We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel with the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines in our state and community. As we have throughout this pandemic, we are working closely with our local health departments to support their distribution planning. Please visit your county of residence’s Health Department website and social media accounts to find information about which priority groups are currently be vaccinating. We do encourage everyone to get the vaccine when it is their turn. Likewise, we continue to encourage you to continue handwashing, masking and social distancing as we are not at the finish line yet.
Hospital Entrances and Visitor Guidelines
HSHS St. Anthony’s has taken steps to ensure the safety of our patients and colleagues, such as limiting entrances into the hospital to be able to properly screen everyone who comes into the hospital, as well as not allowing visitors during the height of the pandemic.
Due to a decline in COVID-19 numbers in south-central Illinois, I am pleased to report that as of February 18, we began a limited re-opening of the front lobby entrance to the hospital off Maple Street to allow visitors access to the facility without having to enter through the Prairie Heart entrance or the emergency room.
Additionally, at the beginning of February, we updated our visitor restrictions to begin allowing limited visitors along certain guidelines. Since not everyone can visit their loved one in the hospital, which we know can be difficult, we encourage people to connect with their loved ones through personal devices as well as through our staff who call approved family contacts with updates on the patient’s condition.
We continue to keep watch over the COVID-19 prevalence in the community. Should we see an increase in cases, we may revisit our visitor guidelines and opened hospital entrances.
COVID Testing and Symptom Treatment
For those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, a rapid 15-minute COVID Test is available at HSHS St. Anthony’s Convenient Care with a provider visit. Reserve your time and decrease your wait through Save My Spot and get updates on your visit via text. We encourage patients to sign up for the MyChart patient portal in order to get test results as soon as they are posted. Convenient Care hours are Monday – Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
St. Anthony’s also is providing one of the latest treatments for COVID-19 symptoms, infusion therapy of a novel drug called bamlanivimab. If you have been recently diagnosed with COVID, please ask your primary care provider about your eligibility to receive this treatment.
At all times, even in the midst of a pandemic, the colleagues of HSHS St. Anthony’s work hard to prevent infections, double-check medications and keep patients free from harm. During this challenging time, we are proud that St. Anthony’s is the only hospital in the area to be nationally recognized with an “A” grade for patient safety. This is a confirmation of the daily commitment of our colleagues and Medical Staff in the areas of quality and safety, especially during this unprecedented time.
Next month, CMS will be updating their ratings of hospitals across the United States. It evaluates hospitals on over 80 areas of performance ranging from patient experience, safety, timeliness of care to unplanned revisits, death, and cost of care delivery.
This evaluation of hospitals is available on the medicare.gov website and allows you to compare performance of hospitals in each of these areas. Keep watching for important news regarding HSHS St. Anthony's Memorial Hospital and our CMS rating!
Supporting our community through collaboration is crucial in meeting the health care needs of our area. Through our partnership with Effingham Catholic Charities and the Crisis Nursery of Effingham County, we continue to assist the underserved to help improve the health of the community.
Through our partnership with Effingham Catholic Charities, we provide support through Emergency Prescription Assistance, Community Diabetes Program, food pantry milk donations and healthy food bags, and the Dental Voucher program. For example, in fiscal year 2020 (concluded in June 2020), 260 people were helped through the Dental Voucher program and 141 were offered assistance with their prescription costs. Likewise, our support of the Crisis Nursery of Effingham County provides lunches for the kids they serve and offsets some of their operating expenses so they can have this island of safety for families in crisis. In FY 2020, our support helped serve 2,651 children.
Want to join our team?
HSHS currently has several open positions, some that include a sign on bonus. Visit careers.hshs.org for more information. We would love to have you on our team!
If you have any questions, “Ask the CEO” here.
Interim President and CEO