Experienced behavioral health volunteers to offer peer-to-peer counseling services for rural providers on the front lines
PRESS RELEASE UPDATED: APR 22, 2020 08:28 EDT
NASHVILLE, Tenn., April 22, 2020 (Newswire.com) – Forefront Telecare, Inc. (Forefront), the leader in providing behavioral telehealth to seniors and other vulnerable adults in rural communities across the United States, announced today the third phase of its #RuralHealthSTRONG COVID-19 Response Program. Volunteers within Forefront’s own clinical network – among them psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, psychologists and licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs) – will now offer free peer-to-peer counseling sessions to thousands of front-line healthcare workers across hundreds of rural health facilities. These volunteers understand the harsh realities faced by front-line health care workers in skilled nursing facilities, rural hospitals and psychiatric units, making them uniquely able to provide support in this unprecedented situation.
A recent article by STAT News described the struggle and mental anguish brought upon the medical community by COVID-19. With this phase of their response, Forefront finds itself leveraging the unique clinical expertise of its versatile network to offer help to more than 25,000 individuals.
“Our volunteer providers bring with them the experience, compassion, and expertise needed for such an undertaking as counseling our front-line healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Andrew Rosenzweig, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer, Forefront Telecare. “Anyone who cares about supporting the mental health needs of healthcare providers must know what it’s like to walk a mile in their shoes – to know the fear of becoming infected and infecting a loved one at home, and the uncertainty of having the necessary PPE during a shift.”
“The challenges facing medical facilities across the country, particularly in rural areas where a single hospital is a hub for all medical needs, are well-documented,” said Rob Rebak, CEO, Forefront Telecare. “What needs much more attention now is the mental health of those heroic providers.”
Forefront rolled out its #RuralHealthSTRONG response to COVID-19 in early March, which includes:
– Expanding its secure, HIPAA-compliant video platform capabilities to enable residents of rural facilities to continue to receive care from their local providers who may need to self-quarantine, as well as to provide a way for residents and family members to remain in contact in lieu of in-person visits.
– Partnering with psychiatric units to set up telehealth options for staffing to supplement current shortages and to establish back-up capacity in the event that current staff becomes incapacitated due to the impact of the coronavirus emergency.
– Offering proven behavioral telehealth carts with secure, HIPAA-compliant video conferencing at no-cost to hundreds of rural hospitals nationwide.
Rural hospitals, skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and other healthcare facilities are encouraged to contact [email protected] to find out more about this offer of support.
Virtual Models of Care: Behavioral Health in a Time of Social Isolation
Today (April 22), Forefront CEO Rob Rebak, Patrick Kennedy and other behavioral health leaders will be speaking at a Nashville Healthcare Council virtual webinar about social isolation and its effects on both mental and physical health in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. To register or learn more, please click here.
Since its inception in 2010, Forefront Telecare has been a leader in integrating high-quality clinical care, secure, HIPAA-compliant technology, scheduling, high-touch service, and back-end logistics needed to deliver outstanding behavioral telehealth solutions for seniors and other vulnerable adults in healthcare facilities across rural America.