6/22/2020

We continue to closely follow the recommendations and guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and New York State and Westchester County Health Departments and in accordance have updated our visitor restrictions as follows below. We will consider additional visitor restrictions as needed. We thank you for your understanding and compliance as we work together to keep our children, families and staff safe. 

Please click the expandable sections below for more information on specific areas:

Dear friends,

Ensuring that children with complex medical needs have the care and resources they need to heal, grow and improve their quality of life is our primary focus at Blythedale Children's Hospital. This message resonates now more than ever as we respond to the ever-evolving challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is not the first time Blythedale has been at the forefront of a global health crisis. Since its inception in 1891, Blythedale has been caring for patients with multiple medical concerns - from tuberculosis and polio outbreaks in our earliest days to developing innovative ways to treat premature infants, born at increasingly lower birth weights with myriad complications.

With this deep experience guiding our daily activities, Blythedale is prepared to manage the present health issues facing our community and I want to take this opportunity to bring you up to speed on our efforts. Blythedale’s highest priority is always the health and safety of our patients, families, and staff. Our COVID-19 Leadership Team - comprised of senior management, clinical leaders and other key personnel - serves as “mission control”. The team, led by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Scott Klein, meets virtually every morning, seven days a week, to discuss and decide upon policies and procedures to keep everyone safe during these uncertain times.

We are closely following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and New York State and Westchester County Health Departments and in accordance have implemented a strict visitor policy; active screening of all who enter our building; and, the provision of appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) such as masks, gowns, gloves, and shields. We have assured our staff that while PPE is in extremely short supply throughout New York and the world, we will spare no expense to purchase needed equipment and supplies to protect them.

As we weather this storm, rest assured that life continues at Blythedale. We have implemented distance learning and telehealth sessions, and we facilitate "virtual visits", enabling our children to stay connected to their loved ones despite visitor restrictions. Children reach new goals in therapy every day, infants learn how to breathe independently, and parents are supported and comforted. Blythedale’s dedicated clinicians, therapists, specialists and staff are here for our families every step of the way.Our community has stepped up in myriad ways to support our staff and buoy our spirits - from delivery of catered dinners to the donation of homemade masks and notes of encouragement left on our cars. We are truly all in this together, and brighter days do indeed lie ahead.

I thank you for your support and extend my heartfelt best wishes for the health and well-being of you and your loved ones.

Warmest regards,

Larry Levine
President & CEO

  • Visitation to inpatients has been expanded to allow for two designated healthy adults to switch out one time in a 24-hour period. This visitor can be a parent, guardian or adult designated by the parent/appointed caregiver. This allows families to choose who is most supportive of them while still reducing the overall numbers of visitors. This allows a designated parent/visitor to switch out one time each day between the hours of 9 AM and 9 PM. However, we will continue with ONE parent/visitor at a time regardless of whether the visit occurs inside or outside of the building. 
  • An alternate parent/visitor will not be permitted to sign in until the other visitor has signed out and left the premises.  The alternate visitor must be one of the two individuals designated on each patient’s visitor log kept with Security.
  • No children under 18, including siblings, will be allowed in the building.
  • Designated visitors may enter the building between 9:00 am and 9:00 p.m. They must check in with Security, and undergo a brief health screening. All visitors will be required to sign in and out every time they enter or exit the building.
  • One designated adult is currently allowed to stay overnight with their child. Visitors who stay overnight will be screened in the morning and then again at night.
  • Groups are no longer permitted to congregate in shared spaces, including the cafeteria, lobby, or Family Resource Center. Please maintain a social distance of six feet.

If you have any questions regarding visitor restrictions, please contact our Social Work department at (914) 831-2439.

In an abundance of caution amid the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, the NYS Department of Health has made the proactive decision to temporarily restrict visitors to all skilled nursing facilities. Effective Friday, March 13 at 5:00 p.m., The Steven and Alexandra Cohen Pediatric Long Term Care Pavilion will follow this directive. Please note all visitors (i.e., parents and caregivers) will be restricted from visiting until further notice. 

Westchester County Executive George Latimer has declared a state of emergency and closed all schools in the county through the end of the 2019-2020. Please visit the School's website for daily updates.

Visitors accompanying Day Hospital patients or outpatients will be limited to one designated adult for each child. That visitor can be a parent, guardian or adult designated by the parent/appointed caregiver. No children under 18, including siblings, will be allowed in the building.

Until further notice, there is a temporary suspension on all volunteer activity, tours and visits from outside groups and individuals (i.e. vendors and students).

Blythedale Children’s Hospital and the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Long Term Care Pavilion is committed to a rigorous infection control program to protect the health of our children, their families and our staff. Please be reassured that Blythedale has a meticulous hand-washing practice that prevents the spread of the virus. Washing hands, cleaning surfaces after patient contact, covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing are all proven techniques to prevent infections. In fact, handwashing is the number one way to prevent all infections. In addition, all patient areas have convenient hand sanitizer stations and there are hand sanitizers located in the hallways throughout the building. While we can’t control the viruses that are appearing in our community, we can prevent them from infecting our patients, families and each other. We thank you for your diligence in keeping our children, families and staff safe.

The housekeeping staff continues to provide increased surface cleaning of high-touch areas with bleach-based products.

  • We are actively screening all visitors and staff upon entrance to the Hospital.
  • Staff continue to receive refresher education on proper infection control protocols.
  • Staff will wear face masks while on the inpatient units, Day Hospital, Therapy Village and anywhere else there is patient and resident interaction. We believe this will help reduce risk even further of any exposures.

These resources have been put together with the work of many agencies that we are fortunate to partner with, and we hope you will find them useful.  Please note that many of the applications for mental health support are now being provided at low cost or free of charge for healthcare workers.

TECHNOLOGY:

SCHOOLS:

  • NYC Department of Education-DOE is providing tablets for students needing internet connectivity and hardware for distance learning. Please click here to register your family.
  • Yonkers Public School Grab and Go - Click Here 

FOOD:

  • NYC Department of Education- Starting Monday, March 23, 2020, the Department of Education (DOE) is providing three free grab-and-go meals for children at 400 sites across the city. Click Here or call 311 for updated locations and information.
  • Westchester County Food PantriesClick Here  
  • USDA makes it easier to feed kids and those who need food during the COVID-19 national emergency. Click Here 

MENTAL HEALTH: 

  • OMH Managing Stress and Anxiety - Click Here 
  • Talkspace: Provide therapy via a subscription-based online platform. Users can choose from a range of plans, which include messaging-only options and live video sessions. In response to COVID-19, Talkspace is providing 500 free months of therapy for impacted health care workers, as well as a $100 discount and free resources for consumers
  • Tempest: Virtual program changing how individuals access recovery for alcohol use disorder; offering free online recovery support meetings during COVID-19 outbreak
  • Headspace: A mindfulness and meditation app, helping individuals manage stress, anxiety, and depression; tool is free for any healthcare provider in the US through the end of the year.
  • Calm: A meditation app for individuals to manage stress, anxiety, and depression; in response to COVID-19, Calm created an online hub with content including sleep stories, meditations, music and mindful movement.

MEDICATION DELIVERY FOR CONSUMERS:
Companies that are offer prescription delivery in NYC and/or throughout NY state.

  • Capsule: Digital pharmacy that offers hand-delivered same-day medication drop off to its customers both for convenience and access for the home-bound.
  • Walgreens: Patients can reach a Walgreens pharmacist via phone, in store or using the pharmacy chat option on our website and Walgreens app to address COVID-19 questions. Walgreens is also waiving delivery fees for all eligible prescriptions.
  • CVS Pharmacy: CVS Pharmacy is waiving charges for home delivery of prescription medications, to help patients avoid visiting their local CVS Pharmacy for refills or new prescriptions.

TRANSPORTATION:


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

As our world faces the global COVID-19 pandemic, your gift ensures that our children with complex medical needs continue to have the care and resources they need to heal and grow. As we weather this storm together, your generosity directly impacts our patients, their families and our staff. Please click here and support this vital cause. And if you are interested in making an in-kind gift, please contact Liz DeCecco.