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story.lead_photo.caption National Park College's nursing and criminal justice programs donated personal protective equipment to National Park Medical Center and CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs to help with the community's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. - Submitted photo

Levi Hospital and National Park College are providing support to National Park Medical Center and CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Levi is not an acute-care facility, like NPMC and CHI St. Vincent, but it can alleviate the hospitals of acute-care patients who still require hospital services but are near discharge, Pat McCabe, Levi Hospital president, told The Sentinel-Record Tuesday.

"Our role is to support them in getting their patients out earlier. They continue to need inpatient acute care services, but they're nearing their discharge day," McCabe said.

Providing beds for the patients who are near discharge frees up space at the other hospitals so they can admit patients who require acute levels of care, according to McCabe.

As of Sunday, NPMC has said no patients have tested positive for COVID-19. CHI St. Vincent is not confirming patient numbers and has referred questions to the Arkansas Department of Health.

McCabe said Levi is not taking patients who test positive for the coronavirus, only accepting the typical medical-surgical patients who still need care. To free the beds, they have to be at a level of service that Levi can support until their discharge day. The hospital can provide 25 beds.

"This will free up beds for the other two hospitals to take the sickest patients by the COVID-19 patients," he said.

Melony Ritter, director of marketing and public relations at National Park College, said the college offered equipment and personal protective equipment from the nursing and criminal justice program, and offered lab space if hospital officials should need it.

"We donated a bunch of PPE already to them," Ritter said Tuesday.

"We offered our facilities if they should need it, but they haven't," she said.

McCabe said Levi has taken precautions for the virus. Outside individuals, patients and visitors are directed to one entry point. The employees can access the employee door because they have an access card, noting all other doors are locked.

Levi employees have to undergo a screening, and a temperature check for them to start working. Non-employees undergo a screening and a temperature check by employees who are wearing proper personal protective equipment. If they have a temperature of 100.5 or higher, they are turned away, he said.

"If they have a temperature, they're turned away, or if they answer yes to any of the questions that we asked them, they're turned away," McCabe said.

Levi Hospital cafeteria is only open to the patients and employees until the COVID-19 crisis is lifted, he said.

"We are trying to limit access to the facility from people who are not here for patient care services," McCabe said.

Local on 03/26/2020

Print Headline: Levi, NPC support acute-care hospitals

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