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March 16, 2020

Attention Patients: Coronavirus Updates

Saltville Medical Center to Hold COVID-19 Drive Thru Testing on June 2, 2020: May 27, 2020

Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems is offering appointments to community members for Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing at the Saltville Medical Center’s drive-thru site.

Appointments are available on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Testing is not available on a walk-in basis. Insurance information will be collected at the time of the appointment scheduling and insurance will be billed for the test. For patients who do not have insurance, financial assistance is available to cover the cost of testing. The tests will be offered to the first 24 people who call and request testing. Depending on demand SVCHS may expand the testing available at future events.

We are excited to be able to assist our local health department’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 by increasing access to testing.” said Kristin Bresowar, MD, Medical Director at Southwest Virginia Community Health Centers. “Increased testing capacity is critical to being able to keep our community safe as our economy begins to reopen.”

Patients with appointments must travel in their personal vehicles to their appointments, Testing is done without patients leaving their vehicles. Testing results are available in three to five days.

Bresowar said. “It is crucial for everyone in our community to have access to testing to better protect themselves and their families at home.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 276-496-4492.

Saltville Medical Center to Hold COVID-19 Drive Thru Testing on May 26, 2020: May 21, 2020

Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems is offering appointments to community members for Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing at the Saltville Medical Center’s drive-thru site.

Appointments are available on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. This is to test for current virus infection and is not antibody testing. Testing is not available on a walk-in basis. Insurance information will be collected at the time of the appointment scheduling, and insurance will be billed for the test. For patients who do not have insurance, financial assistance is available to cover the cost of testing. The tests will be offered to the first 24 people who call and request testing. Depending on demand SVCHS may expand the testing available at future events.

“We are excited to be able to assist our local health department’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 by increasing access to testing.” said Kristin Bresowar, MD, Medical Director at Southwest Virginia Community Health Centers. “Increased testing capacity is critical to being able to keep our community safe as our economy begins to reopen.”

Patients with appointments must travel in their personal vehicles to their appointments, Testing is done without patients leaving their vehicles. Testing results are available in three to five days.

Bresowar said. “It is crucial for everyone in our community to have access to testing to better protect themselves and their families at home.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 276-496-4492.

Saltville Medical Center to Hold COVID-19 Drive Thru Testing: May 13, 2020

Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems is offering appointments to community members for Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing at the Saltville Medical Center’s drive-thru site.

Appointments are available on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Testing is not available on a walk-in basis. Insurance information will be collected at the time of the appointment scheduling and insurance will be billed for the test. For patients who do not have insurance, financial assistance is available to cover the cost of testing. The tests will be offered to the first 24 people who call and request testing. Depending on demand SVCHS may expand the testing available at future events.

“We are excited to be able to assist our local health department’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 by increasing access to testing.” said Kristin Bresowar, MD, Medical Director at Southwest Virginia Community Health Centers. “Increased testing capacity is critical to being able to keep our community safe as our economy begins to reopen.”

Patients with appointments must travel in their personal vehicles to their appointments, Testing is done without patients leaving their vehicles. Testing results are available in three to five days.

Bresowar said. “It is crucial for everyone in our community to have access to testing to better protect themselves and their families at home.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 276-496-4492.

Statement from Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems about COVID-19 Preparedness and Safety: April 28, 2020, 3:22 p.m.

Dear Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems Patient,

We know that you all are thinking about safety during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. I am writing today not to alarm you, but to put you more at ease in knowing the steps we are taking at Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems to keep you safe and healthy. We are following procedures recommended by the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health. While the number of cases in the U.S. continues to climb, we want to lessen some of your fears by sharing our preparedness efforts and how you can help to protect yourself, your family, and the community.

As always, our medical providers will be thoroughly washing hands before each patient, but will also have hand sanitizer for additional use in each room. We will be thoroughly cleaning the rooms between each patient and using disinfectants to reduce risk of exposure. Medical providers and all others staff will be checking themselves for fever or symptoms and will take time away as warranted.

All four of our community health centers are open to serve you and your families during this time. We have made some changes to our hours at the Saltville Medical Center, which will be closed on Saturdays until further notice.

There are new measures we are now putting into place to minimize patient risk because we have patients of all ages and levels of immunity, we are choosing to use the utmost precaution to make sure you are not exposed when you visit.

One of these precautions are the use of telemedicine at the discretion of your medical provider. Telemedicine allows you receive a virtual visit from your provider in the comfort of your own home. This is set into place to be able to let you stay at home, while also receiving quality medical care.

Anyone who does enter any of our facilities, including New Day Recovery and Southwest Virginia Regional Dental Center, will be triaged. This process includes a temperature check and questions to ensure that you are not a risk to any of our other patients. We encourage patients to bring their own mask if they have one due to current personal protective gear shortages nationwide. Otherwise, all patients will receive a mask to wear.

For anyone who is experiencing any type of Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, we are allowing drive-up testing to reduce any type of spread into the health center. The patient will remain in their car the whole time, while a healthcare provider administers the test. The healthcare provider will be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) to administer this test.

Thank you in advance for your understanding and patience as we navigate implementing best practices during this time. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns. Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems are fully committed to providing you with safe, excellent care and the most up-to-date preparedness efforts as we navigate this challenging time together.

Sincerely,

                                                      Bryan Haynes

CEO

                                                                                

SVCHS Now Providing Telemedicine, Telebehavioral Health, and Teledentistry Services: April 21, 2020, 3:00 p.m.

Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems (SVCHS) is currently providing telemedicine, telebehavioral, and teledentistry health services to provide patients with services from the comfort of their own homes during the time of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Telemedicine will be provided to patients at the discretion of their current medical provider via Zoom, which is a free application that the patient would need to download for these services. The patient will need access to a computer, tablet, or smart phone, along with an email address.

Behavioral health staff are currently providing all of their regular services through telebehavioral health and can see any patient of SVCHS.  Staff utilize Zoom, phone, and any other medium that is available to the patient in order to provide services. This includes New Day Recovery because managing a substance use disorder is more difficult during increased stress.   We are accepting new referrals for people who are struggling with opioid use disorder. 

Currently, the SVCHS Dental Department is utilizing teledentistry services to provide access to care for dental services during COVID-19. Teledentistry provides patients with secure, one-stop access to a provider without the need to leave home, which can ease multiple burdens on families.  During the COVID-19 outbreak, teledentistry is an effective way to triage patients and conduct problem-focused evaluations to limit office visits to patients needing urgent or emergency care.

“As an organization we are excited to be able to offer telehealth and phone consults with for patients. This new service will allow us to keep patients healthy and address as many medical needs as possible while minimizing people’s exposure to the healthcare system during this outbreak,” said Medical Director Kristin Bresowar, MD.

These services are provided for the health and safety of our patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information about any of these services, please call 276-496-4492.

Saltville Medical Center Hour Changes: April 16, 2020, 11:34 a.m.

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY: Saltville Medical Center will be closing at 5 p.m. and will no longer be providing services on Saturday until further notice.

Saltville Medical Center Open: April 9, 2020, 9:40 a.m.

The Saltville Medical Center is open today, April, 9, 2020.

SVCHS Confirms Two Cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19): April 8, 2020, 1:00 p.m.

Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems (SVCHS) staff members from the Saltville Medical Center have tested positive for the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The two employees are currently quarantined at home and following all isolation procedures to avoid community spread.

“Any patient that entered the Saltville Medical Center between the dates of Monday, March 30, 2020 and Friday, April 3, 2020 should consider themselves exposed to COVID-19,” said Kristin Bresowar, MD, Medical Director.

Over the following days, any patients who were in the facility during the time who had direct contract with affected staff will be contacted personally.

Bresowar advises that all patients who were in our facilities during those dates should monitor themselves for any symptoms of COVID-19 and try to separate themselves from any other household members, if possible. Patients are asked to contact SVCHS for testing if symptoms should develop.

“We understand that this is a difficult time for both our patients and our employees. Keeping everyone safe at our health centers and within our community must be our first priority. For that reason, the Saltville Medical Center is temporarily closed today, Wednesday, April 8, 2020, to the public, so we can conduct some additional cleaning within the facility based on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our patients.” Bryan Haynes, CEO said.

At this time, the only confirmed cases are at Saltville Medical Center in Saltville, VA. While no other cases have been reported, SVCHS is prepared at our other health centers in Meadowview, Bristol, and Tazewell to handle any additional cases.

 “Our main priority is the health and safety of our patients and employees during this time,” Haynes said.

The best way to limit spread is through social distancing and frequent hand washing. Anyone who feels sick or is exhibiting the common symptoms of the Coronavirus is advises to stay at home until symptoms have subsided. Common Coronavirus symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, and temperature, but not all patients exhibit a temperature. Other symptoms to varying extents can include fatigue, muscle aches, headache, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste, loss of smell, and loss of hearing.

For more information, please call 276-496-4492.

Saltville Medical Center Hour Changes: March 27, 2020, 11:48 a.m.

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY: Saltville Medical Center will no longer be providing services on Saturday until further notice.

Optometry Appointment Changes: March 24, 2020, 9:45 a.m.

These changes were implemented on Monday, March 23, 2020 and will stay in place until further notice.

These changes include:

  1. Postpone all routine eyecare, including new patients to optometric services
  2. Urgent and acute care will be provided as deemed necessary by optometric staff
  3. Please direct all patients who have questions or wish to schedule an appointment to the optometric assistant at (276) 496 – 4492 extension 1222
  4. The optometric staff will triage patients via phone to determine necessity of examinations
  5. Expiring contact lens and glasses prescriptions will be renewed on a case-by-case basis
  6. Optometry staff will make every effort to refer emergent cases to a specialist without requiring an office visit to SVCHS

For questions regarding these changes, please call (276) 496 – 4492.

Service Changes at SVCHS: March 19, 2020, 8:05 a.m.

Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems (SVCHS), in light of the recent Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, will be making some changes to service.

Patients will be contacted soon who have appointments until Friday, April 3, 2020, who are considered in the high risk category. Those patients will be offered reschedules in May and/or June 2020. These in the high risk categories include 65 years or older, COPD and other pulmonary disease, heart disease, immunocompromised (cancer, autoimmune disease), and diabetics.

For the safety of our medical providers and other patients, SVCHS is requesting that only patients enter the health centers unless a caregiver is required, such as a minor or a patient requiring assistance. Upon entering the buildings, everyone will be screened at a triage station where temperature will be taken along with other information. Patients that screen positive will be issued a mask and roomed immediately. Upon no available rooms, patient will be directed to their car where you will be called via cell phone or notified by a nurse. For patients who are sick, but does not screen positive for coronavirus, each site will have different sick waiting room areas.  

As of March 17, 2020, it was recommended by the Virginia Dental Association, that all dental offices postpone any non-emergent care for two weeks. During this time period, the treatment of emergency dental visits and extraction appointments, by review of provider, will be kept in place. New patients and routine preventative care will be postponed until a later date.

New Day Recovery will not be seeing groups until further notice to limit the amount of exposure, but will still see patients for their full individual medical visit and prescriptions on the day that they normally come for their group visit. Behavioral health care providers will verbally check in with patients on recovery issues during their medical visit during this time period. New Day Recovery will not be conducting coronavirus screening or testing.

The National Nutrition Month event that was scheduled for Thursday, March 19, 2020 at Meadowview Health Clinic has been cancelled, along with the Festival de la Primavera on Sunday, April 5, 2020.

SVCHS appreciates you understanding and patience during this time of uncertainty and will provide updates as they are received.

Attention Medical Patients:

With the current Coronavirus outbreak, you may experience slightly different check-in procedures and questions from our staff. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation with these changes as we try to keep our community safe.

Attention Dental Patients:


With the current Coronavirus outbreak, it is now recommended as of, 3/17/2020, that all dental offices postpone any non-emergent care for two weeks. During this time period, the treatment of emergency dental visits and extraction appointments, by review of provider, will be kept in place. New patients and routine preventative care will be postponed until a later date.

We are continuing to monitor the situation, and, as of now, our community health centers are operating with regular business hours.