Redwood Springs receiving critical help from local hospitals, specialized state team

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- At one point, Redwood Springs Healthcare Center was at risk of having to evacuate residents because so many of their employees had tested positive for COVID-19.

But officials didn't want that to happen, so the nursing home asked for help to meet staffing needs.

Local hospitals, most notably Kaweah Delta Medical Center, responded to the urgent situation by providing volunteer RN's, CNA's, and MA's.

Kaweah Delta Director of Care Management Keri Noeski is coordinating the hospital's Redwood Springs response.

She says they knew they had to help.

Because if Redwood Springs residents had to be evacuated, they would likely be brought to Kaweah Delta.

"Right now, our facilities have the capacity to take those patients in that may need it in our community," Noeski said. "But if we had been filled with filled with about 140 skilled nursing facility patients, we would not have had beds for the community. So it really made sense for us to help them for the community as a whole."
Nearly 30 Kaweah Delta employees are on the Redwood Springs volunteer list. A select few are providing leadership support at the facility.

Noeski explained what that means.

"The communication from shift to shift, getting the message out consistently. They already had that plan. They developed that plan within their leadership team," Noeski said. "We just helped with rolling that out with them because it takes more than a couple of leaders. It takes a pretty big group to make a dramatic change when you're dealing with crisis."

"We made a request to the County and State for personnel support in order to ensure that we provide optimal care to all in our facility, both within the COVID-19 isolation unit and others at Redwood Springs Healthcare Center," said Redwood Springs Administrator Anita Hubbard. "We're grateful that they, along with area hospitals responded to the call in the spirit of collaboration. This is an unprecedented time and our healthcare professionals have stepped up to serve those in great need. We will maintain our vigilance against this pandemic for as long as necessary."
More recently, California Medical Assistance Teams, or CAL-MAT's, have arrived at Redwood Springs and Lindsay Gardens Nursing & Rehabilitation.

CAL-MAT's are described as rapid deployment teams of health care and support professionals used in emergency events.

Thirteen team members are working at Lindsay Gardens; nine at Redwood Springs.

"It's that combination of people that can fill in at the CNA level or at a nurse level, to provide the care that's needed for the residents," said Tulare County Public Health Director Karen Elliott. "(And it's) to provide the direction to the staff to the administration in terms of again, the proper infection measures that need to be put in place."
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.