Tag Archives: Adena Health System

Partnership Assists in Free Access to COVID-19 Testing

Presented by McDonald’s, I’m Lovin’ It!

CHILLICOTHE, OH (Oct. 26, 2020) – Adena Health System, the Ross County Commissioners, the City of Chillicothe, Ross County Health District and Chillicothe City School District have joined forces to assist qualified Ross County residents in gaining free access to COVID-19 testing. Qualifications for this testing include: the person must be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or if asymptomatic, must have been in contact with a person identified as carrying the Novel Coronavirus.

The Ross County Commissioners have allocated Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to cover the cost of testing for any qualified resident of Ross County who needs a test. Adena Health System will execute the testing program through its multiple COVID-19 testing facilities, after the person contacts the Adena COVID-19 Hotline at 740-542-SAFE (7233).

“Ross County was fortunate to be awarded funds from the CARES Act,” said Commissioner Steve Neal. “The costs associated with COVID-19 testing is forcing some families to make a decision to forgo or delay testing when experiencing symptoms of the virus. This collaboration with Adena, the City of Chillicothe, and the Ross County Health District gives us an opportunity to provide testing for qualified Ross County residents at no cost to them, and saving lives.”

If a resident of Ross County – or any county in the south central and southern Ohio region – believes they have symptoms of Coronavirus; or if they are not showing symptoms but have been in contact with someone confirmed to have the virus, they should call the Adena COVID-19 Hotline before seeking care. Once callers access the COVID-19 Hotline, a screener will conduct a brief interview to determine if testing is needed. An appointment will then be set up for the caller at one of Adena’s Urgent Care testing facilities throughout the region.

Patients with COVID-19 symptoms will:

·        Be scheduled for a required exam at the testing location; and

·        Testing will be administered and sent to Adena’s lab for processing.

Patients not showing symptoms but who have been in contact with a COVID-positive person will:

·        Be scheduled for a curbside nasal swab at their nearest testing facility;

·        The patient will NOT exit their vehicle; and

·        Receive a COVID PCR Test with results provided in two to five days, depending on statewide testing volume.

Because of the virus’ high risk to others, COVID-19 testing is NOT a walk-in service at Adena Urgent Care locations or physician offices. For anyone in need of a test, the first act is to CALL Adena’s COVID-19 Hotline at 542-SAFE to begin the process of setting up an appointment.

Expanding community-wide testing also includes the addition of in-school testing for any Chillicothe City Schools student. This in-school testing is being provided with CARES Act funding that has been awarded to the City of Chillicothe.

“Any Chillicothe City Schools student with COVID-19 symptoms, or who has been identified by the Ross County Health District as being in contact with a COVID-19 positive person can be tested at school, and at no cost to their family,” said Chillicothe Mayor Luke Feeney. “By having in-school access to testing, school personnel can quickly identify and separate students who may be carrying the virus or exposed to it faster and more effectively.”

To be tested at school, a child’s parent or guardian must approve the use of in-school testing. Parents may also request testing for their child if they are symptomatic or if they have been exposed to a person confirmed to have the Novel Coronavirus.

With Chillicothe’s in-school testing program, the Ross County Health District is providing the testing swabs, with samples being collected by the school nurse. Once complete, the swab is taken by courier to Adena’s laboratory for processing and results. Non-symptomatic students will have the COVID PCR Test, which could take several days for processing, depending on statewide volumes. Symptomatic and asymptomatic students will be dismissed from school to quarantine or isolate – if showing symptoms – at home until they receive Health District clearance to return.

“Thanks to Mayor Feeney and the City of Chillicothe for identifying CARES Act funds to launch this needed testing protocol in our city schools,” said Debbie Swinehart, Superintendent, Chillicothe City Schools. “This assistance will enable us to identify and separate infected students, reducing risk to other students, faculty and staff.”

Testing costs for students attending Ross County area schools will be covered by the Ross County Commissioners CARES Act dollars. Testing is not currently being performed within county schools, but parents/guardians with a symptomatic child/children or a non-symptomatic child should begin the testing process for their child/children by first calling Adena’s COVID-19 HOTLINE at 740-542-SAFE and following the steps outlined above.

“The commitment of our community partners in supporting this specific health care need of individuals, families and children comes at a time when we are seeing more cases of the virus in our hometowns and region,” said Adena President and CEO Jeff Graham. “By making sure no family has to decide if or when to come forward for COVID-19 testing is nothing short of a blessing for many people, and the overall safety of our communities and region.”

To meet growing community need, Adena has doubled the number of staff serving patients through its COVID-19 Hotline, cutting down on-hold time. The Health System has also increased staff in its Urgent Care/Testing locations to meet the increasing number of people in need of COVID-19 testing, as well as treating the patients expected as we enter influenza season. Adena has begun similar talks with other communities in its nine-county service region.

Graham assured, “Despite this long span of providing intense care for patients with COVID-19, and the growing volumes of people entering the testing process, Adena’s dedicated caregivers continue to stand ready to navigate the current spike in cases, and to meet the health care needs of people in our communities.”

Adena’s New Family Viewing Area Encourages Safe Baby Introductions

Presented by McDonald’s, I’m Lovin’ It

Nobody wants to see Grandpa Joe climbing a ladder or Aunt Helen perched atop a wobbly chair outside the windows of Adena Regional Medical Center’s Women & Children’s Center trying to get a glimpse of the latest addition to their family.

A version of those scenarios is what has played out, however, outside the windows of patient rooms where mothers have been bonding with their newborns since precautionary visitor restrictions were imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to Coronavirus, an expectant mother could have up to five visitors at a time while in labor and delivery and an unlimited number of visitors once moved into the mother/infant rooms after giving birth. Once the virus became a factor, expectant mothers were permitted one support person – a spouse, significant other or another family member, for instance – during labor and delivery and for the remainder of their hospital stay for safety measures.

The change in protocols produced a considerable and concerning change in the behavior of some families.

“We were seeing that families were attempting to view babies through the (patient room) windows in maybe not the safest manner because the windows on the outside aren’t level with what’s on the inside – so they would have a chair or a ladder or some other type of item that they would just have in their car and they were trying to stand on it and look in the window,” said Tasha Turner, nurse manager of pediatrics and the nursery. “We were really concerned someone was going to get hurt. (It was happening) almost every day.”

While safety was a critical part of the problem, it wasn’t the only concern.

“They were usually trying to look into a patient room, which also could lead to its own issues if they went to the wrong window and looked in on somebody else’s family, and we definitely don’t want those kind of things either,” Turner said.

The challenge was to find a way for families to safely view their newest loved one without having to enter the ward to do so.

“We discussed how we can allow families to see the new baby because we know that’s important to families, so we started thinking about is there any area that is easily accessible?” Turner explained. “Because of infant safety, there just aren’t a whole lot of places where it’s safe for somebody to view a baby. We have some doors, but if you get a baby too close to one of our doors, it will set off our alarms because that’s how we keep them safe so somebody’s not taking a baby.

“So we really just walked around our unit and thought where’s a good place where you could look at a baby and then we found this one area out in Mother/Infant — it’s a large window facing out toward the parking lot, and we thought if we could do something to make the outside area (leveled) up to the inside area, then we would easily be able to have the family look in at the baby.”

The result is a newly constructed wooden ramp leading to a platform outside that window just off the northeast corner of the hospital. With signage and guidelines posted, families are able to schedule a time to stand on the platform and look at the new baby resting in a crib by the window. Times will be arranged between the new mothers and their family members, then ward staff will be informed when times are confirmed.

“We want to make sure, especially at the beginning, that we’re keeping an eye on that area to make sure they’re doing it in a safe manner,” Turner said. “We don’t want moms picking up the baby to show them because we’re a little bit worried about babies being dropped. We made the viewing area in a manner that somebody can come up to the window and see the baby in a crib, they don’t have to pick the baby up out of there.”

Keeping ward staff in the loop on scheduled times also will help prevent a backlog of families from congregating outside the viewing area during periods in which the ward is handling a large number of births. When multiple families are awaiting a turn on the platform, social distancing will be observed between families and a time limit of 15 minutes at the window will be in place.

With the platform now in use, security will be asked to monitor activity around it “just so they can check and make sure people are using it safely and that people are not going back to the old ways because we have this new way for them to do it that’s safe for everyone,” Turner said.

The platform is the latest example of the type of out-of-the-box thinking about patient-centered care – in this case going beyond patients themselves to include their extended families – that helped earn Adena a spot this summer on Newsweek’s 2020 list of Best Maternity Care Hospitals. Only 231 hospitals across 36 states were selected to receive the honor.

Adena Now Offering Flu Shot Clinics

Presented by Hometown-Motors, Inc.

CHILLICOTHE, OH (Oct. 13, 2020) – Avoiding the flu this season takes one simple step, getting an influenza vaccine. Adena Health System offers many flu shot clinics, making it easy for you and your family to get vaccinated.

Adena is offering flu shots at all of its Urgent Care and Walk-In locations across its nine county service region. Flu vaccinations are also offered by appointment at any of Adena’s Family Medicine, Primary Care and Pediatric locations.

“This year, due to the impact of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever for the public to get their flu shot,” said Kirk Tucker, MD, Adena Chief Clinical Officer. “We recommend getting your flu shot as soon as possible in order to prevent strains of the flu which could leave people more susceptible to additional Coronavirus infection and serious illness. A flu shot not only protects the individual, but it protects others by limiting the chances of flu virus contraction and spread. Especially in light of the pandemic if a person were to get the flu and then contract Coronavirus, the combination could be potentially fatal. By pulling together, we can beat this cold and flu season.”

For children over six months and adults, the flu shot can prevent them from getting sick, prevent flu-related hospitalizations and potentially lessen symptoms or length of illness should they get a strain of the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone six months of age and older, including the elderly and pregnant women, receive an annual flu shot. Flu shots taken by pregnant women can protect their babies from the flu after birth. Most insurance companies cover the cost of a flu shot, but patients may want to check with their insurance provider if they are unsure.

Together, we can protect ourselves and each other against the flu by getting a flu shot today. To schedule a flu shot with Adena, call (740) 779-7500, or skip the wait and reserve your appointment time online at one of Adena’s Urgent Care or Walk-In Clinics. To learn more, visit Adena.org/FluShots.

Adena to Ease Visitor Restrictions on Monday

Presented by Hometown-Motors, Inc.

CHILLICOTHE, OH (Sept. 3, 2020) – Adena Health System will ease visitor restrictions for inpatient visits, effective Monday, Sept. 7, 2020. A no-visitor restriction went into effect on July 20 when it was determined the number of positive COVID-19 cases were increasing to levels the region had not previously experienced.

“With the summer, we saw significantly more positive COVID-19 cases throughout Adena’s nine-county service region,” said Dr. Kirk Tucker, chief clinical officer for Adena Health. “While we understand the impact these decisions have on our patients, their families and support people, it is necessary for all of us to be flexible when it comes to doing what is necessary to ensure the safety and protection of our staff, patients and communities.” Tucker, added, “The curve has flattened once again, and I believe in most cases, it is safe to allow one visitor where we can.”

Under the single visitor policy, those admitted to Adena, with the exception of specialty or high-risk areas, may have one visitor at a time during visitation hours. The allowance of visitors to specialty and high-risk areas, such as Behavioral Health and COVID-19 cohorts will be determined at the unit and/or provider’s discretion.

Visitor information includes:

·        Hospitalized patients may have more than one visitor in a day, but just one visitor at a time;

·        ER patients may have one visitor accompany them;

·        Maternity patients may have one support person with them throughout labor, delivery and the duration of her stay;

·        Maternity patients under age 18 may have one parent or guardian visitor, in addition to the father of the infant;

·        Visitors are not permitted in ancillary testing areas, UNLESS the patient has a disability and needs help accessing care;

·        Elective surgery patients may have one visitor who will be going home after the procedure;

·        Due to space limitations in relation to social distancing in waiting and exam rooms, one person may join a patient for most physician office visits;

·        No visitors under age 18 (unless they are the parent of a patient); and

·        Patients under age 18 may have two parents or guardians visit, who are not required to leave at close of visiting hours.

Hospital visiting hours are 8 a.m. – 7 p.m., seven days a week. Adena’s Visitor Policy is available to view at adena.org. To assure a safe environment, all visitors are required to participate in the COVID-19 screening process, register upon entry, follow social distancing, hand hygiene guidelines, and must wear a mask or face covering throughout their visit in the hospital or health center.

Adena Health System has incorporated higher levels of safety in all of its facilities. To learn more about Adena’s current safety protocols, view our video Safe at Adena, located on adena.org.

Final Beam Going in Place at Adena Tuesday

Presented by Hometown-Motors, Inc.

Tuesday, July 28th, Adena Health System officials will celebrate the placing of the final beam in the construction of the Adena Orthopedic and Robotic Surgery Center.

Construction began on the $70-million, five-story facility in November of 2019 with expected completion in summer 2021.

The center will house the region’s largest robot-assisted surgery program and Adena’s nationally accredited orthopedics program. Additionally, the facility will be home to specialized care for spine, sports medicine, neurology, general surgery, podiatry and other specialties.

The ceremony will be closed to the public, but those wishing to can watch via a live video presentation on the Adena Health System Facebook Page.

Adena Returns to Full Visitor Restrictions

Presented by Hometown-Motors, Inc.

Citing a recent spike in COVID-19 related numbers across the state and locally, Adena Health System is returning to full visitor restrictions implemented earlier during the pandemic.


Effective immediately, at Adena Regional Medical Center in Chillicothe, visitor access will be limited to:

  • No visitors in clinical care areas, inpatient units and the Emergency Department.
  • Visitor exceptions will be for the following:
    • “End of life” situations – requires approval of the patient’s provider;
    • Labor and delivery – includes the infant’s mother and one support person;
    • Minor patients (under 18) – two visitors, limited to only parents or guardians;
    • Patients having major surgery – one support person on the day of and day after surgery; and
    • Patients with significant physical disabilities – one support person.
  • Visitors are not permitted for patients confirmed or suspected of COVID-19.
  • Visitor expectations during this phase also include:
    • Visitors under age 13 are not permitted;
    • All visitors require an Adena caregiver escort to and from the unit they are visiting;
    • All visitor waiting areas are closed;
      • Visitors are not to be loitering in the hospital.

Current visitor policy information can always be found on Adena’s website by visiting adena.org/VisitorPolicy.

COVID-19 Update: Ross & Vinton Counties; Adena Sees Success with N-95 Decontamination Process

***UPDATED to reflect numbers as of 2pm ET April 23, 2020

Ross County remains at 29 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with one probable case. 293 cases in the county are being investigated with 233 tests proving negative. Thirty more are awaiting test results.

Those affected range from ages 19-to-80 with seven cases being in their 40s and six, the second most, in their 60s.

Seven cases are hospitalized with 8 having recovered and one death.

Vinton County remains the only county in Ohio with no confirmed cases. The Vinton County Health Department reports 25 tests returning negative with one pending results.

Cases in Regional Counties: Fairfield, 109; Fayette, 13; Highland, 8; Hocking, 5; Jackson, 4; Pickaway, 1,661; Pike, 2; Ross, 30; Scioto, 6; Vinton, 0.

Meanwhile, Adena Health System has been sending masks to Battelle for decontamination with success. Battelle received authorization for the process by the Food and Drug Administration in late March and Adena sent its first batch of masks to be decontaminated and recycled.


Statewide, Ohio has 14,142 confirmed cases, 14,694 total cases with 2,960 hospitalizations, 656 total deaths, 618 confirmed deaths.


Adena to Furlough 500; Facing a Projected Deficit of $50 Million Through 2020

In a news release Wednesday, Adena Health System President and CEO Jeff Graham said “tough financial decisions” are forcing the System to temporarily furlough 500 nonclinical employees.

“This is a temporary furlough, not a layoff” Graham said in the release which added caregivers will be able to return to their current position as well as keep their health benefits throughout the furlough period.

Adena serves 400,000 people in a nine-county region of south central Ohio. “Making sure Adena remains a strong and vibrant health care organization is needed to ensure we are here for our caregivers and our patients requires dome difficult decisions” said Graham.

Adena cites the significant impact of lower operating revenues due to reductions with Ohio’s order to stop all elective surgeries and procedures, combined with overall decline in Emergency Department hospital admissionsUrgent Care visits, and normal, every day hospital census. The COVID-19 pandemic has also contributed.


Adena announced Tuesday it would be receiving $7.9 million from the newly created Provider Relief Fund and is part of the initial disbursement of the first $30 billion from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief ad Economic Security Act from the US Department of Health and Human Services. SEE THE “CARES” ACT RELEASE HERE

Graham praised the continuing efforts of the caregivers within the Adena Health System and added “Despite our challenges, I look toward Adena’s future with optimism”.

54 Tested for COVID-19 By Adena; 1 Positive

In our Litter Media Special Report: Adena vs COVID-19, Chief Clinician Officer Kirk Tucker, MD shared Adena’s conservative plan for testing for the virus.

In a release Tuesday, Adena Regional Medical Center reported the testing of 54 at the hospital’s Screening Clinic with one returning positive for COVID-19. Sixteen others were still being processed by the Ohio Department of Health and a private lab.


Testing for COVID-19 is ongoing across the Health System, which is following the testing criteria recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). The criteria outlines specific instances when a patient or person under investigation (PUI) should be tested for the COVID-19/Coronavirus. Following ODH criteria is important in preserving the very limited number of COVID-19 test kits that are available to each hospital across the state and nation.

“Every time you interact with a patient who wants testing, you are using personal protective equipment (PPE – masks, gloves, gowns, etc.) and precious viral test swabs,” said Adena Chief Clinical Officer Kirk Tucker, MD. “The test kit needed to identify COVID-19 includes very specific testing swabs, and at this point there is a shortage of them because the majority are made in Italy. Adena received a limited number of these viral testing kits, and very early on, we decided to be extremely judicious in our use of them. We need to be sure that when the wave hits, and we are seeing the sickest patients, we are prepared by having those supplies we need (viral test swabs and PPE) to care for our patients, and to protect our caregivers.”

Adena continually works within the recommendations of the Ohio Department of Health, which has been putting out its COVID-19 testing protocol instructions daily. This criteria is intended to prioritize testing based on distinct criteria, including: how sick the patient is – symptoms when they present; any prior contact with confirmed positive COVID-19 individuals over the past 14 days; if they are a health care, safety, public service worker; or a patient in a long-term care facility.

Dr. Tucker added, “We need this guidance to make a clinical decision about whether or not the patient is placed into isolation and/or tested for COVID-19. We look at all of that data and we take it extremely seriously. To go out and screen in public, or screening those not meeting the ODH criteria is not what is recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nor the Ohio Department of Health, and frankly it is very wasteful. We have a responsibility to our communities to preserve testing supplies and PPE so that we have them they are most needed.”

Following is information that may help members of our communities understand Adena, CDC and ODH guidance, as we face the COVID-19 pandemic.

What you need to know about COVID-19 Testing Guidance for our community:

If you suspect you are infected with COVID-19

  1. Step One:  Call the COVID-19 Hotline 740-542-SAFE (7233)
  2. Step Two:  Answer a series of screening questions
  3. Step Three:  Follow instructions provided by the screener.

Why was I told that I could not be tested?

Adena follows Ohio Department of Health (ODH) testing criteria for COVID-19. Your symptoms and/or condition did not meet the testing criteria set by the ODH.

What is ODH’s Testing Criteria? Patient has:

  1. Fever AND signs of lower respiratory illness (cough or short of breath) AND is either a healthcare worker with direct patient care, or in a public safety occupation (law enforcement, fire fighter, EMS) AND has had close contact with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patient within 14 days of symptom onset.
  2. Fever AND signs of lower respiratory illness (cough or short of breath) AND is a resident of a long-term care facility AND is hospitalized.
  3. Fever with severe acute lower respiratory illness (pneumonia, ARDS as evidenced by imaging) AND is hospitalized AND the healthcare provider has high clinical suspicion of COVID-19 after thorough evaluation (has no alternative plausible diagnosis).
  4. Other special circumstances where there is a requirement for prompt receipt of results, such as patients involved in an illness cluster in a facility or group (i.e. healthcare, corrections).

What if I believe I have some of the symptoms for COVID-19, but not all included in the criteria?

You may be ill, but you may not meet the ODH testing criteria. Some symptoms of Coronavirus can be similar to a cold, flu or other common viral illnesses. As with any illness, if symptoms are not severe you should stay home and treat your illness as you normally would. You may also call Adena’s COVID-19 Hotline at 740-542-SAFE (7233) for a verbal screening. However, if you If you have chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, a severe headache or other potentially life-threatening problems, go to the nearest emergency department or call 911. Please notify the 911 dispatcher or the emergency department of your COVID symptoms PRIOR to arrival.

Where can I get more information about COVID-19?

To learn more about COVID-19 and the Ohio Department of Health’s testing criteria, visit www.coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).

For the most up to date local COVID-19 specific information, and updates related to Adena operations and services, please visit adena.org/COVID19

Hope For Our Heroes Thursday April 2nd

Ross County’s Churches are inviting praying individuals for a drive-in time of worship and prayer in the parking lot at Adena Regional Medical Center, Thursday April 2nd from 7pm-8pm.

UPDATE: This event has been CANCELLED (See below)

‼️ATTENTION‼️Tonight’s “Hope for our Heroes” event is being cancelled. With impending restrictions and in accordance…

Posted by Chillicothe First Assembly of God on Thursday, April 2, 2020

Shaun Howard, Pastor of Chillicothe First Assembly of God on Western Avenue says he got the idea from a church in Atlanta. “It sprang from our church members asking what can we do for our health care professionals during this time.”

Howard says some other pastors have said their congregations were on board and after gaining approval and support of Adena Regional Medical Center everything has fallen into place.

“With the Cancer Center closed, Adena said we could use its parking lot.” said Howard. “We’ll have our flashers going and headlights on while we pray, so they (workers and patients) can see us.”

Those attending are reminded to remain in their vehicles while praying for first responders and those in the hospital.

This will be an amazing moment!

Posted by Shaun Howard on Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Litter Media’s Dan Ramey and Pastor Shaun Howard discuss Hope For Our Heroes.