In the News
LEPA was recently certified as a Vohra Wound Physicians Center of Excellence!
Congratulations are in order for this crew! LEPA was recently certified as a Vohra Wound Physicians Center of Excellence! This means our team is doing an amazing job providing great outcomes for wound healing!
Criteria for this certification include:
- less than 1% wound-related hospitalizations
- Vohra wound physician rounding weekly
- Regular team meetings focused on quality and process improvement
- Designated wound certified nurse available 7 days a week
- Congrats team on this awesome achievement!!
How a Kentucky nursing home fought to keep its residents alive through the pandemic
Written by: Bailey Loosemore, Louisville Courier Journal
Published June 22, 2020
Review this entire article now, along with images of the staff, by visiting the Courier Journal website.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Benjy Brednich was four days into his new job as administrator of a Louisville nursing home when the facility learned of its first case of coronavirus.
It was a resident who’d already been transferred to a hospital. But with assistance from the outgoing administrator, Brednich and his employees at Louisville East Post Acute still got to work testing other residents, calling family members and constructing a COVID-19 wing where sick patients could be separated.
The moves proved necessary. Within days, 27 of the building’s 170 residents had tested positive for the virus, which has killed more than 500 Kentuckians since March.
And for weeks, employees at Louisville East rarely took breaks as they fought to keep their patients from adding to the fatalities.
It’s a scenario that’s likely played out in nursing homes across Kentucky, where the virus has preyed on elderly residents who need the highest level of care.
Since the coronavirus pandemic began, nursing homes have emerged as some of the hardest hit facilities, with more than 1,500 residents and more than 700 staff members testing positive for the illness — including at least 330 people who’ve died.
And while state officials have rallied to support long-term care facilities, some employees say they don’t feel they’ve received the recognition they deserve for keeping thousands of residents safe through an outbreak unlike anything they’ve ever seen.
“Part of what’s happened with COVID is that it’s created a stigma for nursing homes,” said Brednich, who’s worked in the industry for four years. “… Even when (residents’ family members) were unable to take care of their loved ones, there were people here who were sacrificing and doing what they were born to do.”
Chrissy Wilson, a manager in Louisville East’s rehab unit, for instance, volunteered to become a floor nurse in the coronavirus wing. For more than two weeks, she worked 12-hour shifts daily, leaving only to shower and sleep. At home, she quarantined herself from her family — cut off from them by an always-closed bedroom door.
Heather Fritsch, the facility’s infection preventionist, moved into a nearby hotel through the outbreak. She lives more than an hour’s drive from Louisville East, and she couldn’t bear being that far away as the rest of the staff picked up extra hours and shifts.
Pam Pearson, director of the Pathways Brain Injury program, meanwhile, has helped the unit’s 20-or-so residents maintain structured routines through months of uncertainty. And while family members still can’t visit, she and other employees have shared patients’ progress through videos and phone calls.
Bryan Trujillo, a social worker, has also spent hours on the phone, making sure residents’ loved ones stay up-to-date on everything taking place within the home. The staff could have sent text messages instead, he said. But they felt it was important that people be able to ask questions, state their concerns and just hear a voice.
If the actions sound extreme, they were worth it to the employees, who said nursing homes aren’t like other health care facilities.
In long-term care, residents become like family, the employees said.
“When it broke out, it was the most helpless feeling you’ve ever felt in your life,” said Amanda Russo, director of admissions. “These are people you’ve taken care of and loved for years, and it’s devastating.”
Through two stints of the coronavirus, more than 50 residents and nearly 30 staff members have tested positive at the Hikes Point home, including six residents who’ve died.
But as of this month, every patient and employee has tested negative.
The facility is now coronavirus-free.