Open Door Clinic in Chippewa Falls earns gold rating: The Open Door Clinic earned a 2020 Gold Rating from the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC) Quality Standards Program.

NAFC Quality Standards elements include policies and procedures related to the following areas: administrative, enhanced access and continuity of care, identifying and managing patient population information, planning and managing care, providing self-care support and community resources, tracking and coordinating care, and measuring and improving performance.

The Open Door Clinic is located at 130 West Central St., Chippewa Falls, located in the First Presbyterian Church. The clinic serves adults who are uninsured and in some cases underinsured and who have an income less than 200% of the federal poverty level in Chippewa County.

HSHS hospitals allowing more patients to receive visitors: As HSHS hospitals continue to monitor the pandemic, they have updated visitor policies to allow more patients to receive visitors, the hospitals said in a news release.

The updated visitor policy is now in effect at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls:

  • Adult patients may have one designated person (the same individual per day) as part of their care team. That person must stay in the patient room at all times.
  • Emergency department patients may have one support person who is required to be in the patient room at all times; extenuating circumstances will be evaluated by the local unit.
  • Patients nearing end-of-life will have special arrangements made on a case-by-case basis.
  • All outpatient services patients may have one person with them during a test/procedure, and that person must remain in the designated area at all times; if patient is admitted, the rules of that unit will then apply.
  • Patients having surgery may have one support person that remains in the designated area at all times.
  • Pediatric patients under the age of 18 may have one parent or guardian present (newborn patients may have both parents).
  • Obstetrical patients may have one support person and Doula support.
  • L.E. Phillips-Libertas Treatment Center and HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital behavioral health patients will meet visitors in the open milieu at each location.

All visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms, including having their temperature checked immediately upon arrival.

June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month: Nearly one in 10 senior citizens in the United States is abused or neglected each year, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Only one in every 14 cases is brought to the attention of authorities, HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital said in a news release.

HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital home health department shared information to help caregivers recognize signs of harm.

Actions associated with elder abuse include withholding medication, preventing elders from seeing close friends or relatives, not buying them enough food, yelling, threatening, stealing or simply ignoring a senior citizen.

HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital medical social worker Barb Jacobsen said things to watch for include burns, scars, dirty skin or body odor, sudden weight loss, bed sores, recent changes in banking or spending patterns, depression, withdrawal from activities he or she typically enjoys, and unexpected changes in behavior.

Another reason for caution, says Jacobsen, is if the caregiver always speaks for their senior citizen. “If the patient is verbal, but not allowed to answer questions or appears hesitant to answer on their own behalf, it doesn’t mean there’s abuse or neglect going on, but if it’s a pattern it does tell me to look a little closer.”

The hospital said if people suspect an elder is being abused, contact the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

From staff reports