JENCC’s Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The June E. Nylen Cancer Center physicians and staff care about our patients and are closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease. We are committed to taking precautions to provide the safest environment possible for everyone. Cancer patients do have weakened and compromised immune systems and therefore are more susceptible to illnesses, including COVID-19.

Whether you are a cancer patient, caregiver or close to someone that has cancer, we understand you have many questions. Please realize the COVID-19 disease is a rapidly changing situation. Please look to the CDC for the most timely updates, but the information here is meant to keep you up-to-date about what our facility and team is doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses as well as protect our patients and staff in order that they can continue to provide their specialized care for Siouxland. We are doing our best to protect our patients and staff and appreciate everyone’s understanding and cooperation.

 

EFFECTIVE MARCH 31 – NO VISITORS ALLOWED: We want to provide the safest possible environment for patients and staff. One important way to enhance this safety is the fewer people with whom our patients and staff come into contact with, the less likely they will be to contract COVID-19 or other infectious diseases. That is why we have implemented stricter restrictions and are NOT allowing visitors in our facility at this time.

We ask that you please wait in your vehicles if you come with a patient. We will allow one visitor only with a new patient or for a new consultation. Staff will assist patients with mobility concerns.

We realize this is not ideal, not our normal process and may be difficult for you, but this restriction is for your safety and that of all our patients and staff.

EFFECTIVE MARCH 26 – IMPLEMENTATION OF CLINICAL TEAMS: Even in the midst of COVID-19, cancer care must go on. On Thursday, March 26 we will implement another step to ensure we have adequate staff over the course of the outbreak to provide the necessary cancer care for our patients. We are moving to working in clinical teams which means we will not have all our staff working at the same time. All patient care employees have been split into clinical teams and specific teams will work different days.

Why? Our physicians, nurses, radiology technologists and radiation therapists are specialized professionals and the team implementation in delivering care ensures if a COVID-19 exposure would occur, we do not have staff shortages that could impact the ability to continue to provide crucial cancer treatment. Our goal is to do all we can to stay operational. The implementation of clinical teams protects the health of our clinical providers and frontline staff that are absolutely necessary in order to remain open with the ability to provide critical cancer care.

What Does This Mean For Patients? Working in clinical teams does mean an impact to how many patients can be treated each day. Therefore, our physicians are reviewing all patient schedules and have developed clinical guidance to help them balance timely care with infection prevention. This may mean a change in appointments and care plans for patients. We will be contacting individuals based upon physician direction to reschedule if they feel that is in the best interest of the patient. We will be contacting individuals based upon physician direction to reschedule if they feel that is in the best interest of the patient. Our operational hours may change to lengthen shifts of the clinical teams, so in other cases, patient appointment times may need to be adjusted.

Again, patients should assume their appointment is the same as previously scheduled unless they are contacted by someone from the June E. Nylen Cancer Center regarding a change. We are still asking that patients that have a fever of 100.4 and above, cough and/or shortness of breath to please call ahead to us at (712) 252-0088 before they come for their appointment. Our phone nurse will talk with you to determine if you should contact your primary care physician before coming to the Cancer Center or what other next steps would be.

This also may mean patients that keep their original appointment will not see their primary oncologist because they are not working that shift. We apologize for this as we know relationships with your physician are important. We hope this is only a short-term change and that we can get you back to seeing your primary oncologist as quickly as possible.

We appreciate your understanding as we take these necessary steps to protect all our staff – which then means the continued opportunity to care for our patients safely.

TELEMEDICINE OPTION FOR PHYSICIAN APPOINTMENTS: For your safety and convenience, our expert team can now see patients through scheduled virtual appointments on a secure platform. Virtual appointments are only available for routine office visits and cannot be used for treatment. If you are interested in utilizing a virtual appointment for your upcoming visit, let a member of your care team know by calling (712) 252-008. Our staff will send you instructions on how to download the application to your smartphone, tablet or computer and information on next steps for your virtual visit.

CALL FIRST IF SYMPTOMS: We are asking that patients that have a fever of 100.4 and above, cough and/or shortness of breath to please call ahead to us at (712) 252-0088 before they come for their appointment. Our phone nurse will talk with you to determine if you should contact your primary care physician before coming to the Cancer Center or what other next steps would be. Visitors who do not feel well, should not come. To protect our patients and staff, we will not allow anyone with symptoms in our facility.

SCREENING UPON ENTERING OUR FACILITY: To protect our patients and staff, we will not allow anyone with symptoms in our facility. We have a nurse screening patients and employees and anyone entering our facility and taking temperatures for these safeguard purposes.

CHILDREN: Children under the age of 16 are not allowed inside the June E. Nylen Cancer Center at all. Please plan for this in advance of your appointment.

VOLUNTEERS AND NON-ESSENTIAL VISITORS: At this time we are also restricting visitors to those who are essential. We will not have drug rep or other vendor visits unless critical to caring for patients. We have halted our volunteer services at this time as well.

TESTING AND PHYSICIAN NOTES: As a non-primary care facility, we are not a testing facility. Please contact your primary care physician for testing and for physician notes related to COVID-19.

SKIN CANCER SCREENING: In order to provide the safest environment possible for everyone, the June E. Nylen Cancer Center, Midlands Clinic and Tri-State Specialists have decided to postpone the free skin cancer screening that was scheduled for Tuesday, March 24. We apologize for any inconvenience. We will wait to set the new date until it is determined the threat of CORVID-19 virus and other seasonal illnesses are past. Anyone that had a spot or skin concerns should not wait for the rescheduled date. Please contact Midlands Clinic, Tri-State Specialists or your family medicine physician to have it checked out right away. For more information, go HERE. 

APRIL 6 LOOK GOOD FEEL BETTER EVENT: We are postponing this monthly program on April 6 and will reschedule when visitor restrictions are lifted.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: Our social worker has pulled together some additional information and resources that may be helpful at this time when everyone is experiencing change, anxiety and an entire host of feelings.

AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY COVID-19 RESOURCES: ACS has added information to their site around COVID-19 and mitigating the risk.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT RESOURCES: We know the COVID-19 outbreak and social distancing recommendations have created challenges for many individuals, families and businesses. Here are a few websites that have support information. If you are a JENCC patient, you may also contact our social worker, Lori, at (712) 252-9321 or GladeL@jencc.com for specific questions and more possible community support resources.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HELP OUR CANCER CENTER NOW: We greatly appreciate those who have reached out to ask how they could help our Cancer Center at this time. The following are items we are in need of:

  • Disposable or sewed face masks (HERE are guidelines for the sewed masks)
  • Disposable gloves
  • Standard N95 masks
  • Hand sanitizer

Because of our visitor restrictions, please do not enter the Cancer Center to drop off. Instead, please contact our Fund Development Manager Christie Finnegan at (712) 252-9444 or FinneganC@jencc.com to arrange details. We greatly appreciate the support – thank you for thinking of our patients and staff.

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