Lutheran Receives $10,000 Grant from Univera Healthcare for Staff & Resident PPE

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In the gazebo (from left): Rachel Estes, Hultquist Place Administrative Assistant Mala Reichard, Hultquist Place Administrator Kathy Lynch, and Hultquist Place Resident Angeline Muscarella.
In the gazebo (from left): Rachel Estes, Hultquist Place Administrative Assistant Mala Reichard, Hultquist Place Administrator Kathy Lynch, and Hultquist Place Resident Angeline Muscarella.

Univera Healthcare has provided more than $1 million worth of grants to hospitals and healthcare facilities across New York State to fund personal protective equipment (PPE) during the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) global health crisis. Lutheran Jamestown was one of the local grant recipients, receiving $10,000 to help purchase necessary infection control supplies for use at the Lutheran Home and Rehabilitation Center and the Hultquist Place Assisted Living Program. The grants are part of a larger $162 million response to the COVID-19 pandemic by Univera Healthcare and its Rochester-based parent health plan in support of their members and communities served.

“No one has faced a public health crisis like COVID-19 in the almost 90 years that our health plan has provided coverage in upstate New York,” said Art Wingerter, President of Univera Healthcare. “This crisis requires a strong and comprehensive response to assure the safety of our members and our communities,” said Wingerter. The grant from Univera Healthcare comes at a critical time when PPE usage on the Lutheran Campus is expected to go up as visitation restrictions lift slowly for families and residents.

Earlier this month, NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo announced guidelines for the reopening of adult care facilities across the state which had been closed to outside visitors since March 14. Access to and funding for PPE has been limited across the country during the global health crisis, however, one of the stipulations to reopening an adult care facility to visitation includes providing PPE and sanitation supplies to all visitors. Although Lutheran’s skilled nursing facility continues to work on their reopening plan, restricted visitation has begun at their assisted living program, Hultquist Place, with PPE being a key component to do so.

“Every dollar and every mask counts,” said Tom Holt, President and CEO of Lutheran Jamestown. “We’re honored to be a recipient of this grant. The supplies are always needed for use by our staff, but an even more emotional story to be told is that this funding is helping us reunite our residents with their families little by little,” said Holt. Supplies purchased with the help of Univera Healthcare’s grant will be used by families, residents, and staff during visitation appointments.

Angeline Muscarella, resident of Hultquist Place, is grateful for the impact the grant has had on her being able to visit with family. Angeline’s niece, Rachel Estes, came to visit her on Friday afternoon using PPE throughout their time together.

“This is such a beautiful facility and gazebo for us to use for our visit,” said Estes of her time spent with her aunt. “We are truly grateful for this opportunity. It is very exciting,” she said. The two have not been together in person without a phone or window separating them in months; that is until Friday. Social distance signage, guidelines, PPE, and hand sanitizer was available throughout the duration of the visit.

“Our staff continue to do a great job protecting our residents on campus and protecting themselves while they’re not at work,” said Holt. “Our ability to begin opening slowly is all thanks to them,” he said. There are currently no infections on the Lutheran Campus which has allowed both facilities to continue working on reopening plans to allow visitation.

For information about Hultquist Place Assisted Living Program or any other levels of care on the Lutheran Campus, call 716-665-4905 or visit www.lutheran-jamestown.org.

The mission of Lutheran Jamestown is to offer a continuum of care that supports an individual’s journey through life with compassion, dignity, and respect.