Mar 23, 2020 4:15 PM

VA Eastern Kansas increases precautions and procedures in response to COVID-19

Posted Mar 23, 2020 4:15 PM

The VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System, which includes the Dwight D. Eisenhower VA Medical Center, the Colmery-O’Neil VA Medical Center and its eight (8) rural community-based clinics,including one in Junction City, has implemented increased precautions and procedures to protect their veteran patient population, staff and visitors.

Beginning today, March 23 at Noon, VA Eastern Kansas Healthcare System is activating Tier-III COVID-19 procedures to include restricted access/entry onto our medical center campuses and 100% (patient and staff) screening.

They are restricting all non-patient visitors onto their campuses  (Topeka and Leavenworth). Exceptions may be made for visitors of patients who are in critical condition or in end-of-life situations on a case by case basis. For necessary outpatient and non-elective surgery patients, there is a one-person companion limit (No Children). If the accompanying individual shows flu-like symptoms, they will not be allowed onto the campus. 

Veterans enrolled for VA care who have symptoms of COVID-19, flu or colds (fever, cough, and shortness of breath) are asked to please call VA Eastern Kansas and select the option to speak to a nurse before visiting our facility. Tell them about your symptoms and any recent travel.

If you’re coming in for an absolutely necessary health care visit, call us at (785) 350-3111 ext. 54555 before your visit or send a secure message through My HealtheVet Secure Messaging—even if you have an appointment. You may be able to get diagnosed and receive care through VA telehealth without having to leave home. For those who have an appointment but perhaps feel well enough to delay the appointment and reschedule, we also ask you to call your team to do so.

If you must visit, plan to arrive at least 20 minutes in advance of your appointment to allow additional time for the screening process and expect to answer simple screening questions.

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Mar 23, 2020 4:15 PM
Look for ways to help children cope during crisis, experts say

MANHATTAN – Children and adults experience and react differently in times of crisis.

“We sometimes only think of disasters as weather-related events, but we know that anything that disrupts daily life and community well-being on a large scale is a disaster,” said Bradford Wiles, associate professor and extension specialist with Kansas State University’s College of Health and Human Services. “Thinking about and being compassionate in how we all feel and process our emotions is crucial to our own, our families’, and our communities’ resilience in the face of the current pandemic.” 

A K-State publication, written by Wiles and associate professor and extension specialist Elizabeth Kiss, includes information that can help communities recognize the negative effects that tough times have on the mental well-being of children.

The publication, titled Disasters: Children’s Responses and Helping Them Recover, is available online from the K-State Research and Extension bookstore.

Wiles and Kiss outline suggested ways parents can help children cope during hard times:

  1. Reassure the child that you are still together and that you will be there to help as long as you can.
  2. Return to pre-disaster routines to the extent possible, including bedtime, bath time, meal time and waking up times.
  3. Make sure you are taking care of yourself. It can be difficult to take care of a child if you are not feeling well.
  4. Talk with your child about your feelings.
  5. Encourage children to draw, write or tell stories about their experiences. Talking about how the disaster or tough time has changed them can be beneficial.

The publication also includes signs to look for in children and how to emerge in a positive direction from times of crisis.

K-State Research and Extension has compiled numerous publications and other information to help people take care of themselves and others during times of crisis. See the complete list of resources online.

Local K-State Research and Extension agents are still on the job during this time of closures and confinement. They, too, are practicing social distancing. Email is the best way to reach them, but call forwarding and voicemail allow for closed local offices to be reached by phone as well (some responses could be delayed). To find out how to reach your local agents, visit the K-State Research and Extension county and district directory.

Signs of depression

Signs of depression in early childhood: tantrums, physical complaints, brief periods of sadness, listlessness or hyperactivity, lack of interest in activities, withdrawal.

Signs of depression in middle childhood: new phobias, hyperactivity, conduct disorders (lying or stealing), refusal to leave parents, periods of sadness, vague anxiety or agitation, suicidal thoughts.

Signs of depression in adolescents: changes in appearance, withdrawal, fatigue, eating problems, substance abuse, risk-taking, sudden change in peer group, loss of interest, sleep problems, hostility, suicidal thoughts.

-- Source: Disasters: Children’s Responses and Helping Them Recover