North Central Health Care’s Enhanced Healthcare Precautions (& Gratitude for Donations of PPE) During COVID-19

Written by Jessica Meadows

North Central Health Care (NCHC) has served our local communities for over 100 years providing mental health, behavioral health, developmental disability services, and skilled nursing care to individuals in Marathon, Langlade, and Lincoln Counties. We continue to provide high-quality care throughout the challenging times that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented to us all.

While some of NCHC’s programs have experienced operational changes, only a few programs have had to discontinue services due to requirements from State or Federal orders and guidelines. Most of our programs remain open; however, some programs may have altered hours of operation.

Programs that operate 24/7 — like the Crisis Services, Inpatient Hospital, and NCHC’s skilled nursing facilities — remain open and fully operational, while programs such as Lakeside Recovery and Aquatic Services, which operate normally in group settings, have had to close temporarily.

NCHC’s Community Treatment and Outpatient Mental Health & Substance Abuse programs are using technology to respond to COVID-19 challenges. To keep clients and providers safe and follow the Safer at Home order, most appointments are being conducted using TeleHealth, which means clients can keep appointments with their provider or case manager without having to come into the office.

You can find all of our updated Program Hours of Operation on our website on the COVID-19 Resources and Information page.

What Is NCHC Doing to Prevent the Spread of Illness While Providing Services?

While NCHC already has standard procedures in place to prevent the spread of illness within our facilities, additional healthcare precautions have been implemented in response to COVID-19 as advised by local health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at our facilities.

  • Personal protective face masks are worn at all times by all employees in all areas of NCHC facilities.
  • The frequency of cleaning high-touch surfaces has been enhanced.
  • All Wausau Campus facilities, including Mount View Care Center, have implemented emergency zone access to limit exposure to residents by employees who are non-essential to the direct care of patients, residents, and clients within our care.
  • Visitor and employee screening are taking place at points of entry at all NCHC locations. Screening check-ins look for signs of illness, provide personal protective equipment (like face masks), and provide hand hygiene education.

Because the individuals cared for in skilled nursing facilities and residential homes have a higher risk for poor health outcomes due to infections, NCHC has implemented additional procedures at Mount View Care Center, Pine Crest Nursing Home, and Community Living Group Homes for those with developmental disabilities.

  • A no-visitation policy is currently in effect until further notice at all Mount View Care Center, Pine Crest Nursing Home, Community-Based Residential Facilities (CBRF) located in the community, and Behavioral Health Programs — including Inpatient Psychiatric Hospital, Crisis CBRF, and Lakeside Recovery.
  • Visitation is further restricted at Nursing Homes to include hospice visitation. Management will work with families individually on a case-by-case basis for special circumstances.
  • All nursing home residents must wear a face covering or face mask anytime they exit their rooms.
  • Measurement frequency of residents’ vital signs has been further increased.
  • Employee screening takes place multiple times per shift and includes temperature monitoring.

On March 28, NCHC was informed that an employee had tested positive for COVID-19. Because of the precautions in place and our employees’ hard work, sacrifices, and commitment to healthcare, we have been fortunate not to have any further cases of COVID-19 in our facilities.

WSAW TV 7 shared our North Central Health Care experience as our teams work each day to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect all those we serve and our staff. Find out more by watching this investigative report online at WSAW TV 7.

Even though we recognize this success, our guard is not down. We know this virus is still within our communities and still poses dangers to our most vulnerable. We continue to ask our communities to do their part to slow the spread also.

NCHC encourages all staff, residents, clients, and visitors to practice good hand hygiene, wear face masks when they are out in public, and practice social distancing by maintaining 6 feet between you and others while in public.

Social Distancing

Mental Health & COVID-19

North Central Health Care cares about your mental health. The COVID-19 pandemic may be stressful for people of all ages. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Successfully coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and the community you live in.

You can visit Mental Health and COVID-19 at North Central Health Care’s website for valuable insights and tools to help you manage anxiety and stress.

Our Community Cares

NCHC is grateful for the support that has been shown from local businesses and residents of all 3 counties where services are provided. Our community generously donated face coverings for residents and sent in hundreds of cards and eCards to brighten everyone’s day.

NCHC cards for residents
Cards sent in via USPS mail are welcome also! Visit the NCHC website for instructions.
(Photo courtesy of North Central Health Care.)

Want to send support or words of encouragement?
Send an eCard! to a resident or patient at NCHC!

Mount View Care Center resident with card
A resident at Mount View Care Center shares a few of the eCards she received. Hundreds of eCards have been submitted or mailed in over the last several weeks. (Photo courtesy of North Central Health Care.)
Krueger Floral donations to NCHC
A shipment of flowers from Kreuger Wholesale Florist arrived with enough flowers to make bouquets for over 300 nursing home residents and those who live in group homes in the community! (Photo courtesy of North Central Health Care.)

Additionally, several community businesses have donated personal protective equipment, such as N95 masks, face shields, surgical masks, gloves, and other supplies.

Michael Loy, CEO of North Central Health Care, shares his appreciation on social media with thumbs up for a shipment of face shields from Wausau Coated.
(Photo courtesy of North Central Health Care Facebook.)

NCHC has also been working together with Northcentral Technical College to help develop a model to provide accelerated training for certified nursing assistants that will allow them to work in healthcare settings sooner to aid the overall nursing shortages that our state is facing.

It’s good to know that during a time of need, our communities pull together and become stronger, supporting one another in whatever way possible.

During this time, we would like to thank our healthcare employees from NCHC and organizations across our entire community. You have shown your bravery and commitment to all those whom we serve in the face of adversity and troubling times. You inspire all of us to care for one another better. Thank you for all your efforts and for continuing to provide care and services during these uncertain times.

Share your support of healthcare workers with a virtual thank-you note.

Thank a Healthcare Worker

If you would like to show your support of healthcare workers, visit United Way of Marathon County and send a virtual thank-you note. United Way will format these and send them to area hospitals to brighten someone’s day. Click here to send your card.

Jessica_MeadowsJessica Meadows

Communications & Marketing Director  |  North Central Health Care

As the Communications and Marketing Coordinator at North Central Health Care (NCHC), Jessica Meadows is passionate about being able to use her creative talents to connect people to healthcare, resources, and networking that will impact their life in a positive way. Prior to joining NCHC, she was a Creative Director and leader at a marketing agency in the Stevens Point area. With almost 20 years’ experience in print, web, social media, video, radio, and public relations, it was important for her to connect back to her roots here in the Wausau area, where she and her husband raise their two young children. When she’s not busy at an event or volunteering, she enjoys playing sports, coaching, biking, traveling, and exploring the outdoors.  Email Jessica Meadows.

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