NEW ORLEANS, April 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As COVID-19 continues to test our nations' healthcare infrastructure, providers and facilities are pushing their agility and creativity. Heart of Hospice, the largest hospice in Louisiana, is working to help bridge the gap in the greater New Orleans area between need and capacity by partnering with East Jefferson Hospital and BridgePoint Continuing Care Hospital to open a temporary, Inpatient Unit (IPU) for hospice-eligible, COVID-19 positive patients and Persons Under Investigation (PUIs) who might be COVID-19 positive, but have not yet received confirmation.
The 15-bed IPU has been approved by the state to operate through June and is currently accepting patients. The unit is located inside of a dedicated, separated area of East Jefferson Hospital in Jefferson Parish and will be initially reserved for COVID-19 patients.
Nurses, chaplains, social workers, certified nursing assistants, and volunteers from across Heart of Hospice have volunteered to relocate and staff the unit, ensuring patients and their loved ones receive the specialized end-of-life care they need and deserve. The unit is also allowing visitors so that the mental health of patients and their loved ones does not suffer. All visitors will be provided with personal protective equipment prior to entry.
Carla Davis, Chief Executive Officer, shares: "The IPU helps fulfill our vision of transforming end-of-life care in our communities by allowing us to care for hospice-eligible, COVID-19 positive patients and PUIs in a safe, comfortable place. Our talented and dedicated care teams, along with the support from our parent company Evening Post Industries and the CARES Act, make Heart of Hospice uniquely equipped to serve these patients who desperately need us, helping to ensure they maintain dignity and support."
Patients that prefer to be discharged home rather than remain in the IPU will still have the option to receive Heart of Hospice services with care delivery in the comfort of their own home.
Dr. Sonali Wilborn, Chief Medical Officer, contributes: "We know that this is our time to provide care to vulnerable patients and families when it matters most, regardless of barriers that might stand in the way. We are confident that we have the resources required to keep our teams, as well as our patients' loved ones, as protected as possible while they provide care."
Hospice is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurances. Heart of Hospice accepts all eligible patients regardless of their ability to pay.
About Heart of Hospice
Our vision is to transform end-of-life care in the communities we serve. We currently provide care to 16 regions across Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and South Carolina. We believe all hospice eligible patients and those that love them deserve the best care at the end of life. Our mission is simple: to serve all patients and their loved ones the way they desire to be served.
SOURCE Heart of Hospice