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  • doctor examining long hauler patient

    Memorial Healthcare System Expands its Covid-19 Long Haulers Clinic to Community at Large Beginning September 1

    Memorial Healthcare System (MHS) is expanding its Memorial Primary Care Long Haulers Clinic to treat community members who are suffering from COVID-19 long-term symptoms. The clinic, which opened in May 2021, originally treated only patients within the Memorial Primary Care group, but had set a goal of expanding care to the entire community this summer.

    As COVID-19 case numbers soar, there is an increasing need to treat long-haulers – those individuals who are experiencing long-term symptoms, also known as Post Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC). Since Memorial’s long hauler clinic opened in May, 115 patients have been treated and this number is expected to climb exponentially.

    “We are seeing people in our community suffering, and a Memorial multidisciplinary team has come together to make sure these lasting side effects are addressed, so our patients are able to resume life in a post-pandemic era,” says Melida Akiti, vice president of Memorial’s Ambulatory Program and Community Services. “As a healthcare system, we are continuously finding ways to invest resources to help impact the lives of those in our community.”

    Smart Snippet: Video
    Datasource: Claudia's long hauler story      

    A study from the University of Washington published in February found that 32.7% of COVID-19 outpatients developed long-haul symptoms and 31.3% of hospitalized patients became long haulers. Symptoms frequently persist among patients who are relatively young and were never hospitalized. Symptoms include, but are not limited to:

    • Shortness of breath
    • PTSD
    • Blood clots
    • Headaches
    • Brain fog
    • Heart issues

    “We know that symptoms are not always uncovered through diagnostic testing or imaging, and some people are suffering and feeling unheard,” says Jennifer Goldman, DO, board certified family physician and chief of Memorial Primary Care. “Our goal is to create a patient-centric process that is guided by our primary care team and offers access to the specialty groups, tied together with a patient care navigator, to ensure their cases are moving forward in hopes of a positive outcome and return to normalcy.”

    Memorial’s multidisciplinary team of medical experts overseeing its Primary Care Long Haulers Clinic includes specialists in the following areas:

    Community members with lasting effects from COVID-19 are encouraged to participate in a screening process by calling 954-276-4340. If eligible for care, they can then make an appointment to be seen at the clinic located at Memorial Primary Care’s Silver Lakes at 17786 SW 2nd Street, Pembroke Pines, FL 33029.

    Depending on patients’ individual insurance plans, treatment may or may not be covered. Broward County residents who are underinsured may qualify to be covered by a grant from Broward County.

  • latanya getting covid19 vaccine

    Memorial Healthcare System Mandates COVID-19 Vaccination For All Employees

    Memorial Healthcare System is strongly encouraging its employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19, and is providing incentives to motivate the approximately 39% of its workforce that has to date not done so.

    The Hollywood-based provider, which operates six hospitals and numerous care facilities in South Florida, has set a deadline of October 1, 2021 for current employees and new hires to get one of the three, widely-available vaccines. While it stops short of terminating those who refuse the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson product, those employees will be required to abide by additional safety precautions that govern masking and meeting attendance to protect fellow caregivers from possible exposure to COVID-19’s highly contagious Delta variant.

    “With this mandate, we are joining leading healthcare organizations in the U.S., including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Medical Association, American Nursing Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, and more than 1,500 hospitals that support mandatory vaccination,” said Memorial Healthcare System President and CEO Aurelio M. Fernandez, III, FACHE. “It’s the only way to overcome COVID-19 and resume a safe and normal way of life.”

    In an effort to ensure 100% participation, Memorial will award a $150 recognition bonus to employees that are fully vaccinated by October 1. Additionally, each staffer is eligible to receive another $100 if the team they are part of is 85% vaccinated by the deadline. Those with medical or religious reasons may be exempt from vaccination, but would still have to comply with the stricter requirements for the unvaccinated that include wearing a mask at all times on Memorial property, virtual meeting attendance, and strict restriction from eating in indoor, public spaces at healthcare facilities.

    The vaccination mandate comes amid the latest surge of COVID cases at Memorial hospitals, with close to 700 patients, and statistics that show nearly all those in COVID units nationwide are unvaccinated. “This fourth and most dangerous COVID-19 surge was entirely preventable and, looking ahead, we can halt this pandemic if everyone in our communities gets vaccinated,” said Dr. Marc Napp, chief medical officer for Memorial Healthcare System.

    In correspondence to employees explaining the vaccination mandate, Memorial mentions that more than 4.5 billion doses have been administered worldwide after extensive testing in clinical trials. All three of the vaccine products have proven to be effective at preventing coronavirus-associated illness, hospitalization, and death. While there have been a limited number of “breakthrough” infections among the fully-vaccinated, those individuals usually experience significantly milder cases and avoid hospitalization. “If you have not yet been vaccinated, I urge you to do it right away for your own well-being, that of your loved ones, and our patients,” said Fernandez.

  • seal childrens surgery verification center

    Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Receives Highest Surgical Verification from the American College of Surgeons

    What makes surgery at a pediatric hospital top-notch? According to the American College of Surgeons, it is a commitment to quality care, appropriately and highly trained staff, participation in cutting-edge research, and leadership from surgeons who review the services’ surgical outcomes throughout the year. That commitment extends to meeting every child’s individual surgical needs with a care environment that offers optimal pediatric resources.

    Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital personifies this commitment and was recently designated Level I Children’s Surgery Verification from the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Children’s Surgery Verification (CSV) Program. That is ACS’s highest designation provided to a surgical center for its excellence in delivering care and continuous improvement to enhancing the structure, process and patient outcomes. As part of this designation, the hospital also participates in a national surgery registry where best practices are shared with other programs.

    “Achieving Level I speaks to the caliber of the surgical team at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital and attests to our capability for meeting the most complex surgical needs of our pediatric community,” said Jill Whitehouse, MD, vice-chief, Pediatric General Surgery, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. “It also demonstrates our team’s passion for excellence and our dedication to safety and quality that extends to every patient we touch.”

    Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital is one of only two in the state with Level I verification, and joins an elite list of 33 hospitals nationwide with this honor. The CSV program is based on other nationally recognized American College of Surgeons quality improvement programs that have measurably improved surgical quality and have prevented complications, reduced costs and saved lives. CSV standards ensure that children facing surgery receive care under a multidisciplinary program with quality improvement and safety processes, data collection, and appropriate resources provided to them as patients at the hospital.

    Smart Snippet: Video
    Datasource: ACS Children's Surgery Verification      


    “This is an amazing achievement from our surgical team, a well-deserved recognition for the hospital and a major benefit to our community,” said Caitlin Stella, CEO, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.

    The ACS CSV program was developed to improve the quality of children’s surgical care by creating a system that allows for a prospective match of every child’s individual surgical needs with a care environment that has optimal pediatric resources. Verified centers must meet criteria outlined in the standards document, Optimal Resources for Children’s Surgical Care 2015.

    After submitting an application, centers seeking verification undergo an extensive site visit by an ACS team of surveyors. The surveyor teams consist of experienced children’s surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nurses who review the center's structure, process, and clinical outcomes data. The current Optimal Resources for Children’s Surgical Care manual drives the application and is used as a guideline in conducting the survey.