February 15, 2021
Lane County Medical Matters February 2021 Issue
In a great step forward, 4J educators will begin receiving COVID-19 vaccines this week.
This first shipment of vaccines will cover the first dose for only about a fifth of 4J’s team. It is targeted to staff in the most contact with students, and those who work with the youngest grades that will be the first to begin hybrid in-person learning when the time comes. These employees join 4J nurses and other health services staff who received the vaccine earlier due to their roles as healthcare workers.
Safe and effective vaccines have been developed but vaccine supplies are limited while production ramps up. Over the coming weeks vaccines will be available to all education staff and to other groups in Oregon’s rollout plan, but this will take time.
The district is grateful for the work of our healthcare partners Cascade Health and Lane County Public Health, supporting this major undertaking and important step in getting our student back to in-person learning.
EUGENE REGISTER GUARD
Jordyn Brown, Register-Guard
During its regular Thursday update, Lane County Public Health shared more details on ongoing COVID-19 vaccination efforts, including a new way people can sign up to be notified when it’s their turn to get one.
Starting Jan. 23, vaccines will be available for people 65 or older, as well as K-12 educators and staff, child care providers and those who work in early learning, Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday.
“We’ve heard from a number of community members that they’d like to be able to sign up for vaccines, or at least have some mechanism by which they will be notified when it’s their turn to get vaccinated,” LCPH Spokesperson Jason Davis said.
As a solution, the county created an email update newsletter people can sign up for that will give them the latest information on the vaccine as it comes out, including which group is able to be vaccinated at that time.
“When we start looking at the general population (for vaccines), we will have registration links within those emails” and information on where people can go to get the shot, Davis said. “We’ll be pushing out as much information through that system as possible.”
On Thursday, 8,556 people in Lane County had been vaccinated. Some health care workers have now received both doses.
Getting doses to school employees
The county is working with local school districts and the Lane Education Service District on how it will distribute vaccines to school employees, Davis said.
School districts in Eugene and Springfield are standing ready to distribute as soon as possible, leaders said.
“Since we are a medical clinic, we already run a very strong vaccine program,” said Brooke Cottle, director of Bethel Health Center. “We’re very well-versed and trained in all of our vaccines for children and vaccines for adults. So for us, this is just an extension of what we normally do.”
It is a big undertaking, she said, but they’ve looked closely at the processes and infrastructure to make it happen and see many aspects — such as sign-ups and processing proper documentation — would be similar to what they do at least once every year for flu vaccine clinics, as other districts also do.
“We’re ready for it, we feel super excited … we just need that vaccine,” Cottle said.
They’re also ready to help surrounding smaller districts who may not have as many resources available and are in contact with Lane County Public Health.
Springfield Public Schools has a longtime partnership with Cascade Health and will lean on its nursing staff and data management services, Chief Operations Officer Brett Yancey said. When the time comes, Springfield will host a clinic at one of its sites where employees will sign up for an appointment to get the vaccine and wait on site afterward for the recommended 15 minutes or so after getting it.
“At the same time, we would also be expecting them to set up their follow-up appointment for their second vaccination,” Yancey said. “So that’s how we would manage, ensuring that both vaccinations are are made at that appointment time.”
Springfield has about 1,580 employees and would likely prioritize those who have the most direct contact with students (teachers, custodians, bus drivers, etc.)
“As soon as Cascade has or we receive information on exactly when and how much vaccine, then we can turn this around really really quickly,” Yancey said.
Eugene School District Superintendent Cydney Vandercar said at the board meeting Wednesday night that the district would need approximately 3,000 doses to vaccinate every district employee. The district partners with PeaceHealth and Cascade to run its wellness clinics and is making preparations with them, as discussed in more detail at the meeting.
In the meantime, LCPH will hold its two mass invitation-only vaccination clinics for those in Phase 1a this weekend with the help of local health care providers.
After the state only gave Lane County Public Health 100 vaccine doses this week, local providers donated extras they had.
McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center contributed 975 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, and NovaHealth contributed 500 doses of the Moderna vaccine.
Davis also announced the state is sending the county an additional ultra-low temperature freezer, which will increase the county’s ability to have more vaccines, especially as they expand to the general public.
UO is partnering with the county to make plans for providing vaccinations in mass to the community when available, since the university is used to planning large-scale events, UO spokesperson Kay Jarvis said at the Thursday briefing.
“This partnership will enable us to provide free COVID-19 vaccinations as an employer when it becomes available under state and federal distribution,” Jarvis said. “We are currently working to learn how the UO’s students and employees to fit into state, local and institutional priorities for vaccine distribution. We’ll be sure to share information as soon as it becomes available.”
Lane County reported Thursday two new suspected COVID-19 deaths Thursday and 61 new cases.
This raises the total number of deaths to 107 and the countywide case count to 8,052.
There are 32 people hospitalized, down from Wednesday’s 33. Of those, nine are in intensive care and two are on ventilators. There are 415 people considered infectious, down 9% from Wednesday’s 457. There are 594 cases being monitored.
Lane County remains in the “extreme risk” category, along with 25 other counties, the state announced Tuesday.
For more information and to sign up for regular county updates, visit lanecounty.org/coronavirus
Contact reporter Jordyn Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-338-2203, and follow her on Twitter @thejordynbrown and Instagram @registerguard. Support local journalism, subscribe to The Register-Guard.
EUGENE REGISTER GUARD
Guest View: Debunking Myths About Hospice Care
It is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. As a provider of such services, I am often confronted with the myths that have sprouted regarding these two areas of health care, and thought this month would be a good opportunity to dispel some misinformation about these services that help patients and their families live the best life possible.
First, some basics. Every year, nearly 1.6 million people living with a life-limiting illness receive care from hospices in this country. Hospice services employ highly trained professionals who provide patients and families a supportive, comforting and peaceful transition at the end of life.
Further, hospice and palliative care programs provide pain management, symptom control, psychological support and spiritual care to patients and their families when a cure is not possible. These programs combine the highest level of quality medical care with the emotional and spiritual support that families need most when facing a serious or terminal illness.
The unhealthy mythology about hospice and palliative care tends to center around the dual concepts of hope and time. For some, the idea of enrolling a loved one in palliative care or hospice is akin to giving up hope and admitting defeat. Nothing could be further from the truth. Joining hospice or palliative care is all about hope: hope for a better quality of life, hope for a better journey for the patient and loved one and hope for every precious moment to be lived as comfortably and joyfully as possible.
That first myth of giving up hope leads to the second myth that time is somehow the enemy, and postponing and delaying important decisions is a sound strategy. It’s not. Denial that leads to delay simply means that a patient and their friends and family are deprived of more days spent enjoying the time that is left. By seeing time as your ally, all parties can work toward maximizing the quality of days that remain. Instead of waiting, earlier entry into hospice or palliative care can ensure more time to celebrate life.
The facts about hospice or palliative care are rock solid, reassuring and they conclusively point to more positive outcomes the earlier they are utilized:
- Patients in palliative can still receive curative treatments.
- Providers work in collaboration with primary caregivers as part of an overall strategy.
- If a patient needs to progress toward hospice, already receiving palliative care makes for a much more seamless transition for both
patient and family.
- Hospice is not necessarily a place. Most hospice patients receive care at home which, for the vast majority of people, is where they want to be.
- Hospice doesn’t just provide for the immediate medical needs. Social workers, spiritual care professionals and bereavement experts provide comfort to patients – as well as loved ones.
- In fact, hospice is just as much about supporting loved ones as it is about patients.
- Finally, many studies have found that terminally ill patients who received hospice care lived longer with a higher quality of life than
non-hospice patients with similar diagnoses.
As our population continues to age, the need for early entry into hospice and palliative care will grow exponentially into the future. It would be a wonderful outcome if some of the myths around these vital services dissolve and are replaced by a better understanding and appreciation for what they can do. This month, hopefully more people also will also acknowledge that these services create – instead of remove – hope and time.
Rebecca Gonzalez is director of clinical services for Cascade Health – a nonprofit provider of home health, palliative care and hospices services in Lane County.
October 20, 2020
Contact: Michael Dunne
Cascade Health Manager Features in Medical Matters
Cascade Health’s manager of behavioral health is featured in the October issue of Medical Matters, Lane County Medical Society’s membership publication.
October 7, 2020
Cascade Health Again Named to 100 Best Nonprofits List
2020 Marks 11th Year Appearing on Oregon Business’s Ranking
Eugene, Ore. (October 7, 2020) – Cascade Health, one of Lane County’s largest
community-based nonprofit health care organizations, was again recognized as a 100 Best
Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon by Oregon Business Magazine. 2020 marks the 11th year
that Cascade Health was named to the list.
“We are thrilled to once again make Oregon Business’s list of top nonprofits,” said Eric Van
Houten, chief executive officer of Cascade Health. “The list is so much more than just
recognition for organizations, but rather a showcase of the practices, ideas and cultures that
nonprofits provide for individual communities and the entire state of Oregon.”
The list is based upon employee surveys to determine overall staff satisfaction; culture, skills
development opportunities and leadership efficacy. Cascade Health has made the list 11 times
since its inception in 2009. The full list and rankings appear in this week’s Oregon Business
October 1, 2020
Cascade Health Providing Seasonal Flu Shots
Heightened level of safety during Pandemic
Eugene, Ore. (October 1, 2020) – Cascade Health, one of Lane County’s largest
community-based nonprofit health care organizations will once again offer seasonal flu shots to
employers and their employees throughout Lane County for the next several months. Wellness
nurses will provide additional health precautions including masks, continuously sanitized
surfaces and socially-distant wait times in order to meet COVID-19 requirements.
“It’s more important than ever for employees to get their seasonal flu shots,” said Travis Brooke,
Cascade Health’s director of occupational health. “By getting the flu vaccine, people can greatly
reduce their chances of getting the seasonal flu which displays many of the same symptoms as
Cascade Health provides flu vaccines for between 100 to 200 small and large employers
throughout Lane County. The organization can directly bill Pacific Source, Kaiser, MODA,
Regence Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Providence. The organization can also bill employers
directly with prior authorization. Participants can self-pay via check or exact change in the
amount of $32.00.
To schedule on-site flu shot clinics, employers can call: 541.228.3104
September 14, 2020
CASCADE HEALTH TO OFFER INDIVIDUAL AND EMPLOYER ON-SITE CPR/AED CLASSES
Trainings will be offered at a variety of times and locations
Eugene, Ore. (September 14, 2020) – Cascade Health, one of Lane County’s largest community-based nonprofit health care organizations will be offering initial and re-certification classes for Adult CPR / AED & First Aid. The classes will be offered at Cascade Health’s headquarters for individuals, as well as employer onsite trainings for entire teams.
“We realize it’s often difficult to close down a department so staff can get the training they need, says Ryan Freeman, Cascade Health’s assistant manager for Mobile Health. “That’s why we are offering classes for individual sign-ups to minimize scheduling challenges as well as whole-team onsite options.”
The course will be taught by certified CPR instructors and will be fully compliant with Oregon Health Authority COVID-19 guidelines.
According to the American Heart Association, more than 350,000 cardiac arrests happen each year outside of a hospital and that correctly administered CPR can triple the chance of survival.
To find out more and to sign up for individual or on-sight classes, go to cascadehealth.org or call 541-228-3009.
ABOUT CASCADE HEALTH
Cascade Health is a local, nonprofit organization comprised of caring, qualified professionals who meet the unmet health needs of the community. The organization provides personal care opportunities outside of a hospital setting, including services for individual and family counseling, diabetes and nutritional education, home health, palliative care, and hospice. Cascade Health also delivers a continuum of workplace services encompassing pre-employment screening and drug testing, injury prevention and treatment, as well as co-worker conflict resolution and leadership training. The Pete Moore Hospice House offers a home-like environment to provide quality, compassionate end-of-life care. For more information, go to: cascadehealth.org.