Monday, March 23, 2020

Gateway Foundation's Chief Medical Officer Board Certified Psychiatrist Specializing in Addiction Medicine

It's hard to believe that just a few months ago, many of us had never even heard of COVID19 and its impact on all of us. Today is a very different day, and one that requires us to band together to make sure that we stop this pandemic that is spreading throughout the world. As one of the leading healthcare providers of substance use disorder treatment in the country, we have taken this pandemic very seriously from the beginning. Our priority has been the health and safety of our patients and staff.  To achieve this we have been following the directives and recommendations of the CDC and our public health leaders for all personnel and patients as well as community partners. While this terrible pandemic continues to spread across our nation we must also remember that approximately 130 people die of an overdose every day in the United States. As our health system becomes increasingly stressed with new patients, we cannot forget that our services are needed now more than ever.
We are prepared to continue providing our life-saving addiction medicine treatment and have taken the following steps to do so:
  • Our medical and nursing staff have been screening and monitoring every patient in our care.

  • Any new referrals are screened prior to admission and at the time of arrival at the facility.

  • We have instituted "stay- at-home" policies across our entire workforce for any staff that is ill or has had either direct or indirect contact.
  • We are virtualizing all of our outpatient services starting this week.?
  • All of our alumni have been offered daily virtual meetings and our "GatewayConnect app" to engage in alumni activities and on-going support.

  • Within our residential treatment programs, we are providing treatment in smaller groups and making other modifications to reduce the size of gatherings.

  • All Gateway Foundation facilities have been deep cleaned and stocked with needed supplies.

  • Visits from families and all outside partners have been suspended until further notice.

  • If we find a patient with fever, we have the capability to test for COVID19 with our local lab. As of today we have no positive cases of COVID19 among our clients or staff
Please Remember to Follow the Instructions of Our Public Health Leaders

  • If you are sick in any way, please do not leave your home.

  • If you have a health conditions that can make you vulnerable or are elderly please do not leave your home.

  • If you must go out for essential activities, please wash your hands, do not touch your face and maintain social distancing when you are out of your home.

Remember that this situation is likely to increase stress, anxiety and trauma among those we serve; we need to ensure that this is not a time to ignore the vulnerability of those with the disease of addiction. Please know that we are considered an essential health service and it is our intent to remain operational to meet the needs of our patients and continue supporting those struggling with the disease of addiction. I remind everyone that social distancing doesn't have to mean isolation! Please stay connected to your family and friends, your support network and anyone that you rely on, we are fortunate to have social media outlets to help us do this.

All your healthcare providers at Gateway Foundation remain steadfast in our mission to continue our life-saving addiction medicine treatment.

Thank you and be safe.

Sincerely
Dr. Roueen Rafeyan
Chief Medical Officer

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