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Oswego Health Assists Skilled Nursing Facilities with Their Preparedness of COVID-19

Corporate news | Monday, April 20, 2020

Contact: Jamie Leszczynski

Caring for the community is part of Oswego Health’s mission and this is true even beyond the level of care provided in their facilities. Associate Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Micheal Stephens has been communicating regularly with all skilled nursing facilities throughout Oswego County to offer support and guidance during this pandemic to ensure their staff and residents are safe.

“We feel that as the largest healthcare system in Oswego County, we need to offer support to other providers and facilities and work together in order to fight this virus and protect our community,” stated Dr. Micheal Stephens, AAFP. “Oswego Health is fortunate to have the trained professionals that were at the forefront of this pandemic.”

Skilled nursing facilities are limited in their resources and many do not have the ability to fit test their staff with N95 masks. This could impact their level of care should they have a resident who has coronavirus, as N95 masks protect against infection when used appropriately with other personal protective equipment. Proper fit testing ensures the respirator seals effectively.

On April 6th, Dr. Stephens sent each skilled nursing facility in the county a letter offering fit testing of N95 masks by Oswego Health’s Employee Health Department. Since receiving the letter, St. Luke Health Services and others have taken advantage of the offering and had employees properly fit tested.

“We are appreciative of all of the work our community partners like Oswego Health are doing during these difficult times,” said Terrence Gorman, CEO and Administrator of St. Luke Health Services. “The expertise Oswego Health is lending to ensure our staff has properly fitted protective equipment they need is critical to protecting healthcare workers on the front lines of this pandemic.”