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Healthy Living Local Events

Girls Summit On Preteen Health at the West St. Tammany YMCA

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YMCA West St. Tammany Hosts Girls Preteen Health Summit June 26, 2021

The hosts invite girls and their caregivers to join a dynamic panel of health experts from the local community for a summit to discuss important topics that impact girls including skin care, puberty, nutritional support and tips on navigating social media, peers and performance anxiety.

Christel Malinski MD, local dermatologist, will discuss skin care and sun protection. St. Tammany Health System’s Perry Russell D-NP, will address physical and emotional changes of puberty. Ochsner Eat Fit’s Brittany Craft RD LDN, will cover nutrition to support an active lifestyle. LSUHSC graduate student Ali Laiche will address navigating challenges associated with social media, peers and pressure to excel.

Ochsner Eat Fit and Salad Station will provide lunch and YMCA Zumba instructor Adriana Michel will lead a Zumba and hip-hop session to end the day.

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The heartbeat of its community, St. Tammany Health System cares for patients and families with excellence, compassion and teamwork. It is recognized for quality, safety and service excellence by CareChex, Leapfrog, Healthgrades, Hospital Compare, Women’s Choice and US News & World Report. St. Tammany Parish Hospital Service District No. 1 and Ochsner Health work together in partnership to improve the community’s health and quality of life. Together, west St. Tammany’s top two independent health leaders represent the most complete system of care, aligning behind the common goals of improving access, expanding specialty care and making care affordable. Under their agreement, each retains its autonomy; neither manages nor owns the other. Self-supporting, not-for-profit STHS is A+ rated by Fitch and receives no tax funding. More at StTammany.health

Healthy Living Local News

St. Tammany Health System Launches BeWellBus.health

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Be Well Bus to bring health education, outreach and screenings to Northshore residents

COVINGTON – St. Tammany Health System today announced a new outreach tool for improving health on the Northshore, the Be Well Bus, community health screening mobile unit.

“We’re excited to announce this amazing resource for our community,” Anne Pablovich, STHS community health coordinator, said. “We will take the bus to local businesses, events, festivals and other locations to bring health education, screenings and resources into the neighborhoods. It’s all part of our commitment to world-class healthcare, close to home.”

The Be Well Bus (BeWellBus.health) is a 40-foot mobile unit containing a registration area and two private care rooms to facilitate preventative healthcare in the field. Clinical professionals from St. Tammany Health System and its partner Ochsner Health will travel on the bus to destinations throughout St. Tammany and Washington parishes to offer 3-D digital screening mammography, education, outreach, vaccinations (COVID-19 and others), and health screenings including blood pressure, arterial ultrasounds and cancer screenings.

“We will be able to perform screenings on the bus for a broad array of cancers including breast, prostate, skin, head and neck,” Pavlovich said, “plus we’ll be able to provide the DNA fecal immunochemical test (FIT kit) for colon cancer screenings and do lung cancer assessments that may lead to follow up for those who need low-dose CT lung testing at the STHS Cordes Pavilion.”

The Be Well Bus is an initiative of St. Tammany Health System in partnership with Ochsner Health. It serves as part of a larger initiative called Healthier Northshore, aimed at improving the health and wellness of St. Tammany and Washington parish residents.

“In a state ranked 49th for overall health, in a region with higher cancer rates than Louisiana’s average and the state’s highest prostate cancer mortality rate, our community’s health directly impacts our success and quality of life,” STHS CEO Joan Coffman explained. “St. Tammany Health System’s Be Well Bus and the Healthier Northshore initiative we launched with likeminded Northshore leaders will elevate the overall health of our population and improve the quality of life for those who live here. We’re raising awareness, addressing barriers to good health and wellness, providing screenings, connecting patients to care and measuring outcomes for learning opportunities.”

The heartbeat of its community, St. Tammany Health System cares for patients and families with excellence, compassion and teamwork. It is recognized for quality, safety and service excellence by CareChex, Leapfrog, Healthgrades, Hospital Compare, Women’s Choice and US News & World Report. St. Tammany Parish Hospital Service District No. 1 and Ochsner Health work together in partnership to improve the community’s health and quality of life. Together, west St. Tammany’s top two independent health leaders represent the most complete system of care, aligning behind the common goals of improving access, expanding specialty care and making care affordable. Under their agreement, each retains its autonomy; neither manages nor owns the other. Self-supporting, not-for-profit STHS is A+ rated by Fitch and receives no tax funding. More at StTammany.health

Healthy Living Local Events

Spring Into Health at the Covington Farmer’s Market

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Join representatives of St. Tammany Health System and Spring Into Health at the Saturday Covington Farmer’s Market (609 N. Columbia Street). Erlinda Nye will lead a Tai Chi Session beginning at 8am to be followed by a 9am tour of the Farmer’s Market for Cancer fighting foods and nutrients provided by Registered Dietician, Ashley Eusea. We’re also hosting a FREE skin cancer screening opportunity provided by Board Certified Dermatologist, Dr. Brianna McDaniel, who will be available from 8am -10am. This event is open to the public and free for participants. For more information, please contact Anne Pablovich at apablovich@stph.org.

Event by St. Tammany Health System
Covington La Farmer’s Market
Saturday, May 15, 2021 at 8 AM CDT – 10 AM CDT
70–84°F Chance of Thunderstorms
Price: Free · Duration: 2 hr

The heartbeat of its community, St. Tammany Health System cares for patients and families with excellence, compassion and teamwork. It is recognized for quality, safety and service excellence by CareChex, Leapfrog, Healthgrades, Hospital Compare, Women’s Choice and US News & World Report. St. Tammany Parish Hospital Service District No. 1 and Ochsner Health work together in partnership to improve the community’s health and quality of life. Together, west St. Tammany’s top two independent health leaders represent the most complete system of care, aligning behind the common goals of improving access, expanding specialty care and making care affordable. Under their agreement, each retains its autonomy; neither manages nor owns the other. Self-supporting, not-for-profit STHS is A+ rated by Fitch and receives no tax funding. More at StTammany.health

Healthy Living Local Events

Zumba with the Mayor Free Exercise Class This Sunday

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Registration is open for Zumba with the Mayor this Sunday, an up-beat and interactive multi-generational exercise dance class. This free class is open to all levels of experience and abilities – it’s about moving and having fun.

The City of Covington Mayor’s Council on Healthy Lifestyles teams up with Oschner and St. Tammany Health Systems to bring together five local instructors from the YMCA, Star Fitness, Bogue Falaya Fitness, Mandeville Sports Complex, Pelican Athletic Club and Francos. Five instructors, 90 minutes of cardio, core, and fun!

This event is free and open to the public. Due to COVID, attendance is limited. Click here to register for this event.

Learn more about the Mayor’s Council on Healthy Lifestyles on their Facebook page here.

Local News Parish News

STHS Vaccine Clinics Expanding Eligibility to Match State Changes

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From St. Tammany Health System: Governor opens COVID vaccination to 16+ with qualifying conditions

Adhering to Louisiana Department of Public Health guidelines, St. Tammany Health System expanded eligibility for COVID vaccination to include residents as young as 16 who have at least one qualifying condition.

Those working in “congregant settings” – such as prisons and group homes – are also now eligible, and all previously eligible groups remain so.

Qualified individuals can schedule vaccine appointments through St. Tammany Health System MyChart or 985-898-4001, which is answered 24/7. Those encountering high call volume may have more success by calling at off peak times such as evenings.

See below for the state’s new, expanded vaccine eligibility. All of those receiving the vaccine because of complicating medical factors must sign a form attesting that they meet guidelines. Only the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is approved for patients under 18.

Eligibility by age or condition

  • People 65 and older
  • Dialysis providers and patients
  • Pregnant people
  • People with certain medical conditions
  • People 18-64 (or 16+ for Pfizer vaccine only) with at least one of the conditions listed below by the CDC.

To receive the vaccine, people with these underlying medical conditions should complete the Louisiana COVID-19 Vaccine Attestation Form before their appointment.

  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Down syndrome
  • Heart conditions including but not limited to heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
  • Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30kg/m2 or higher
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Current of former smoker
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
  • Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Overweight (BMI > 25 kg/m2, but < 30 kg/m2)
  • Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
  • Severe neurologic conditions such as dementia
  • Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus

Eligibility by workforce category

  • Ambulatory and outpatient providers and staff
  • Dialysis providers
  • Behavioral health providers and staff
  • Urgent care clinic providers and staff
  • Community care providers and staff
  • Dental providers and staff
  • Non-emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) providers and staff
  • Professional home care providers (including hospice workers) and home care recipients (including older and younger people with disabilities over the age of 16 who receive community or home-based care, as well as clients of home health agencies)
  • American Sign Language (ASL) and foreign language interpreters and Support Service Providers (SSPs) working in community and clinic-based settings, and clients who are both deaf and blind
  • Health-related support personnel (lab staff, mortuary staff who have contact with corpses, pharmacy staff)
  • Schools of allied health students, residents and staff
  • Law enforcement and other first responders
  • Louisiana Unified Command Group
  • State Legislators
  • State and local essential COVID emergency response personnel
  • Some elections staff ahead of March and April elections
  • Teachers and any other support staff working on site in K-12 or daycare
In Louisiana as of March 1st, 2021 from the Governor’s Office

The heartbeat of its community, St. Tammany Health System cares for patients and families with excellence, compassion and teamwork. It is recognized for quality, safety and service excellence by CareChex, Leapfrog, Healthgrades, Hospital Compare, Women’s Choice and US News & World Report. St. Tammany Parish Hospital Service District No. 1 and Ochsner Health work together in partnership to improve the community’s health and quality of life. Together, west St. Tammany’s top two independent health leaders represent the most complete system of care, aligning behind the common goals of improving access, expanding specialty care and making care affordable. Under their agreement, each retains its autonomy; neither manages nor owns the other. Self-supporting, not-for-profit STHS is A+ rated by Fitch and receives no tax funding. More at StTammany.health

Local News

St. Tammany Health System Adds Another Autism-Certified Department

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From St. Tammany Health System: St. Tammany Pediatrics Clinic Earns IBCCES Certification as Autism Center

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St. Tammany Pediatrics joins St. Tammany Health System pediatric inpatient and emergency departments in earning the Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) designation, granted by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). STHS pediatricians and clinic staff completed autism-specific training and certification to ensure they can better treat and manage the care of autistic patients or patients with sensory needs.

“We are excited to earn this designation because it gives local families confidence that they can entrust their autistic loved one’s care to us,” Cindy Brandon, St. Tammany Pediatrics office manager, said. “Through this process, we have learned how to interact with our autistic patients from the time we enter their care space. Everything we do and how we do it shows that patient that we can be trusted and are there to help. This is vitally important for autistic patients because they experience interpersonal interactions differently, and we’re grateful to IBCCES for instilling these skills in our team.” 

For more than 20 years, IBCCES has been the industry leader in cognitive disorder training and certification for education, healthcare, and corporate professionals around the globe. IBCCES provides evidence-based training and certification programs created in conjunction with clinical experts and individuals with autism in order to provide professionals serving individuals with cognitive disorders a better understanding of what these disorders are, industry best practices, and the latest research in these areas.

“IBCCES is excited to work with another St. Tammany Health System pediatrics department who has made a commitment to treating and understanding the needs of autistic children,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman.

IBCCES also created CertifiedAutismCenter.com, as a free online resource for parents that lists certified locations and professionals. Each organization listed on the site has met Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) requirements.

St. Tammany Pediatrics’ autism certification process was made possible through the generosity of St. Tammany Guild annual giving to St. Tammany Hospital Foundation.

The heartbeat of its community, St. Tammany Health System cares for patients and families with excellence, compassion and teamwork. It is recognized for quality, safety and service excellence by CareChex, Leapfrog, Healthgrades, Hospital Compare, Women’s Choice and US News & World Report. St. Tammany Parish Hospital Service District No. 1 and Ochsner Health work together in partnership to improve the community’s health and quality of life. Together, west St. Tammany’s top two independent health leaders represent the most complete system of care, aligning behind the common goals of improving access, expanding specialty care and making care affordable. Under their agreement, each retains its autonomy; neither manages nor owns the other. Self-supporting, not-for-profit STHS is A+ rated by Fitch and receives no tax funding. More at StTammany.health.

About IBCCES

Delivering The Global Standard For Training and Certification in The Field of Cognitive Disorders – IBCCES provides a series of certifications that empower professionals to be leaders in their field and improve the outcomes for the individuals they serve. These programs recognized around the world as the leading benchmark for training and certification in the areas of autism and other cognitive disorders.

Healthy Living Local Events

Sign Up Today for Zumba w/ the Mayor this Sunday

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Registration is open for Zumba with the Mayor, an up-beat and interactive multi-generational exercise dance class. This free class is open to all levels of experience and abilities – it’s about moving and having fun.

The City of Covington Mayor’s Council on Healthy Lifestyles teams up with Oschner and St. Tammany Health Systems to bring together five local instructors from the YMCA, Star Fitness, Bogue Falaya Fitness, Mandeville Sports Complex, Pelican Athletic Club and Francos. Five instructors, 90 minutes of cardio, core, and fun!

This event is free and open to the public. Due to COVID, attendance is limited. Click here to register for this event.

Learn more about the Mayor’s Council on Healthy Lifestyles on their Facebook page here.

Local News Parish News

COVID Vaccine Eligibility Expanded by Louisiana Department of Health

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Update from St. Tammany Health System:

Governor announced minimum age eligibility reduced to 65 and first responder rules widened

Louisiana will expand eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines on Monday (Feb. 8), Gov. John Bel Edwards announced in a Thursday press conference, lowering the minimum age from 70 to 65 and adding all first responders, not just those providing healthcare and vaccinations.

Those eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, based on criteria outlined by Louisiana Department of Health at LDH.la.gov/CovidVaccine/, can call 985-898-4001 to schedule an appointment through St. Tammany Health System.

When vaccines first became publicly available in December, they were limited only to Louisianans 70 and older, due to that group’s increased vulnerability to complications from the disease, and to healthcare professionals, due to their increased chances of exposure.

Increased availability of vaccine made it possible to widen eligibility, Edwards said.

“This is great news in the fight against COVID-19,” said Dr. Mike Hill, an infectious disease specialist at St. Tammany Health System. “The quickest and safest way for us to defeat this pandemic is to get as many people vaccinated as possible, and we’re excited for the opportunity to protect more of our neighbors here in St. Tammany.”

Dr. Hill added that both the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine – each of which requires two doses – have proven to be both safe and effective in combating the virus.

“I got my vaccine in December, and I strongly encourage everyone in St. Tammany Parish to do the same as soon as you become eligible,” he said.

The expansion of vaccine eligibility comes at a crucial time, as COVID infections appear to be leveling off in Louisiana following a holiday season spike that stressed hospitals statewide. It also comes just as health officials warn against mass gatherings on Mardi Gras, which is Feb. 16 this year, and which could see another surge of infections.

Specific details about eligibility in Louisiana can be found at LDH.la.gov/CovidVaccine/.

Local News Parish News

STHS Administering COVID Vaccine to Elders and Community Providers

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St. Tammany Health System opens vaccination appointments to qualified community members

From STHS, COVINGTON – Following Louisiana Office of Public Health guidance, St. Tammany Health System announced vaccine appointment availability for community residents aged 70 and over, as well as community medical providers not employed by the health system.

“Even as we see COVID cases peaking again, we have hope,” STHS President/CEO Joan Coffman said. “We have vaccines, and they are rolling out in greater numbers to wider audiences each week. We are grateful to have the ability to administer these vaccines to our seniors and fellow community healthcare staff.”

With STHS staff inoculation well underway, the health system now has the capacity to offer vaccination appointments to community medical providers and elders 70 and above. Those who qualify can schedule an appointment in MyChart (StTammany.Health/MyChart) or call 985-898-4001 (press 1). Vaccination for the public is through STHS Express Care Clinic, 71338 Hwy 21, Covington, and requires an appointment. Details about the vaccination program is available at https://www.sttammany.health/News/COVID-vaccine-eligibility.

“Every individual is part of the solution to eradicating this disease,” Coffman said. “Together, we can achieve 70% immunization of our population, which will mean herd immunity from COVID-19.”

Local Events

Kick Off the New Year with Mayor Mark’s Zumba Class

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Registration is open for Zumba with the Mayor, an up-beat and interactive multi-generational exercise dance class. This free class is open to all levels of experience and abilities – it’s about moving and having fun. Join Mayor Mark Johnson and burn off those extra holiday calories!

The City of Covington Mayor’s Council on Healthy Lifestyles teams up with Oschner and St. Tammany Health Systems to bring together five local instructors from the YMCA, Star Fitness, Bogue Falaya Fitness, Mandeville Sports Complex, Pelican Athletic Club and Francos. Five instructors, 90 minutes of cardio, core, and fun!

This event is free and open to the public. Due to COVID, attendance is limited. Click here to register for this event.

Learn more about the Mayor’s Council on Healthy Lifestyles on their Facebook page here.

Local Events Local News

Sign Up for Zumba with the Mayor December 27th

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Registration is open for Zumba with the Mayor, an up-beat and interactive multi-generational exercise dance class. This free class is open to all levels of experience and abilities – it’s about moving and having fun. Join Mayor Mark Johnson and burn off those extra holiday calories!

The City of Covington Mayor’s Council on Healthy Lifestyles teams up with Oschner and St. Tammany Health Systems to bring together five local instructors from the YMCA, Star Fitness, Bogue Falaya Fitness, Mandeville Sports Complex, Pelican Athletic Club and Francos. Five instructors, 90 minutes of cardio, core, and fun!

This event is free and open to the public. Due to COVID, attendance is limited. Click here to register for this event.

Learn more about the Mayor’s Council on Healthy Lifestyles on their Facebook page here.

Local News Parish News

First Vaccines Administered at St. Tammany Health System

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From St. Tammany Health System:

COVID Team Receives First Access to Revolutionary New Immunization

The COVID-19 vaccine has arrived on the Northshore. As part of federal deployment of the groundbreaking Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, St. Tammany Health System began administering vaccine this morning.

STHS infectious disease specialist Dr. Mike Hill became the health system’s first staff member to receive the vaccine at 10 a.m.

A string of Hill’s frontline colleagues followed, including Chief Medical Officer Dr. Patrick Torcson and about 50 other doctors, nurses and environmental services workers. Another 70 or so were scheduled to receive the first of the two-shot vaccine Thursday, with the second dose to follow in 19 to 21 days. Vaccinations will continue daily as STHS receives vaccine from Louisiana Department of Health.

“This is a big day at St. Tammany Health System,” Hill said moments after receiving his vaccine, delivered via injection to his left arm. “It’s been a long time coming and represents a lot of hard work by everybody involved. We’re very excited to have our employees – the people who are taking care of our patients – getting the first vaccines on the way to being protected against COVID-19.”

He added: “This is the beginning of the end of the pandemic.”

Drs. Hill and Torcson both said it was important for them to be among the first in line to roll up their sleeves as a demonstration of their confidence in the vaccine, which was developed with unprecedented speed as part of the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed program. That speed has prompted some in the public to question the safety of the vaccine, but experts insist the science behind its development is sound and that concerns to the contrary are entirely unfounded.

“This is a perfectly safe vaccine,” Torcson said after receiving his shot. “It really is going to make a significant contribution to ending this pandemic that has really been so devastating worldwide, and certainly in our community here in western St. Tammany Parish. The scientific input and clinical collaboration that went into the development of this vaccine is really unquestionable. This is a safe intervention that’s going to bring this pandemic to an end.”

As production of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine ramps up, and as other COVID vaccines hit the market, healthcare workers, residents of retirement homes, first responders and others deemed high-risk will be among those first in line to receive it. Widespread availability to the public is expected this spring, perhaps as early as February.

Even with the deployment of the vaccine, however, Dr. Hill stressed the continued need for social distancing, mask wearing and good hand hygiene, even for those who have been vaccinated. That’s primarily because it’s unclear how long it will protect those who receive it. Also unclear is whether those who have been vaccinated, even if they show no symptoms, are still able to transmit the virus to others.

Wednesday’s historic vaccine delivery comes almost nine months to the day of the arrival of St. Tammany’s first confirmed COVID-19 patient in mid-March. It also comes two days after the first U.S. patients received the vaccine as part of the ongoing federal rollout.

The heartbeat of its community, St. Tammany Health System cares for patients and families with excellence, compassion and teamwork. It is recognized for quality, safety and service excellence by CareChex, Leapfrog, Healthgrades, Hospital Compare, Women’s Choice and US News & World Report. St. Tammany Parish Hospital Service District No. 1 and Ochsner Health work together in partnership to improve the community’s health and quality of life. Together, west St. Tammany’s top two independent health leaders represent the most complete system of care, aligning behind the common goals of improving access, expanding specialty care and making care affordable. Under their agreement, each retains its autonomy; neither manages nor owns the other. Self-supporting, not-for-profit STHS is A+ rated by Fitch and receives no tax funding. More at stph.org.

Local News Parish News

COVID Update – Statement from St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper

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From St. Tammany Parish Government:

St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper (11/16/2020): “I want to wish every citizen of St. Tammany a safe and happy Thanksgiving. We know these holidays are going to be different due to COVID-19. Each one of us can play a part in helping to protect the most vulnerable among us through personal responsibility. We can do this with a few simple steps. Please keep COVID-19 protective measures in mind when planning your holiday.

“When you celebrate Thanksgiving this year, please continue to wear masks, physically distance, avoid large gatherings — especially gatherings with people you have not been in contact with recently. If you are out in the community wear a mask — especially when inside local businesses and restaurants. As I have said in the past, there are several ways to support our local restaurants and small businesses. Shopping with them is one and helping them to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask when you are inside their establishments is another.

“I continue to work to balance the health of our community with the health of our economy, and I ask each and every citizen to continue to work with me to achieve this balance. By protecting ourselves and one other, we can all contribute to our recovery. Please take personal responsibility as we enter into the holidays. Have a safe, healthy, and happy Thanksgiving.”

www.stpgov.org

Increase in COVID Cases Seen Locally and Nationally – St. Tammany Health System

COVID UPDATE FOR NEIGHBORS from St. Tammany Parish Health System—11/16/2020

sths

All local residents should renew awareness and focus on containing the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Today at St. Tammany Health System, 17 patients are in COVID care, an increase from 9 one week ago today. Our inpatient census is 131, and we have discharged 492 patients from COVID care since the pandemic began.

The nation surpassed 10 million cases last week and hit 11 million this week. Our local community is experiencing a spike as well with 8,931 cases to date in St. Tammany Parish according to Louisiana Department of Health. Halloween is believed to have sparked a significant increase in community spread, and Thanksgiving is seen as a potential next wave of exposure.

All residents are reminded as we head into winter, people spend more time indoors, increasing the risk of exposure to colds, flu and viruses, including COVID-19. STHS recommends everyone wear a mask, follow proper handwashing and cough etiquette and maintain your distance from others, particularly when you don’t feel well. It’s also important to protect yourself from the flu with a flu shot, which you can access through STHS Express Care and all STPN primary care clinics.

As part of our commitment to help you take excellent care of yourself, St. Tammany Health System has launched Health Check 365, including a special event at STHS Cordes Pavilion, 16300 Hwy 1085, Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. For a single fee, participants receive a spectrum of health screenings including biometrics, carotid artery, sleep apnea, body composition plus screens for lung, skin, head and neck cancer. Appointments are necessary by calling 985-871-5932.

st. tammany health system
Local Events

Zumba with the Mayor this Sunday

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The Mayor’s Council on Healthy Lifestyles teams up with Oschner and St. Tammany Health Systems to present 1 1/2 hours of cardio, core and fun!

“If you’re moving, you’re doing it right” is the mantra for this multi-generational exercise dance class. All shapes, all sizes, all ages and all abilities are welcome to discover the fun we have at the YMCA, Star Fitness, Bogue Falaya Fitness, Mandeville Sports Complex, Pelican Athletic Club and Francos. Five different instructors — 1 1/2 hours of fun.

Join Covington Mayor Mark Johnson for this free event at Bogue Falaya Hall on Sunday, November 8th at noon. The Bogue Falaya Hall is located in the City Hall complex at 128 West 23rd Avenue Covington, LA 70433. Event is limited to 50 people. Click here to register.

Learn more about the Mayor’s Council on Healthy Lifestyles on their Facebook page here.

General Local News

St. Tammany Health System Earns A+ from Fitch Ratings

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COVINGTON – Fitch Ratings has affirmed the ‘A+’ Issuer Default Rating (IDR) for St. Tammany Parish Hospital Service District No. 1, (St. Tammany Health System) with positive outlook.

According to Fitch, “the affirmation of the ‘A+’ rating reflects strong operating performance that has helped support solid liquidity and leverage metrics even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Fitch further noted St. Tammany’s solid market share in a growing service area as well as its joint operating agreement with Ochsner Heath, which coordinates clinical services and operating income, supporting consistent volume and revenue growth.

The coronavirus pandemic figured into Fitch’s rating, as they note of STHS, “Fitch expects that the health system will continue to maintain a strong balance sheet despite pandemic-related pressures and ongoing capital projects, with leverage metrics that will remain consistent with the ‘aa’ category assessment throughout Fitch’s baseline scenario.”

STPH Board Chairman John Evans said, “STHS has worked hard to maintain our strong rating despite the pandemic and current economic outlook. Our board has been dedicated to position STHS for continued success into the future. This A+ Positive Outlook rating is one more step toward that goal.”

STHS President and CEO Joan Coffman added, “We are grateful to each and every colleague, physician, associate and partner that made this rating possible. Additionally, we thank Fitch for taking the time to understand our unique organization and our resolve to be good stewards of our resources in service of our mission caring for our community.”

Fitch has published a detailed explanation of the rating at https://www.fitchratings.com/research/us-public-finance/fitch-affirms-st-tammany-parish-hospital-service-dist-no-1-la-revs-at-a-outlook-positive-01-09-2020.

Local News

STHS Earns International Autism Certification for Two Pediatric Departments

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Two St. Tammany Health System Pediatric Departments are now a Certified Autism Center™ (CAC), a designation granted by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). The designation means that physicians and staff in the inpatient pediatric unit and pediatric emergency department completed an additional autism-specific training and certification program to improve patient outcomes and experiences.

“We are excited to earn this designation because it gives local families confidence that they can entrust their autistic loved one’s care to us,” Cindy Ingram RN, St. Tammany Health System assistant vice president of women’s and children’s care, said. “Through this process, we have learned how to interact with our autistic patients from the time we enter their care space. Everything we do and how we do it shows that patient that we can be trusted and are there to help. This is vitally important for autistic patients because they experience interpersonal interactions differently, and we’re grateful to IBCCES for instilling these skills in our team.”

For more than 20 years, IBCCES has been the industry leader in cognitive disorder training and certification for education, healthcare, and corporate professionals around the globe. IBCCES provides evidence-based training and certification programs created in conjunction with clinical experts and individuals with autism in order to provide professionals serving individuals with cognitive disorders a better understanding of what these disorders are, industry best practices, and the latest research in these areas.

“IBCCES is excited to work with these two departments at St. Tammany to build upon their team’s expertise. Our specialized programs will help their clinicians and staff do what they do best – provide the best care for their pediatric patients,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman.

IBCCES also created CertifiedAutismCenter.com, as a free online resource for parents that lists certified locations and professionals. Each organization listed on the site has met Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) requirements.

General Local News

St. Tammany Health System Weekly Update for Neighbors

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From the St. Tammany Parish Health System 08/24/2020

Today at St. Tammany Health System, 19 patients are in COVID care with census of 155, and 294 COVID cases discharged since the pandemic began. Please continue to do your part to slow the spread of COVID in our community by washing your hands, wearing a mask, staying six feet away from others and isolating yourself when you don’t feel well.

As we continue to care for our community for all patient needs, we are also watching the two tropical weather systems in the Gulf of Mexico. Please rest assured, your community health system is ready to care for you and your family regardless of the weather. Both emergency departments, the main hospital, all our clinics, diagnostic centers and programs are open as usual today and will continue to monitor weather conditions as the week progresses.

If you have an appointment or procedure later this week and have concerns about weather impeding your plans, please discuss your concerns with your physician’s office or connect with us at 985-898-4001 or 985-871-5665. You may prefer a video visit or a later scheduled procedure or appointment, as appropriate.

Learn more at: www.stph.org

Local News

St. Tammany Health System COVID Update for Neighbors

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Update from the St. Tammany Health System:

Today at St. Tammany Health System, 21 patients are in COVID care with census of 143, and 283 COVID cases discharged since the pandemic began. Please continue to do your part by washing your hands, wearing a mask, staying six feet away from others and isolating yourself when you don’t feel well.

Most importantly, don’t delay care out of fear related to the presence of COVID-19 in our community. St. Tammany Health System is clean, safe and ready to care for you. Our patient Gary Kern recently experienced a heart attack, and he has a cautionary tale for the community, particularly those who may hesitate to seek care in the age of COVID-19. See his story on our website and all our social media channels.

Please keep doing your part to slow the spread of this disease. The CDC has this advice for proper care and wear for your mask. Thanks for doing your part to keep our community safe.

Learn more at the St. Tammany Health System website: www.stph.org/covid-19.

Local News

COVID Update by Zip Code – 70433 & 70435

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The following is an update from Covington Mayor Mark Johnson. Sign up for Mayor Mark’s emails at www.covla.com

The Post Office in Covington serves the 70433 and 70435 zip codes. This covers an area of 150 square miles and a population of about 60,000.

The City of Covington only accounts for about 11,000 of that 60,000. This often leads to confusion among residents that “have a Covington address” but do not actually live in Covington. These residents live in “unincorporated St. Tammany” just as those in Metairie live in unincorporated Jefferson Parish.

Infections in 70433 and 70435 on the Rise

Throughout most of June Covington zip codes averaged 3 – 4 new Covid infections each day (think 100 per month). The hospital occupancy rate declined from a high of 42 to a low of 2. Few of us personally knew anyone infected.

As of the first 15 days of July, we are now experiencing an average of 14 – 15 new cases per day (think 400 per month). The symptoms range from minor (loss of taste) to severe illness to death. St. Tammany Health System’s hospitalizations increased to 22, then to 28. I now know of 11 people infected (including one hospitalized and one dead).

St. Tammany Health System (STHS) continues to be ready and active in this fight. Early innovations and altered operations have served our community well. They continue to be stocked up and prepared for surge capacity, and continue to innovate as needed.

Please wear a mask, wash your hands, keep a social distance of six feet from others, contain coughs and sneezes and stay home when you feel ill. Infection prevention comes down to individual personal responsibility. It is on each of us to bear the responsibility of containing this disease and slowing its spread.

While this escalation is cause for heightened awareness, it is no cause for alarm. The Hospital has expanded bed capacity and arranged isolation units to best prepare for a balance between caring for COVID and non-COVID patients. They have implemented safe waiting spaces in all locations and have plans for more.

Thanks to Fire Chief Gary Blocker and to Melissa Hodgson of STHS for their assistance in compiling this information.

City Hall, Public Works

We have one infection each at City Hall and Public Works. All individuals with direct contact have been tested and are working from home. If positive, they will continue their quarantine. City Hall business should be conducted by phone or e-mail whenever or wherever possible. Public Works is working “on call” for emergencies only till more testing results are available.

Utility Bill Pay: C’mon man, it’s 2020

For those with checking accounts and solid account balances, please consider auto-check withdrawal. Much of the work in our utility billing department is opening thousands of pieces of mail, endorsing thousands of checks, depositing them and then data entry into accounts receivable. Twentieth century processes in the 21st century – very inefficient.

If you opt for auto-draft, always be certain to check your bill against the withdrawal. Regarding “bills,” I hope for us to offer paperless billing soon.

Automatic Bank Draft Authorization Form

Sign up for Mayor Mark’s emails at www.covla.com