Delivering critical dialysis care in the age of coronavirus

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Taking care of the staff... means taking care of the patients.

GREECE, NY (WROC) Like many medical facilities in the region, extra precautions for patients like temperature-taking and mandatory hand washing before entering is a normal requirement. It’s something Fresenius Medical Care in Greece is taking seriously.

“Covid-19 is demanding our attention right now,” says Registered Nurse Leah Dewolf. She says their 850 patients come in up to three days a week to Fresenius’ nine facilities across the region. Patients typically spend three to four hours each session for this life-saving care. 

“It’s a part time job for them. We are their family. We are their second family. So patient care for us in non-negotiable, each and every day,” adds Dewolf.

She says Fresenius leadership and CEO Bill Valle knew at an early stage, if the employees were not taken care of during this pandemic, they’d have to slow services. 

“The company did a really good job listening to our concerns to assure we could still be here for our patients,” she says. That includes $500 a week for childcare for parents while school is closed, and an emergency Covid-19 pay program. The program provides all direct patient care and support staff a pay differential, regardless if they are treating a positive or negative coronavirus patient.

“It’s a trickle-down effect,” says Kenneth Crine, the director of operations. He says taking care of the staff… means taking care of the patients. 

“The patients are why we’re here. This is why we exist,” adds Crine.

“Of course this is uncharted territory. Our team, we have to be here each and every day,” says Dewolf.

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