BillThis past month our region of the county has been pounded with many inches of snow and rain.  The Maintenance staff has done an excellent job of keeping parking lots open and walkways clear.  At times, it has been difficult to get Direct Care staff here.  Although this happens several times every year, I am still struck by the staffs’ commitment to the individuals we serve, and their co-workers.  There are no shut downs or closures, as we operate 24/7, 365 days a year.  Our number one priority is to keep our residents safe, and we need our Direct Care staff to do that.  Everyone’s efforts are really appreciated.  The Martha Lloyd spirit is alive and well even on those days when you question yourself with, ‘why I am driving to work’.  Everyone is looking forward to the return of warmer weather.

In my summer of 2010 message, I reported that the idea of Telemedicine was a service we wanted to pursue.  I was just notified that the Guthrie Healthcare System is moving forward with this effort, and believes that they will be operational by May 1, 2011.  Serious discussions will begin internally to make this service a reality.  A demonstration of the equipment has been scheduled for April 19.  We plan to open the demonstration to the nursing staff as well as Supervisors and hope for a large turnout.  By moving in this direction, Telemedicine will greatly reduce the number of trips to Sayre, not to mention the level of anxiety many or our residents’ experience.  By using this service, we will also be able to get excellent information and treatment plans more quickly.

In order for Martha Lloyd to proceed with this collaborative effort, we will need to lease or purchase the equipment.  It is estimated that the initial cost of the equipment could run between $25 – 35K.  We will be exploring all possible options to secure the equipment.  I want to thank our Board of Directors and our families for their encouragement and support for this project that we have received to date.

Other dramatic news from the Guthrie Healthcare System is that they are moving ahead with plans to replace the Troy Hospital.  In their words, they have reached a ‘tipping point’ with the expected continued growth in the area.  The current inpatient beds are constantly full and with the increased use of the Emergency Department, the Hospital has exceeded its capacity.  This new facility will have a very positive effect on the lives of our residents for many years.

The hospital in Troy has been a key component of our ability to provide healthcare services to our residents.  It has been conveniently located only blocks from many of our homes.  Dr. Good and Dr. Wood see our residents onsite as well as at the hospital, which provides for a continuity of care that is extremely important.   When our residents do require hospitalization, staff and their friends are able to visit regularly, which makes everyone feel better.  With this increased capacity, more residents may have the option to stay local.

The healthcare industry across the country is going through dramatic changes.  We are very pleased that we are able to collaborate with the Guthrie Healthcare System to improve the lives of our mutual clients.  As we struggle over the next few years to adjust to the Natural Gas development in North Central Pennsylvania, we will continue to meet the health related needs of our residents with the assistance of all our partners.

Yours in Peace!