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During an ordinary month, IU Health Home Care Distribution Team members provide the infrastructure to care for about 5,000 patients. Since COVID-19, they have quietly stepped up to assist providing additional support.
By IU Health Senior Journalist T.J. Banes, email@example.com
Patients rarely see them. They are like beastly elephants moving quietly through dense brush in near silence. Predators like COVID-19 aren’t aware of their presence. And yet their strength and reliability is second to none.
“I’m proud of our team. We knew the pandemic was coming and we’d be called upon more,” said Marc VanSlyke, IU Health Distribution Team Manager. Together with team supervisor Todd Jamieson, VanSlyke called a meeting to prepare the staff for the storm that was about to hit.
“A big thing for us is we try to balance their home life as much as their work life. We wanted to know ahead of time who could work extra hours. Every single one of them stepped up. They are here to help people. They are very caring,” said VanSlyke. Those team members are small in numbers – 24 – but large in productivity.
Typically, team members are responsible for managing the delivery of enteral nutrition and infusion therapy products. But, it’s not unusual for them to also assist managers move equipment, transport a lithotripsy machine between IU Health hospitals and even transform office spaces.
“Since COVID, we’ve been called in sometimes at a moment’s notice to move equipment,” said VanSlyke. He described a day when he received a frantic phone call from a nurse who was tasked with setting up additional patient space at IU Health Methodist Hospital. “It had to be done quickly. Six of the team members showed up and it was completed within a couple of hours,” said VanSlyke. Another weekend he was in northwestern Indiana when he received a call from a surgery center employee needing equipment moved to IU Health Methodist Hospital. They got the job completed within the hour.
They’ve secured personal protective equipment, organized equipment for the IU Health’s Hospital at Home Program, and delivered meals to quarantined team members. And that’s not all. They’ve also procured hand sanitizer and distributed it to departments and delivered ventilators to various IU Health hospitals.
“We’ll do whatever it takes to support the hospital and the frontline workers,” said VanSlyke. “That’s what it’s all about. We’re ready and willing to do our part.”