Centra frontline workers reflect on one year of COVID-19 pandemic
LYNCHBURG, Va. – One year after COVID-19 hit our area, Centra Health leaders recalled Friday how the pandemic has impacted their care. But COVID-19 was a storm Centra couldn’t forecast, a health care hurricane forcing them to change course. A panel of frontline workers said looking back on a full year of the pandemic, they had to assess how they’d deal with the volume. Centra reports they finished summer 2020 with 45 positive cases, though another wave brought more patients and a record-high of 133 positive cases in January. While cases and COVID-related deaths are decreasing, Dr. Cook said the biggest challenge is making sure people maintain precautions as vaccines rollout.
Piedmont Community Health Plan supports executive order reopening ACA enrollment
LYNCHBURG, Va. – President Joe Biden signed an executive order to reopen some affordable care options. It’s a move backed by Centra’s acting president. Richard Tugman said the move will give increased access to health care for millions of Americans and it’s an important step to reduce the economic and health care burden many families are facing right now. Neil Heller, chief marketing officer for Piedmont Community Health Plan, said that people need the care now more than ever, “With the pandemic, it just adds more urgency and through the open enrollment, folks that didn’t buy insurance when they had the opportunity have another chance to do that.”Piedmont also pushed for a similar move last year.
President and CEO of Centra in Lynchburg resigns
LYNCHBURG, Va. – The president and CEO of Centra has resigned. Health leaders say Doctor Andy Mueller submitted his resignation on Jan. 26th and will become CEO of MaineHealth in Portland. Amy Ray, chairman of Centra’s Board of Directors, praised Mueller for what he’s accomplished in the amount of time. Lynchburg attorney Richard Tugman will be the interim president and CEO. He’s been with Centra since 2016 and currently serves as president and CEO of Piedmont Community Health Plan.
Centra CEO Dr. Andy Mueller leaving to lead a Maine health care system
On Tuesday, Centra President and CEO Dr. Andy Mueller submitted his resignation to the Centra Board of Directors. He’s leaving Centra to become the CEO for MaineHealth, based in Portland, Maine. Mueller’s leadership has been critical in building a talented leadership team, navigating the current pandemic, and positioning Centra for the future,” said Centra Board of Directors Chairman Amy Ray in a news release. We are disheartened in his decision but wish him all success in his new position.”As Centra searches for a new CEO, Richard Tugman will serve as interim president and CEO. Tugman, an attorney by profession, has been with Centra since 2016 and is currently the president and CEO of Piedmont Community Health Plan (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Centra).
WATCH: Lynchburg school, health officials discuss coronavirus vaccination efforts
Lynchburg officials talk COVID-19 vaccine LIVE: City, health and school officials in Lynchburg are discussing coronavirus vaccination efforts Posted by WSLS 10 / WSLS.com on Friday, January 22, 2021Officials from the city of Lynchburg, Centra, the Virginia Dept. of Health and Lynchburg City Schools are holding a joint press conference at 10:30 a.m. on Friday. The purpose of the press conference will be to talk about their recent partnership and to discuss COVID-19 vaccination efforts, mass vaccination plans and other coronavirus-related information.
Centra Health announces COVID-19 vaccinations at medical offices
LYNCHBURG, Va. – Vaccination appointments can now be scheduled at Centra Health medical offices. Officials say you must fit into the ‘1a’ and ‘1b’ categories and have an established relationship with a Centra primary care provider. Likely the first doses will go in arms, within our Centra medical group offices, on Friday of this week,” said Michael Elliott, Centra’s senior vice president and chief transformation Officer. Centra also released its latest numbers on hospitalizations and COVID-related deaths. To put it into perspective, that total was 183 as of Jan 7.
Meet Lynchburg’s 2021 New Year’s Baby!
LYNCHBURG, Va. – For one family, 2021 is already off to an incredible start. At 1:43 a.m., the Van De Perre family welcomed its newest member, Cooper Bryce. Little Cooper is the first baby born within the Centra Health system. I also knew there was a mother in the room next to me pushing when I was pushing. The hat Cooper is wearing was made by the mother of a Labor and Delivery nurse specifically for Centra’s New Years’ Baby.
Coronavirus vaccines arrive at hospitals across Southwest, Central Virginia
ROANOKE, Va. – The coronavirus vaccine has officially made it to some hospitals in Southwest Virginia. Nearly 3,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine are now stored in ultra-cold freezers at Lynchburg General Hospital, ready to be administered. The first shots are expected to start Wednesday at Centra, Carilion and LewisGale, prioritizing health care workers in closest contact with COVID-19 patients. It’s a decent start,” Lewis said. The health department said that by the end of the month, Virginia should have enough doses to reach all health care workers and long-term care facility residents who make up the first priority group.
Wreath donation cheers up residents at Centra Health nursing facilities
LYNCHBURG, Va. – The holiday spirit was alive and well at Centra Health thanks to a special delivery. Members of Scott Insurance in Lynchburg donated 160 hand-made wreaths to place on doors at Centra nursing facilities. Residents at the Guggenheimer Health & Rehabilitation Center also joined in on the decorating. One Centra official says this helped to bring hope, since interactions have been limited during the pandemic. Scott Insurance will also decorate two other Centra nursing facilities.
Local health experts discuss vaccine distribution, latest COVID-19 numbers
LYNCHBURG, Va. – Health officials in the Southwest Region, including Carilion, Centra, LewisGale, and Sovah, report 280 patients are hospitalized with the coronavirus, 61 are in the ICU and 30 are on ventilators. At Centra Health, officials are unsure when they’ll get the vaccine or how. “They do likely have some amount of immunity to it, unclear of how much and for how long. We still don’t still know is that enough immunity to protect them for a good enough while that we’d say, ‘well, let’s not vaccine,” said Dr. Christopher Lewis of Centra Health. Centra officials say they’re not going to mandate it for caregivers but strongly encourage it.
What’s News Today: school help, visitation policy change
Senator Mark Warner will travel to Southside today. Starting today, only one visitor will be allowed to accompany a patient at a time with no more than two people visiting a patient during a hospital stay. Starting today, Roanoke County Schools offers Hybrid Help Days. It’s for students in middle and high school who need additional help, are failing a course or missing excessive work. Teachers will contact parents to ask the student to attend on a week by week basis.
Centra, River Ridge Mall partner for ‘I Pink I Can’ fundraiser
LYNCHBURG, Va. – You can find great deals at Lynchburg’s River Ridge Mall. The River Ridge Mall is partnering with Centra for its 2nd annual ‘I Pink I Can’ campaign, where you can add names of those affected by breast cancer to a pink ribbon tree. Through online donations, you can enter for the chance to win a one-of-a-kind pink, diamond necklace valued at $500. We just want to spread the word,” said John Quinlin, manager of the River Ridge Henebry’s Jewelers store. You can be in the running for the diamond necklace by making a donation through Centra’s website.
Centra Health announces its number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has leveled off
LYNCHBURG, Va. Centra Health leaders now see a sign of hope in the ongoing effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. In a virtual press conference Wednesday, Centra Vice President of Medical Affairs Dr. Christopher Lewis said the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in its system has leveled off during the past few days. 40 people are hospitalized across Centra with COVID-19, and only 10 of them require treatment in an intensive care unit. Lewis said Centra made a big decision about its two COVID-19 ICU centers based on these numbers. We have to live with COVID, Lewis said.
Centra loosens visitor restrictions, allowing one per patient
LYNCHBURG, Va. – Centra updated its current visitation restrictions to allow one visitor per patient. The change goes into effect at 6 p.m. on Friday. Under the loosened restrictions, visitors:Must be 18 or olderWill only be allowed if they do not have COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath)Will be screened each time they enter and will be asked a series of questions and have their temperature checkedMust wear a mask while in any buildingShould limit going in and out of care areas and buildingsWill be expected to practice social distancing
Centra Lynchburg leaders see 96% increase in positive cases
In just two weeks, leaders at Centra Lynchburg General Hospital have seen a 96% increase in positive COVID-19 cases. On Wednesday, Centra leaders said there are 34 patients with the virus. The COVID has ravished his lungs so much that he really cant use his lungs, so much that he really cant use them currently anymore to oxygenate. Centra added that for the first time in months, the Centra Southside Community Hospital hospital saw no COVID-19 positive patients. In Lynchburg, Centra leaders said the Virginia Department of Health is having a hard time getting people to answer questions.
Centra Lynchburg General sees increase in virus cases, but more people leaving ICU
LYNCHBURG, Va. Lynchburg continues to see an increase in positive COVID-19 cases, but its also seeing a downward trend as people transition out of the ICU. In a virtual press conference Monday, Centra leaders said that over the weekend, there were 16 people on the ICU floor. When they get really sick, they get really sick. And they can stay in the ICU for quite a while, especially if they are on a ventilator. Centra doctors said some who recover are sent to a rehabilitation center and the organization has multiple facilities to help people recover.
Bedford nurse takes White House stage to discuss telehealth in rural communities
BEDFORD, Va. – A local nurse is taking the national stage to talk about the importance of telehealth and its impacts in rural communities. Nurse practitioner Amy Johnson primarily works at Centra's office in Bedford. She met Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday and spoke before health officials about what it’s been like to see patients virtually. She touched on how beneficial telehealth has been to vulnerable patients who can’t come in person due to the pandemic. Johnson is looking forward to advocating more for rural health.
Lynchburg hospital sees surge of COVID-19 patients
LYNCHBURG, Va. Centra officials in Lynchburg are seeing a surge in coronavirus patients. Last week, they had 20 people on the COVID-19 floor at Centra Lynchburg General Hospital. There are 15 people in the hospital right now, eight of whom are in intensive care unit. Approved visitors as well as outpatients with scheduled appointments will be screened for symptoms and temperature prior to entry. Heres a breakdown of what that looks like: Obstetrical patient/Neonatal Nursery - One approved visitor Pediatric patient - One approved visitor will be permitted (parent or legal guardian) Comfort care / end of life care - One approved visitor Surgeries - One visitor for sedated patients who have cognitive impairments or pediatric patients Cognitive impairments - One approved visitor
One hospitalized after Centra vehicle involved in Lynchburg roll-over crash
LYNCHBURG, Va. One person was taken to the hospital as a precaution after a crash in Lynchburg on Monday evening, according to police. The crash, which involved a Centra transport van, happened at the intersection of Kemper and 12th streets. The person in the back of the van was taken to the hospital as a precaution while no one else in either vehicle was hurt. Traffic is being rerouted as the crash is investigated.
Centra Health employees receive lunch from Macados thanks to Food for Frontline
LYNCHBURG, Va. Some of the most important people during this pandemic have been those who clean hospitals, helping to stop the spread of the virus. On Friday, those employees at Centra Health in Lynchburg got lunch thanks to Food for Frontline. Macados in Lynchburg delivered 60 lunches to the environmental services department, bought with donations to the initiative from 10 News viewers. One environmental services employee said they certainly hear everyones Thank yous during this time but pointed out they do more than clean rooms. It was very surprising, and we really do have some really great people that cares, said Harrick Horsley, Environmental Services Technician.
Frontline family: Lynchburg-area sisters work on same ICU floor fighting COVID-19
The Stump sisters, India, Cheryl, Nicole and Blair, all work at Centra Lynchburg General Hospital, helping patients on the same COVID-19 intensive care unit floor. “She has always been like the caregiver to everyone,” Nicole Stump said. The younger sisters, Cheryl and Blair, are unit coordinators on the COVID-19 ICU floor, who know from a distance when their sisters need them. “I was like, ‘What do you need, what can I get for you?’ So, you can tell she was drowning but she needed someone to say, 'What do you need?’” Cheryl Stump said. 10 News reporter Magdala Louissaint asked the sisters, “Could you see yourself going through this journey without your sisters?” Nicole answered, “Now that we’ve done it?
Centra creates mini grocery stores for its own frontline workers
LYNCHBURG, Va. – Centra Health is helping its frontline workers purchase the basic needs that have become difficult to find. It opened mini grocery stores at all hospital campuses in Lynchburg, Bedford and Farmville. At a low cost, over 800 pounds of chicken, 400 pounds of deli meat and 6,000 rolls of toilet paper have been sold. Centra says it still has enough food to feed its patients. It will continue this effort as long as it needs to.
WATCH: Centra April 7 coronavirus update
LYNCHBURG, Va. – Centra officials spoke Tuesday morning. Centra officials are scheduled to speak on Tuesday morning. This comes after Centra implemented its caregiver mask policy on Friday. All Centra caregivers, who have direct contact with patients will receive a surgical face mask regardless of locationAll patients coming into our facilities that have symptoms suggestive of possible COVID-19, including cough, will be given a surgical maskAll other patients/visitors will receive a cotton face mask
Centra tests over 500 people in Lynchburg area for coronavirus
LYNCHBURG, Va. – Health experts say positive COVID-19 cases will continue to increase in the coming weeks. But Centra in Lynchburg says the hospital and staff are prepared. Centra says it’s tested more than 500 people in the Lynchburg district so far. 26 people have tested positive for COVID-19. Centra doctors say they will use models from the University of Washington and University of Pennsylvania to help regulate the increase.
‘A proactive stance’: Centra CEO tout’s hospital system’s effort to respond to coronavirus
LYNCHBURG, Va. – Centra says it’s ahead of the curve in preparing for the coronavirus. At a news conference Tuesday morning, Centra CEO Andy Mueller said there are 20 ICU beds for critical coronavirus patients and about 40 for non-critical patients. Centra is also working with the University of Virginia to do some coronavirus testing in an effort to speed up the process. The university can get test results back in 24 hours, according to Centra Chief Medical Officer Chris Thompson. As of Tuesday morning, Centra had tested about 300 people and results were still pending for about two-thirds of the tests.
Centra sees patients come to test for coronavirus, banning hospital visitors
LYNCHBURG, Va. – If you have a family member in a Centra hospital in the Lynchburg-area, you won’t’ be allowed to see them for some time. Centra CEO Andrew Mueller said the change is in an effort to keep their patients safe. People who come to Centra hospitals will be greeted with a sign saying: “Visitation is prohibited—out of an abundance of caution for our patients and caregivers, routine visitors will not be allowed in Centra hospitals until further notice.”In a news conference on Monday, Centra said they have had several people tested for COVID-19. Just last week, Centra set up a couple testing sites and saw a number of patients come in who were referred by their physicians. Centra leaders would not give us an exact number of how many people they’ve tested but say it’s less than 10.
WATCH: Centra banning hospital visitors, canceling non-essential surgeries, procedures
LYNCHBURG, Va. – Centra announced it’s increasing it measures to keep those in its hospitals safe as coronavirus spreads across Virginia. Starting at 5 p.m. Monday, Centra will prohibit visitor access at the following locations:Lynchburg General HospitalVirginia Baptist HospitalSouthside Community HospitalBedford Memorial HospitalGretna Emergency Department. Effective immediately, Centra is canceling all non-essential surgeries and procedures. In addition, Centra is taking steps to eliminate self-service food and drink items in our cafeterias, replacing them with boxed lunches. For those tho do need to go to the hospital, entry points for patients will remain as follows:
Local hospitals implement restrictions as flu cases rise
ROANOKE, Va. – Seasonal influenza precautions were in place as of Monday at Sovah Health’s Danville and Martinsville campuses. If you are visiting the campuses, the hospital recommends the following:Please limit the number of visitors to three (3) per patient, unless otherwise specified. Centra Lynchburg General Hospital also announced restrictions on visitation during flu season. Monday afternoon, flu recommendations were being finalized for Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, according to a hospital spokesperson. According to the Virginia Department of Health, as of Dec. 28, the flu was widespread in Virginia.
What's News Today: August 19, 2019
Heres a look at some of the stories we'll be following today as they make headlines across the country and Southwest Virginia. Construction in Lynchburg on a new mini-roundabout could impact your commute starting today. Today is the deadline to submit applications for Middle Border Forward's VISION Quest Community Project Idea Pitch Competition. Aspiring community change agents in Danville and Pittsylvania County can submit project ideas for a chance to win $5,000 and support to make their ideas a reality. Centra opens its new Rivermont School in Roanoke today.
New autism program opening in Southeast Roanoke
ROANOKE, Va. - A new autism program is coming to Roanoke next month. Centra will be opening its second Rivermont Autism program school on Riverland Road. Students ages 6 to 22 with autism and other developmental disabilities will receive therapeutic help. The organization says the Roanoke location will have traditional classrooms, a sensory room, independent living apartments and a playground. Copyright 2019 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.