U.P. Home Health & Hospice cares for high risk population during COVID-19 pandemic

MARQUETTE COUNTY — U.P. Home Health & Hospice workers are dedicated to providing for those in their care—and that hasn’t changed because of the coronavirus. Taking care of some of Marquette County’s highest–risk community members is what they do all year long.

“Really from our standpoint, it is business as usual,” said Community Services Director Kori Tossava. “Our patients need us out there, and our physicians and our doctors in the area just really need to know that we are their eyes, ears, and hands when their patients are in their homes.”

Tossava says U.P. Home Health & Hospice is taking extra precautions and following CDC recommendations to ensure the health and safety of both its employees and their patients.

“A lot of our patients are in that high risk category,” explained Tossava, “So we put them at the priority to make sure we’re keeping them safe and keeping our nurses and physical therapists and social workers and home care aids healthy and safe.”

Tossava says while this is a physically stressful and challenging time, it’s also an emotionally difficult time for many of their patients. Although keeping them safe, social distancing is preventing them from attending gatherings with family and friends that they may have been looking forward to.

For U.P. Home Health & Hospice workers, checking in on their emotional and mental health needs is just another way they provide the highest quality care for their patients.

“You’ll see that a lot in people who maybe don’t get out as often as they normally do but really enjoy those coffee clutches that they have with their friends or being able to see their family during Easter,” Tossava said. “I think it’s difficult all around for our patients, and that’s why we do have social workers. We do try to make sure that we’re taking care of the whole person, from their medical diagnosis to their spiritual needs to their mental needs, to be able to kind of help them through this.”

Between working with health departments and the assistance of community groups like Masks for Marquette, Tossava says U.P. Home Health & Hospice employees have been able to consistently provide the best care possible, while staying healthy themselves.

“We’ve seen a really great amount of support from the community and truly appreciate it,” said Tossava. “At this point, healthcare doesn’t have a sick day. So we make sure we continue to provide that high quality care as best we can and with all of the added precautions.”

U.P. Home Health & Hospice will continue to care for some of the most vulnerable people in our community for the duration of this pandemic and beyond. You can learn more about the organization and the services provided on their website.