W’bago treatment center closed
The Adolescent Treatment Center in Winnebago, operated by United Hospital District (UHD) closed its doors last Monday, partially as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
“The bottom line is that we needed to cut our losses,” UHD CEO Rick Ash says. “This program has not broken even in some time and we have been subsidizing it.”
With having to close several of its clinics, not doing elective surgeries and limiting access to the clinic in Blue Earth, UHD is feeling the financial impact that many businesses are because of the state mandates to help curb the spread of coronavirus.
“Our mission is to remain viable in the community,” Ash says. “And to do that the board made the tough decision to close the center.”
The last client left on Monday, and the center was closed soon after.
“We found appropriate placement for all the clients, so they are being taken care of another place,” Ash said. “It is sad for our employees there, and we hate to have to see them go, but these are times like we have never seen before.”
As far as whether the Adolescent Treatment Center will open up again, Ash said it was doubtful at this time.
Meanwhile UHD is prepared if there are a number of COVID-19 patients that will need to be hospitalized in the future.
“We are prepared, in that we have Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), we have developed areas for COVID patients to be isolated, and we are putting in procedures to limit any cross-contamination if the need arises,” Ash says. “That includes keeping the OB area ‘clean,’ which means only certain staff are allowed into the area.”
Other protection procedures are also in place, with anyone entering the facility being screened for any symptoms. The UHD cafe is closed and everyone is doing whatever they can to stay safe and healthy.
“We really are clamping down, doing whatever we can to minimize the spread of the coronavirus,” Ash says. “We need to plan for the worst, but hope for the best. The staff has also ramped up the use of tele-health, using video and phone calls to see their patients and make sure they are still being taken care of.”
Ash also noted that some of UHD’s services, like Home Health, are still operating, but that staff are all using Personal Protection Equipment when they enter people’s homes, in order to keep everyone safe and healthy.
“When this is all over, we hope it was not as bad as everyone feared and they will wonder why,” Ash says. “And it will be because everyone followed the guidelines.”