COVID-19 antibody tests to anyone in the Western New York community.

“Offering community-wide antibody testing will continue to help provide important information about who has had COVID-19,” said Jody Lomeo, president and CEO, Kaleida Health. “From a public health standpoint, that’s important. We are doing all that we can to expand testing and ensuring access in the community for anyone who wants or needs to get tested.”

The Kaleida Health Laboratories are antibody testing at locations in Buffalo, Cheektowaga, North Tonawanda and Orchard Park.

Appointments can be made online at www.kaleidahealth.org/antibodytesting or by calling the Kaleida Health Coronavirus Hotline at 716-859-3222 (open daily from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.).

Results will be available in 3-4 days in the Patient Portal on the MyKaleida mobile app. The link to the Patient Portal is in the “My Health” section.

For additional information visit: https://www.kaleidahealth.org/kyi/news/?i=14231

KALEIDA HEALTH RECEIVES 47,000 N95 MASKS FOR FRONTLINE STAFF – Kaleida Health continues to deliver on its promise to keep its workforce safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. This week the health system received a planned shipment of 47,000 N95 masks. This additional supply of masks – combined with social distancing, increased hand washing, universal masking, acquiring face shields, access restriction for visitors and vendors, mandatory temperature checks, access to telemedicine and work from home measures – will ensure Kaleida Health remains a healthy and safe workplace.

The organization has made a commitment to offer an N95 mask to any employee who requests it.

MEDICALLY SPEAKING CORONAVIRUS EDITION FEATURING CHRIS LANE – The President of Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute, Chris Lane, shares some of the challenges the hospital has faced in the past 60 days while continuing to put employee and patient safety first during the coronavirus crisis. Hear his message of pride and gratitude for nurses, physicians and all healthcare workers caring for patients. See full Medically Speaking interview here: https://www.kaleidahealth.org/medically-speaking/

BILLS PLAYER DION DAWKINS PAYS VIRTUAL VISIT TO PEDIATRIC PATIENT – Earlier this week, Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Dion Dawkins paid a virtual visit to Finley, a pediatric patient at Oishei Children’s Hospital. Dawkins watched as Finley opened gifts delivered by the hospital’s Child Life team, including a Bills-branded superhero cape, water bottle and pennant.

PEGULA SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT THANKS HEALTHCARE HEROES – Pegula Sports & Entertainment created a special public service announcement to thank the healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The video features several members of the Kaleida Health team. See video here: https://www.buffalobills.com/video/we-ve-got-this.

May 8, 2020

Jody Lomeo, President & CEO, Kaleida Health said, “Today we received official approval from the New York State Department of Health for the waiver applications to resume limited elective surgical cases at Oishei Children’s Hospital and Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital. We have also received confirmation that the waiver applications for the Buffalo General Medical Center and our two surgery centers are currently under review.

“I want to thank Governor Cuomo, Lieutenant Governor Hochul and the State Department of Health for their efforts and partnership on this most important issue.

“For more than six weeks now our physicians, nurses and staff have worked extremely hard battling COVID-19.  They have been relentless in providing the very best care for all of our patients. For them to hear news like this and see a hint of normalcy in the coming days and weeks validates all of their efforts.  I could not be happier for them and the patients that we serve.

“Moving forward, we will continue to work in collaboration with State and local officials to provide any assistance to our region’s reopening.”

In March, Kaleida Health, along with all hospitals and health systems in New York State, suspended non-emergency surgical cases and other elective procedures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The organization recently submitted waiver applications to the Department of Health for Oishei Children’s Hospital, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Buffalo General Medical Center, Southtowns Ambulatory Surgery Center as well as the Millard Fillmore Surgery Center as part of the Governor’s executive order 202.25, “Continuing Temporary Suspension and Modification of Laws Relating to the Disaster Emergency.”

May 7, 2020

Kaleida Health today announced that it has once again expanded its laboratory testing for COVID-19, adding anyone in the general public, who is interested or needs it, regardless if they are symptomatic or not.

The expanded testing by Kaleida Health is designed to accommodate anyone in the Western New York community who believes that they may have been exposed to or at risk for COVID-19.

In order to get tested for COVID-19, a lab order requisition (prescription) is required from the individual’s primary care provider/office.

Testing is done at three sites and results can be returned in about 48-72 hours.

Individuals can schedule a test by visiting https://www.kaleidahealth.org/coronavirus.

Important to note that individuals who are not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (asymptomatic) at the time of sample collection would not be subject to an Erie County Department of Health Isolation Order.

This is the seventh expansion for Kaleida Health and its labs for COVID-19 testing:

  1. Originally focused on symptomatic/critical patients and front line hospital workers at two central sites.
  2. Added hospital system employees from the Catholic Health System, the VA, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and ECMC as well as first responders from across Western New York.
  3. Added essential workers, as defined by New York State (transportation, hotels, food processing, child care services, auto repair, grocery stores, pharmacies, etc.).
  4. Expanded to community-wide testing, adding anyone in the general public who has been deemed symptomatic and has a prescription to obtain testing.
  5. Opened a third site, an East Side location (Leroy Coles Library on East Delevan Avenue ) in conjunction African American Health Disparities Task Force, Erie County, the City of Buffalo.
  6. The health system began offering voluntary antibody testing for COVID-19 to its 10,000+ employees.

For related questions, call Kaleida Health’s Coronavirus Hotline (716) 859-3222, which is open seven days a week from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

May 6, 2020

This is not a race! Elective Surgeries Will Come Soon

“More than six weeks ago, we suspended non-emergency surgical cases and other procedures due to the pandemic.  Throughout this time, we have been able to safely care for all patients plus accommodate all emergency and urgent operations.  “In addition to this, we also created significant surge capacity – most notably in our critical care units – added millions in personal protective equipment, expanded COVID-19 testing community-wide and implemented a best in class patient and employee safety plan.

“That said, there has been significant patient and employee hardship during this public health crisis. Knowing that we have capacity and can safely resume surgeries, we submitted waiver applications for Oishei Children’s Hospital, Buffalo General Medical Center, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Southtowns Ambulatory Surgery Center as well as the Millard Fillmore Surgery Center.

“These physician and nursing-led waiver plans meet all of the criteria needed to achieve the safe patient care model as outlined in the executive order 202.25 Continuing Temporary Suspension and Modification of Laws Relating to the Disaster Emergency.

“This is not a race. We have had numerous productive conversations with the State Department of Health this week about our waivers and we remain confident that we will be able to resume limited elective surgeries at our hospitals and surgery centers soon.”

April 29, 2020

Kaleida Health today announced that it has expanded hours for its COVID-19 testing site on the East Side of Buffalo. Opened last week (Thursday, April 23), it is located at the Leroy Coles Library on East Delevan Avenue. The site is now open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Those that are in need of a COVID-19 antigen test (symptomatic with fever >100, cough, shortness of breath), can call Kaleida Health’s hotline number to review their symptoms and be scheduled for a test over the phone. All individuals must have an appointment to receive a test as the clinic cannot accommodate unscheduled testing. Individuals can schedule a test by visiting https://www.kaleidahealth.org/coronavirus. They should have a prescription from their primary care provider to get tested if possible. Test results can be returned in about 48-72 hours through the ordering health care provider.

Kaleida Health’s COVID-19 testing clinic was opened in conjunction with the African American Health Disparities Task Force, County Executive Mark Poloncarz, Erie County Department of Health, Erie County Legislature Chairwoman April Baskin, Mayor Byron Brown, City of Buffalo and the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library. The Leroy Coles Library is located in zip code 14215, which currently has the highest number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Erie County.

For related questions, you can call Kaleida Health’s Coronavirus Hotline (716) 859-3222, which is open seven days a week from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

April 22.

Kaleida Health today released the following updates regarding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic:

TEMPORARY FURLOUGH PROGRAM – In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and related financial challenges that it is facing, Kaleida Health announced it will begin offering a temporary voluntary furlough program for its staff, effective April 26.

The program is part of a joint agreement with 1199SEIU and CWA1168, which represent over 8,000 Kaleida Health employees and aims to address areas across the organization that have been impacted by the coronavirus crisis (elimination of elective surgeries, clinic reductions, etc). It does not include COVID-19 areas or Kaleida Health’s long- term care services.

See full announcement here: https://www.kaleidahealth.org/kyi/news/?i=14099

MEDICALLY SPEAKING CORONAVIRUS SPECIAL EDITION FEATURING MELISSA DESANTIS, MD  It’s important for the community to know that emergency rooms are open and safely treating those experiencing all medical issues, not just those with COVID-19 symptoms.

Melissa DeSantis, MD, an Emergency Room physician at DeGraff Memorial Hospital, explains some of the added precautions being taken to protect all patients and staff during this public health crisis. This includes phone and video visits for emergency rooms across the Kaleida Health system.

See link here: https://www.kaleidahealth.org/medically-speaking/

KALEIDA HEALTH CORONAVIRUS STATISTICS AS OF 1:00 P.M. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22, 2020:

BUFFALO GENERAL MEDICAL CENTER

Inpatients: 55 confirmed cases currently in-house (28 in ICU, 27 in medical unit)

30 in-house that are under investigation

129 additional patients were tested but are negative

MILLARD FILLMORE SUBURBAN HOSPITAL

Inpatients: 27 confirmed cases currently in-house (5 in ICU, 22 in medical unit)

12 in-house that are under investigation

60 additional patients were tested but are negative

DEGRAFF MEMORIAL HOSPITAL

0 confirmed case currently in-house

1 in-house that are under investigation

0 additional patients were tested but are negative

OISHEI CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

Inpatients: 0 confirmed case currently in-house (0 in ICU, 0 in medical unit)

4 in-house that are under investigation

25 additional patients were tested but are negative

KALEIDA HEALTH HOSPITALS (TOTAL)

Inpatients: 82 confirmed case currently in-house (36 in ICU, 43 in medical unit)

68 in-house that are under investigation

214 additional patients were tested but are negative

HIGHPOINTE ON MICHIGAN

0 confirmed case currently in-house

0 in-house that are under investigation

15 additional patients were tested but are negative

DEGRAFF SNF

0 confirmed case currently in-house

0 in-house that are under investigation

4 additional patients were tested but are negative

April 21.

BUFFALO, N.Y (April 21, 2020) – Kaleida Health today released the following updates regarding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic:

STATEMENT REGARDING GOVERNOR CUOMO’S PLAN ON ELECTIVE SURGERIES – Kaleida Health today released the following statement regarding Governor Cuomo’s announcement about resuming elective surgeries in some parts of New York State:

Jody Lomeo, president and CEO of Kaleida Health, said, “Governor Cuomo is taking a proactive approach and outlining a process to safely open upstate New York. We applaud him for this and look forward to working with his team, Lt. Governor Hochul and the State Department of Health in the coming days and weeks. In particular, we are eager to learn more about the policy regarding safely resuming hospital operations including elective surgeries.”

MEDICALLY SPEAKING CORONAVIRUS EDITION – Critical care nurses from DeGraff Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department, Caitlin Kijowski, RN, and Gina Pennell, RN, share their perspective on the battle against coronavirus. Both discuss how they cope with the challenges front line healthcare workers face during this particularly challenging time.

See interview here: https://www.kaleidahealth.org/medically-speaking/.

April 20.

KALEIDA HEALTH LABS EXPAND TESTING AGAIN

OPENS TESTING TO COMMUNITY-WIDE FOR THOSE SYMPTOMATIC

 BUFFALO, N.Y (April 20, 2020) – Kaleida Health today announced that it has once again expanded its laboratory testing capability for COVID-19, adding anyone in the general public who has been deemed symptomatic by their primary care doctor and have received a prescription to obtain testing.

Those that are in need of a coronavirus test (symptomatic with fever >100, cough, shortness of breath), can visit the Kaleida Health website (Kaleidahealth.org) and answer a series of screening questions.

Important to note that, in order to get tested, a lab order requisition (prescription) is required from the individual’s primary care provider/office. Testing is done at two central sites and results can be returned in about 48 hours.

Working together with the Erie County Department of Health, this is the fourth expansion of testing for Kaleida Health’s labs, as they first focused on symptomatic/critical patients and front line hospital workers.  Next, the organization added fellow hospital system employees from the Catholic Health System, the VA, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and ECMC as well as first responders from across Western New York.

Late last week, the Kaleida Health labs, headquartered on Flint Road in Williamsville, added essential workers to their testing platform.

In addition to this diagnostic antigen testing that the Laboratories are currently offering, Kaleida Health has also received the coveted antibody test kits from Abbott Inc. that are currently undergoing validation.  The test is a serology test and can be a critical next step in battling this virus.

The utility for these tests is still being determined by State and Federal agencies. Once that guidance is published by the government regulators, Kaleida Health is well positioned and will begin offering this test to the appropriate sub groups/populations.

Since March 16, the Kaleida Health Laboratories team has analyzed nearly 4,000 COVID-19 tests. In mid-March, dozens of tests a day were analyzed, but now, the labs have the capacity to process nearly 500 tests a day.

For testing questions, the Kaleida Health Coronavirus Hotline remains open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. at (716) 859-3222 or visit www.kaleidahealth.org.

Medically Speaking Coronavirus Special Edition Featuring Keith Hoerth

Keith Hoerth, VP Kaleida Health Laboratories, joins us on Medically Speaking to explain the lab’s testing capabilities pertaining to coronavirus and kick off National Laboratory Professionals Week by thanking the entire lab team for their hard work and dedication.

See link here: https://www.kaleidahealth.org/medically-speaking/

April 19.
Kaleida Health today released the following updates regarding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic:

FIRST RESPONDERS SURPRISE MILLARD SUBURBAN STAFF WITH PARADE –  First responders from the Amherst area surprised staff at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital Saturday night with a parade of firetrucks, rescue vehicles and ambulances as a way to show their support for their local healthcare team fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The East Amherst Fire Department coordinated the parade and several other groups joined. The event was captured live on Millard Fillmore Suburban’s Facebook page. See here: First Responder Parade 

FOUNDATIONS OF KALEIDA AND COMMUNITY PARTNERS PROVIDE 30,000 MEALS – The Foundations of Kaleida Health have coordinated over 30,000 meals across the Kaleida Health system in recent weeks. Each Kaleida Health hospital, testing site and Visiting Nursing Association of WNY location has received a meal in appreciation for their hard work and dedication. Many meals were sponsored by the Foundations of Kaleida Health themselves, with others donated from local restaurants, community organizations and individuals.

Last week’s meal partners include:

  • Lorenzo & Manjanique Alexander
  • Angelo’s Pastries
  • Balanced Body Foods
  • Billy Club
  • Brick Oven Bistro & Deli
  • Buffalo Building Trades
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Chiavetta’s BBQ Take Out
  • Dessert deli Bakery
  • DiBella’s Subs
  • Duff’s Famous Wings
  • Eat Rite Foods
  • Fresh Catch Poke Co.
  • Girl Scouts of Western New York
  • Galbani
  • Jim’s Steakout
  • Joe’s Deli Buffalo NY
  • Kung Fu Tea
  • La Nova Pizzeria
  • Larosa NY Pizza
  • Lawley Services
  • LE3 INC
  • Lime House Restaurant & Bar
  • Park CountryClub
  • Personal Food Touch Service, Inc.
  • Pita Gourmet
  • Pizza Amore “The Wood Fire Way
  • Rachel’s Mediterranean
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC)
  • Squeeze Juicery
  • The Eastern Pearl Restaurant
  • The 11 Day Power Play
  • Toasted by Buffalo Beauty Foodie
  • WNY Feeds the Frontline

Partners looking to sponsor or facilitate meals should contact Amanda Dzielski at adzielski@kaleidahealth.org or Julie Stefaniak at jstefaniak@kaleidahealth.org.

KALEIDA HEALTH CORONAVIRUS STATISTICS AS OF 1:00 P.M. APRIL 19, 2020:

BUFFALO GENERAL MEDICAL CENTER
Inpatients: 46 confirmed cases currently in-house
23 in-house that are under investigation
111 additional patients were tested but are negative

MILLARD FILLMORE SUBURBAN HOSPITAL
Inpatients: 23 confirmed cases currently in-house
20 in-house that are under investigation
48 additional patients were tested but are negative

DEGRAFF MEMORIAL HOSPITAL
0 confirmed case currently in-house
0 in-house that are under investigation
0 additional patients were tested but are negative

OISHEI CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL
Inpatients: 1 confirmed cases currently in-house
8 in-house that are under investigation
19 additional patients were tested but are negative

HIGHPOINTE ON MICHIGAN
Inpatient: 1 confirmed case currently in-house
0 in-house that are under investigation
6 additional patients were tested but are negative

DEGRAFF SNF
Inpatient: 0 confirmed case currently in-house
0 in-house that are under investigation
1 additional patients were tested but are negative

April 17.

KALEIDA LABS EXPAND TESTING, ADDING ESSENTIAL WORKERS – Kaleida Health today announced that it has expanded its laboratory testing capability for COVID-19 to include essential workers.

Essential workers, as defined by New York State, who are symptomatic (fever > 100, cough, and shortness of breath) and in need of a COVID-19 test can visit the Kaleida Health website (https://www.kaleidahealth.org/coronavirus/#testing) and answer a series of screening questions to determine eligibility. A prescription for testing is required and all testing takes place at two central sites with results returned in about 48 hours.

See more at https://www.kaleidahealth.org/kyi/news/?i=14053

MEDICALLY SPEAKING CORONAVIRUS EDITION – Telemedicine has quickly become an important tool for physicians to communicate and treat all patients with medical needs, not just those with coronavirus symptoms.

Thomas Hughes, MD, chief medical officer of Optimum Physician Alliance (OPA), discusses how incorporating this tool has allowed physician offices to increase patient engagement and improve efficiency and flexibility in scheduling to meet their patients’ needs.

See interview here: https://www.kaleidahealth.org/medically-speaking/.

CORONAVIRUS STATISTICS AS OF 1:00 P.M. FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 2020:

BUFFALO GENERAL MEDICAL CENTER

Inpatients: 47 confirmed cases currently in-house (25 in ICU, 22 in medical unit)

19 in-house that are under investigation

116 additional patients were tested but are negative

MILLARD FILLMORE SUBURBAN HOSPITAL

Inpatients: 32 confirmed cases currently in-house (12 in ICU, 20 in medical unit)

8 in-house that are under investigation

52 additional patients were tested but are negative

DEGRAFF MEMORIAL HOSPITAL

Inpatient: 0 confirmed case currently in-house

0 in-house that are under investigation

0 additional patients were tested but are negative

OISHEI CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

Inpatient: 0 confirmed case currently in-house

5 in-house that are under investigation

20 additional patients were tested but are negative

HIGHPOINTE ON MICHIGAN

Inpatient: 1 confirmed case currently in-house

1 in-house that are under investigation

10 additional patients were tested but are negative

DEGRAFF SNF

Inpatient: 0 confirmed case currently in-house

0 in-house that are under investigation

4 additional patients were tested but are negative

April 14

COMMUNITY CONTINUES TO GENEROUSLY DONATE PPE – In a continued effort to keep our workforce safe and healthy, Kaleida Health’s purchasing and supply chain teams have been relentless in reaching out to vendors and business partners to secure additional equipment, supplies and PPE for staff, providers, patients and visitors.

Over the past few days, more of our community neighbors came through with donations to Kaleida Health including:

  • Ariella Sharf
    3,500 surgical masks
  • Fidelis Care
    1,000 surgical masks

MEDICALLY SPEAKING CORONAVIRUS EDITION – Vijay Iyer, MD, Medical Director of Cardiology, Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute, discusses why those with heart disease and underlying cardiac conditions are at increased risk of complications with coronavirus, and why it’s very important that they follow social distancing recommendations. See interview here: www.kaleidahealth.org/medically-speaking.

REMINDER ON KALEIDA HEALTH’S TELEHEALTH PLATFORM – Kaleida Health’s telehealth platform provides remote emergency room visits and consultations for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients across Western New York. The telehealth technology seamlessly integrates with the care teams’ existing workflows and allows providers to continue safely delivering high-quality care amid social-distancing efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.

Here’s how it works:

  • Individuals with questions or possible symptoms of COVID-19 or minor clinical conditions should schedule a Telehealth Video Visit here: https://kaleida-health.inquicker.com/facility/kaleida-emergency-telemedicine
  • Upon appointment confirmation, a care team member contacts the individual by phone to complete registration and general assessment. Depending on the individual’s symptoms and care needs, an on-site visit may be required at the discretion of the care team.
  • Prior to the appointment time, patient receives link by email/text message which directs them to a secure video conference line, accessible on a smartphone, laptop or tablet.
  • Emergency room provider consults with patient to assess symptoms, provide recommendations and prescribe medications.

April 11

KALEIDA HEALTH CELEBRATES EASTER WITH NEWBORNS

This Easter, Kaleida Health is celebrating with new parents at Oishei Children’s Hospital who are enjoying their newborns just in time for the holiday. Despite the current COVID-19 pandemic, Kaleida Health shares why the hospital is still the safest place to deliver a baby.

Experts from Oishei Children’s Hospital answered some frequently asked questions related to safe pregnancy and delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Q: Is it safe to have a baby at the hospital during COVID-19?
  • A: Yes, it is still safe to have a baby at the hospital during COVID-19. The team at Oishei Children’s Hospital (OCH) has taken extra precautions to keep everyone safe including:

o    Enhanced cleaning and workflow protocols

o    Reduced visitation for Emergency Department and inpatient units

  • Allowing for one (1) support person during delivery only

o    Universal masking throughout the hospital for all staff and visitors

o    Entrance and Exit precautions:

  • Parents & newborn can be escorted directly through exit to parking garage
  • If street exit is preferred, parents and newborn will be escorted to a separate exit from the point of entry for the general public
  • Q: Should I consider changing my plans about having baby at home vs. hospital?
  • A: The hospital continues to be the safest place to birth a baby
  • Q: What steps has the hospital taken?
  • A: The Oishei Children’s Hospital team has put a number of steps into place to keep mom, newborn and support partner safe:

o    As always, hospitals have the highest trained professionals to oversee the birth experience – on the patient’s terms but with safety and quality in mind

o    Though OCH have a lot of options and equipment available, it may not need to be used if a natural delivery is possible

o    OCH has a full team for moms to work with including physicians, nurses, midwifes and lactation consultants all in one place!

Q: What steps to take to keep myself and baby safe during pregnancy?

  • A: Pregnant women have not been seen to be at any higher risk to contract COVID-19 than the rest of the general population. Therefore, following the same physical and social distancing guidelines and hand hygiene will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 during pregnancy. Also, maintaining all prenatal appointments and care with an OB/GYN is important to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy.
  • Q: What steps can new parents take to keep baby safe when you get home?
  • A: Though the birth of a new baby usually brings many visitors, the best way to keep your newborn safe is to not allow any in-person visitors at this time including grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins or anyone not living within the newborn’s household.

o    New parents can introduce their newborn to family through virtual visits with Skype, FaceTime and social media

Additionally, if you must leave the house for essentials, be sure to follow the current guidelines to protect yourself from the spread of the virus including:

o    Wear a mask while in public

o    Practice physical distancing while in public

o    Do not touch your face

o    Practice proper hand hygiene

If parents protect themselves, they are shielding everyone else in the household

As a reminder, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH), at-risk or symptomatic patients should first contact their primary care provider, urgent care clinic or local emergency room before leaving their homes to seek care. For more information about the telehealth platform, visit www.kaleidahealth.org to set up a virtual visit.

MEDICALLY SPEAKING CORONAVIRUS EDITION – Dennis Kuo, MD, Medical Director of Primary Care Clinics at Oishei Children’s Hospital, discusses the telehealth capabilities the clinics have adopted to remain open for patients. The technology, established to encourage safe social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, allows patients to meet with their pediatricians virtually using a videoconferencing app, or they can create a phone appointment. See interview here: https://vimeo.com/406523041.

KALEIDA HEALTH LABS EXPAND TESTING FOR FRONTLINE – Acknowledging that COVID-19 testing continues to be an extraordinarily limited resource, Kaleida Health announced on Friday that it has expanded its testing capability to include other healthcare workers and first responders.

This includes testing Catholic Health, Roswell Park and Veteran’s Hospital employees plus Buffalo Fire Department and Buffalo Police Department personnel as well paramedics/EMTs from AMR Ambulance, Twin City and volunteer fire/EMS companies.

Those who are symptomatic or who believe they need to be tested should call the Erie County Coronavirus Hotline, (716) 858-2929.

April 10

FLAGS AT HALF-MAST TO HONOR THOSE LOST TO COVID-19 – To honor those who have died from COVID-19, Kaleida Health has lowered all hospital flags to fly at half-mast. (See photo attached)

In a message to Kaleida Health employees today, Jody Lomeo, President and CEO of Kaleida Health said, “As we join together as a community to fight this virus, it is important to remember that every person who lost their battle with COVID-19 was someone’s loved one. These are our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, friends, and neighbors.

“Thank you to our entire care team for the work you are doing to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and minimize the tragic impact it could have on our community. May these lowered flags remind you and the entire community of the courageous and life-saving work you are doing every day.”

KALEIDA HEALTH LABS EXPAND TESTING FOR FRONTLINE – Acknowledging that COVID-19 testing continues to be an extraordinarily limited resource, Kaleida Health has expanded its testing capability to include other healthcare workers and first responders.

This includes testing Catholic Health, Roswell Park and Veteran’s Hospital employees plus Buffalo Fire Department and Buffalo Police Department personnel as well paramedics/EMTs from AMR Ambulance, Twin City and volunteer fire/EMS companies. Those who are symptomatic or who believe they need to be tested should call the Erie County Coronavirus Hotline, (716) 858-2929.

To date, the Kaleida Health Laboratories have completed over 2,400 tests.

MEDICALLY SPEAKING CORONAVIRUS EDITION – Michael Mineo, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Millard Fillmore Suburban and DeGraff Memorial Hospitals, describes the staff’s practice and preparation that lead to a seamless response to increased numbers of patients with the coronavirus in the ICU, Emergency Department and other areas of the hospital. He commends the entire team for their willingness to “step up” during this difficult time. See interview here: https://www.kaleidahealth.org/medically-speaking/.

April 9

FACE SHIELD CARE AND DISINFECTION PROCESS – As the coronavirus crisis continues to put a strain on the global supply chain for personal protective equipment and supplies, Kaleida Health is continually reevaluating and sourcing products from traditionally non-medical companies (i.e. Bauer Hockey, Ford Motor Company, etc.) to keep our workforce safe and healthy.

While many of these supplemental items (i.e. face shields worn in conjunction with N95 masks) do not have formal recommendations from the manufacturer for cleaning and disinfection, Kaleida Health has adopted appropriate recommendations from the CDC.

Kaleida Health created an instructional video to aid health care workers inside the organization and across the community on how to properly clean face shields. See link here: https://www.kaleidahealth.org/video/player/?v=405974781.

GOO GOO DOLLS’ ROBBY TAKAC TO HOST LIVESTREAM TO BENEFIT KALEIDA HEALTH COVID-19 RESPONSE FUND – The Goo Goo Dolls’ Robby Takac announced he will host an acoustic livestream event on Saturday, April 11 at 3:45 EST.

A donation of any amount will grant viewers access to the live event and all proceeds will benefit the Kaleida Health Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund. Donations support the critical needs of the healthcare workforce as they continue to care for the Western New York community during this unprecedented public health crisis.

See donation and event page here: https://www.stageit.com/robby_takac_of_the_goo_goo_dolls/an_acoustic_stumble_86_thru_the_great_quarantine_of_2020_to_benefit_kaleida_health/76463

MEDICALLY SPEAKING CORONAVIRUS EDITION – Today, Mona Bonanno, MD, Medical Director of Pediatrics, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, shares some of the best preventative measures new and expecting parents can follow to protect their newborn during the coronavirus pandemic.  see interview here: https://www.kaleidahealth.org/medically-speaking/.

April 8

TENTS SET UP OUTSIDE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENTS – To ensure hospitals are as prepared as possible for the potential of a future surge of COVID-19 patients, tents have been set up outside the Emergency Departments (ED) at Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute and Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital (see photo). Oishei Children’s Hospital also has a tent ready to be set up if and when the need arises.

In the event of ED volume surges, tents will be used to triage patients at the ED entrance. At Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute, the current ED waiting area would be turned into a treatment space. The tents will be fully functional, with electricity, heat and workstations on wheels, and will be fully staffed, as needed.

WE ARE STILL HERE FOR YOU: HEALTHCARE DURING PANDEMIC – With all the focus on the current COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of fear and anxiety has taken hold. Much of that is related to our daily healthcare needs.

For Example: Will I still be able to get my prescriptions? Do I keep my wellness exam? Do I need to stock up on over-the-counter medications? If I have an emergency, is it safe to go to the emergency department?r example:

Kaleida Health spoke with Thomas Hughes, MD, chief medical officer for Optimum Physician Alliance, about what you need to know.  See here – https://www.kaleidahealth.org/kyi/news/?i=13972

MEDICALLY SPEAKING CORONAVIRUS EDITION – Today, David Pierce, MD, FACEP, Chief Medical Officer, Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute, provides front line details regarding the tremendous amount of continued around-the-clock preparation, communication and collaboration taking place amongst the healthcare teams to care for our patients. See interview here: https://www.kaleidahealth.org/medically-speaking/.

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE) AND SUPPLY DONATIONS FROM ERIE, NIAGARA COUNTIES – As Kaleida Health’s purchasing and supply chain teams continue to reach out to every possible vendor and business partner to secure additional equipment, supplies and PPE to protect staff, providers, patients and visitors, several community organizations have come through with donations to Kaleida Health, including:

  • Erie County Emergency Services
    32 gallons hand sanitizer
  • Niagara County Emergency Services
    8 gallons hand sanitizer
    50 coveralls
    400 face shield

KALEIDA HEALTH CONTINUES TO RECEIVE PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)  DONATIONS –In a continued effort to keep our workforce safe and healthy, Kaleida Health’s purchasing and supply chain teams have been relentless in reaching out to vendors and business partners to secure additional equipment, supplies and PPE for staff, providers, patients and visitors.

Over the past few days, more of our community neighbors came through with donations to Kaleida Health including: 

  • Chinese Club of WNY
    13,000 surgical masks
  • The Goodness Project
    3,500 isolation gowns
    4,000 gloves
    Full protective suits
  • Pine Pharmacy
    150 bottles of hand sanitizer with plans to donate more in the coming weeks
    6 bottles of saccharin solution for N95 fit testing with plans to donate more in the coming weeks

MEDICALLY SPEAKING CORONAVIRUS EDITION – Today, John Sellick, Jr., DO, MS, Medical Director of Infection Control, Kaleida Health, shares some of the science behind coronavirus and explains why practicing social distancing and good hand hygiene are vital in reducing the spread of the virus. See interview here:https://www.kaleidahealth.org/medically-speaking/.

April 4 –

MEDICALLY SPEAKING CORONAVIRUS EDITION – John Tomaszewski, MD, Chief of Service, Kaleida Health Laboratories, provides an update on the innovative work being done locally to increase COVID-19 testing capabilities. The Laboratories have completed over 1,300 tests to date.  They are currently completing testing for Kaleida Health’s patients (who are deemed critical) plus healthcare workers from Kaleida Health, ECMC and Catholic Health System. See interview here: https://www.kaleidahealth.org/medically-speaking/.

PLEXIGLASS DIVIDER INSTALLATION – Kaleida Health continues to take extra precautions to protect its staff, patients and visitors from COVID-19. Plexiglass dividers have been installed in hospital emergency departments, labor & delivery units and food service locations across the organization. In addition to enhanced cleaning protocols, the transparent partitions, designed to block virus-containing droplets, offer an extra level of protection for staff as well as patients and visitors. (See photos attached).

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE) DONATIONS – In a continued effort to keep its workforce safe and healthy, Kaleida Health’s purchasing and supply chain teams have been relentless in reaching out to every possible vendor and business partner to secure additional equipment, supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff, providers, patients and visitors. Over the past week, Kaleida Health received donations of PPE from the following local partners:

  • Erie County Emergency Services – 2,040 N95 masks in various sizes
  • Ford Motor Company Stamping Plant – 6,000 face shields (See photo attached)
  • D’Youville College – 8,800 pairs of gloves

STATEMENT ON GOVERNOR CUOMO ORDER – Kaleida Health released a statement Friday opposing Governor Cuomo’s executive order involving the transfer or “loaning 20%” of personal protective equipment and medical supplies like ventilators to downstate hospitals. See link here: https://www.kaleidahealth.org/kyi/news/?i=13943.

JOSH ALLEN DONATES TO RESPONSE FUND: Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen committed to match the next $10,000 in donations to Kaleida Health’s COVID-19 Response Fund. Donations to the COVID-19 Response Fund can be made at kaleidahealth.org/donate. This personal donation is just one of the ways Allen has supported the organization in the last two years, including a recent video message he sent to Kaleida Health staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.