Being homeless is hard enough at Christmastime, but being homeless with COVID-19 is devastating.
COVID-19 is taking its toll across the country, and in the local community, but it hits the homeless community especially hard.
Local hospitals do not discriminate when it comes to admissions. So what happens to those patients who have recovered enough to be discharged, but have no place to go? Or what if they test positive but are not bad enough to be hospitalized?
That’s something that worries local caregivers.
WellSpan Health has come up with a temporary solution.
Arches @ St. Andrews is a recuperative care center, located in the former Episcopal Square Building in Shippensburg. The recuperative care program will provide a safe home environment for COVID-positive patients who are homeless or housing insecure.
Gifts donated in Franklin County at the onset of COVID are being used for start-up costs. Support is needed for ongoing operational costs, however.
“We anticipate needing the recuperative care center for about three months, at a total cost of approximately $135,000,” Carolyn Clouser, Director of Development at Summit Health Foundation said.
A gift of $1,500 will operate the center for one day.
Remote monitoring kits will provide Hospital @ Home services to patients who require a lower level of care. The kit includes a tablet with cellular connectivity that allows patients to submit their vital signs and to also act as a “call button” to summon a member of the care team.
The kits will be used on average 5-20 days and are reusable. A gift of $1,000 will provide one kit. The Foundation estimates it will need at least 50 kits, for a total cost of $50,000.
John Massimilla, WellSpan Health VP and Chambersburg Hospital President, has talked about how hard the community’s healthcare heroes are working. He is proud of their efforts to continue to deliver high quality, compassionate care.
They do that day in and day out, despite their exhaustion, he says.
George Pogue, the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce Businessperson of the Year, has talked about his family’s experience with COVID-19.
During his acceptance speech earlier thus month, he described how scary it was to drop his parents at the Emergency Room door and leave their care to strangers. He praised the CH team, talking about not only their care to his parents, but the entire Pogue family, keeping them informed and easing their concerns.
Healthcare heroes need your help
People have been asking, “How can we help?”
“We have been experiencing a significant surge in volume (of COVID-19 cases) in recent weeks,” Clouser said. “We expect that to continue through the winter months. To help ease the burden on our staff and help manage capacity in our hospitals, WellSpan is implementing two new, urgent initiatives in Franklin County.”
Those are the Arches @ St. Andrews and Hospital @ Home initiatives.
The Summit Health Foundation has set a goal of $185,000 for the programs.
Tax-deductible gifts can be sent to the Summit Health Foundation at the following address: 785 Fifth Avenue, Chambersburg, PA 17201.
On online donations can be made at the Foundation’s giving page.
All gifts made by Franklin County donors will be directed toward services for Franklin County patients, unless the donor specifies otherwise.