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Safe at Home

UHS Home Care expands services

Molly Darville likes to take care of others. At age 50, she went back to college, and for a park and recreation management class, she designed two games for disabled players: sit volleyball and blind basketball. In her spare time, she not only sews and quilts; she fixes sewing machines for friends and neighbors. This spring, Ms. Darville needed someone to take care of her.

In March, she spent three weeks in UHS Delaware Valley Hospital with a severe bacterial infection of her left lung. When she was released, she needed help with her recovery. That’s when UHS Home Care stepped in.

Nurse and case manager Christy Hubbard, RN, visited Ms. Darville to check her vital signs and assess her recovery. Ms. Darville recalls that Ms. Hubbard saw that she wasn’t recovering as quickly as she should have been and kept in touch with her primary care physician, Michael Freeman, DO. He recommended that Ms. Darville return to the hospital for additional treatment.

“I went to UHS Wilson Medical Center’s infusion center this time so they could insert a PICC line,” says Ms. Darville. The PICC line was inserted by nurses from the UHS Home Care Infusion Program. This specialized intravenous line delivered more powerful antibiotics into her system to fight the aggressive infection. She returned home under Ms. Hubbard’s care and watchful eye.

A life saved

“UHS Home Care was terrific,” says Ms. Darville. “All the solutions and equipment that were needed to maintain the PICC line were delivered to my home.” Visits were scheduled for twice a week, but Ms. Darville never felt out of touch on Ms. Hubbard’s off days. “Whenever I needed anything, I would call Linda Tomlinson [RN, BSN, nurse manager at UHS Home Care] and she would relay the message to Christy.”

Ms. Darville is immensely grateful to Ms. Hubbard, not only for her excellent care, but for her keen eye and persistence. “I had been given another medication and it made my vision strange,” says Ms. Darville. “It was as if I were looking at things through a wall. Even though I told her I was OK, Christy kept asking me to tell her what was going on. She asked me to just whisper it in her ear.”

Ms. Darville told Ms. Hubbard that she was afraid she was going to hurt herself. Ms. Hubbard immediately contacted Ms. Darville’s physician to tell him about her bad reaction to the medication and stayed with her until a friend arrived to help and until the effects of the drug wore off. “I am just one of the people who can’t take that medicine,” says Ms. Darville. “Christy absolutely saved my life.”

Meeting a wide array of needs

UHS Home Care, identified by Home Care Elite as one of the top 500 home health agencies in the country, has been providing medical products and home care services to the greater Binghamton community for more than two decades. It is licensed by the New York State Department of Health and certified by Medicare. 

UHS Home Care’s staff is trained to meet a wide array of patient needs, including, but well beyond, home nurse visits. Physical, occupational and speech therapy and rehabilitation; education about nutrition and disease management; medical social services; and home health aide services are just part of what UHS Home Care offers. 

Short-term home care helps patients recover from an acute injury or illness. Long-term care assists people with chronic illnesses or disabilities. Specialized programs such as Project HEAR, In Balance, Heart at Home, Rehab at Home and Breathing Easy (see sidebar below, left) provide services and education for people with specific conditions or concerns. The licensed home care service provides skilled nursing for patients with special needs on either a short-term or long-term basis. Medical equipment is also available for rent or purchase through UHS Home Care.

Greg Rittenhouse, vice president and chief operating officer for UHS Home Care, is excited about new developments. All services are available in Broome, Chenango, Delaware and Tioga counties and are designed to provide the best care and support to allow patients to live&mdashand thrive—independently in their own homes.

“We continue to staff up to meet the demand in the broader region we now serve,” says Mr. Rittenhouse. “And we are working in collaboration with other providers and service agencies to assess and address the needs of each area. Our goal is to together provide high quality, cost effective and integrated care for our communities. UHS is committed to helping people avoid unnecessary visits to hospitals and emergency rooms, and to stay healthy and safe in their homes.”

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UHS Home Care operates in Broome, Chenango, Delaware and Tioga counties. For more information about UHS Home Care, call 763-5600 or visit UHS Home Care online.


SPECIAL (CARE) DELIVERY
  • Project HEAR is a personal emergency response system. A pendant or wrist device is monitored 24/7 by trained operators who can call for emergency assistance if needed.
  • In Balance services are designed for patients recovering from surgeries or illnesses that put them at risk for falls. Primary care physicians can refer patients to the program at any time.
  • Heart at Home is a care management program that brings together the expertise of physicians, nurses and hospital staff to help cardiac patients with arrhythmia, heart failure or other ailments. Education and home telemonitoring are part of the program.
  • Rehab at Home combines the services of physical, occupational and speech therapists, certified rehab nurses, physicians, social workers and other specialists in caring for stroke, complex orthopedic, neuromuscular and neurological disease, and post-trauma patients.
  • Breathing Easy is geared to patients with COPD, congestive heart failure or other diseases that affect breathing. A program of respiratory therapy and patient education helps patients stay healthier and identify changes in their condition before a trip to the emergency department becomes necessary.