- Feb 15
Ensuring Patient and Staff Safety
At Gateway Foundation, patient and staff health is our number one priority. We follow strict CDC guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety and minimize the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus. We have been implementing the latest medical and testing knowledge to prevent infection at all of our facilities. We mandate that all of our staff use PPE and that all patients use masks and adhere to social distancing guidelines. We monitor our staff rigorously according to CDC protocols. All patients are tested upon admission with rapid antigen tests. We have implemented rigorous safety and cleaning protocols and procedures at all sites.
The following safety guidelines are in place at our programs:
New Admissions Safety Procedures
- Extensive phone interview and screening to evaluate any COVID-19 or COVID-19 like symptoms or potential exposure to anyone positive for COVID-19, prior to admission.
- Checking for COVID-19 at the time of admission, which includes a symptom checklist, temperature check, medical screening, and nasal swab test.
- Each program is admitting patients. Upon arrival, patients receive a Rapid Antigen test for COVID-19, which gives us results in about 15 minutes. This is a nasal swab. Newly admitted patients reside in our admissions program area where they complete other important baseline testing. Once we receive the negative COVID-19 antigen test results, patients join the community and continue with other additional evaluations, detox protocols (if necessary), and programming.
- If a patient is positive and asymptomatic, they receive a second COVID-19 test referred to as a PCR test (Polymerase Chain Reaction), which has an even higher sensitivity rate than antigen tests. This is a nasal test as well and is sent to an outside laboratory for testing. We receive the tests back in one to three days. During this time the patient is quarantined while receiving treatment. If they have symptoms, they are either discharged to the hospital or return to their family. They may re-enter the community following a negative test, and the absence of symptoms.
Staff and Patients Safety Procedures Post Admission at our Facilities
- All staff and patients wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines.
- All patients and staff have their temperature taken every morning to ensure that everyone within the facility remains healthy and symptom-free.
- If a patient does start to show signs of an upper respiratory tract infection, they are immediately evaluated by our medical staff and placed into quarantine to be tested and referred out if necessary.
- If a patient develops COVID-19 and stays in our care, they would be placed in quarantine and monitored by our medical staff.
- Staff are examined before they enter the facility, and if they have any potential exposure or show signs of possible COVID-19, they are sent for testing, and their return to work is dependent on the test results.
- All facilities have instituted rigorous daily cleaning procedures per CDC guidelines.
- All non-essential visits have been eliminated to reduce potential exposure
We are grateful to our staff for going above and beyond each day to keep our patients safe and healthy on their path of recovery. They are our heroes, you will come to find out why when you enter one of our programs.
A Message from Our Gateway Foundation’s Chief Medical Officer, Board Certified Psychiatrist Specializing in Addiciton Medicine Dr. Roueen Rafeyan
March 23, 2020
It’s hard to believe that just a few months ago, many of us had never even heard of COVID19 and its impact on all of us. Today is a very different day, and one that requires us to band together to make sure that we stop this pandemic that is spreading throughout the world. As one of the leading healthcare providers of substance use disorder treatment in the country, we have taken this pandemic very seriously from the beginning. Our priority has been the health and safety of our patients and staff. To achieve this we have been following the directives and recommendations of the CDC and our public health leaders for all personnel and patients as well as community partners. While this terrible pandemic continues to spread across our nation we must also remember that approximately 130 people die of an overdose every day in the United States. As our health system becomes increasingly stressed with new patients, we cannot forget that our services are needed now more than ever.
We are prepared to continue providing our life-saving addiction medicine treatment and have taken the following steps to do so:
- Our medical and nursing staff have been screening and monitoring every patient in our care.
- Any new referrals are screened prior to admission and at the time of arrival at the facility.
- We have instituted “stay- at-home” policies across our entire workforce for any staff that is ill or has had either direct or indirect contact.
- We are virtualizing all of our outpatient services starting this week.
- All of our alumni have been offered daily virtual meetings and our “GatewayConnect app” to engage in alumni activities and on-going support.
- Within our residential treatment programs, we are providing treatment in smaller groups and making other modifications to reduce the size of gatherings.
- All Gateway Foundation facilities have been deep cleaned and stocked with needed supplies.
- Visits from families and all outside partners have been suspended until further notice.
- If we find a patient with fever, we have the capability to test for COVID19 with our local lab. As of today we have no positive cases of COVID19 among our clients or staff
Please Remember to Follow the Instructions of Our Public Health Leaders:
- If you are sick in any way, please do not leave your home.
- If you have a health conditions that can make you vulnerable or are elderly please do not leave your home.
- If you must go out for essential activities, please wash your hands, do not touch your face and maintain social distancing when you are out of your home.
Remember that this situation is likely to increase stress, anxiety and trauma among those we serve – we need to ensure that this is not a time to ignore the vulnerability of those with the disease of addiction. Please know that we are considered an essential health service and it is our intent to remain operational to meet the needs of our patients and continue supporting those struggling with the disease of addiction. I remind everyone that social distancing doesn’t have to mean isolation – please stay connected to your family and friends, your support network and anyone that you rely on – we are fortunate to have social media outlets to help us do this.
All your healthcare providers at Gateway Foundation remain steadfast in our mission – to continue our life-saving addiction medicine treatment.
Thank you and be safe.
Healing Through a Global Health Emergency
March 18, 2020 – A message from our CEO and President Thomas Britton DrPH CCS LPC LCAS
For 52 years, Gateway Foundation has provided Addiction Medicine that heals. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we understand the importance of continuing the work of evidence-based treatment for substance use disorder and alcoholism now more than ever. Gateway’s national workforce of more than 1,400 professionals is prepared to support you and those who are in need.
COVID-19 is a serious public health concern, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control. However, this is not a time to panic or become completely isolated. It is a time to listen and follow the directives of our public health leaders to protect the most vulnerable and at risk in our society. We are all part of the solution if we act early and adhere to the recommendations that are being released daily.
As we as a nation struggle with this public health crisis, Gateway is here to support all the communities we serve and everyone we impact. As always, the health and safety of our clients and our workforce is our top priority. We have implemented system-wide strategies that reduce the risk of exposure while preparing us to respond effectively and keeping our services accessible as this crisis unfolds. I urge everyone to keep in mind that while this crisis is taking lives, overdose-related deaths continue every day and for this reason, we must be vigilant about doing everything we can to support those in active treatment as well as those in recovery.
You are Not Alone, We are Here to Help
We are monitoring the directives and guidelines put forth by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as local health officials to continue integrating new best practices as they come. As we support and promote social distancing we are also taking steps to provide opportunities to engage virtually with existing clients, their families and those who are members of our alumni community. It is most critical that we don’t forget that people with substance use disorder are especially vulnerable and could be more susceptible to this virus – but they must also feel connected. Part of a successful life in recovery is the connections made with other members of the recovery community and we are doing our part to ensure that our clients are offered ways that they can engage with us and others during this time.
Personalized, Integrative Addiction Care
Our programs and services are fully operational. If you or a loved one is seeking treatment please visit gatewayfoundation.org or call 877–377–2027. If you are an alum or a person in need of help or know someone who is in need of help, please also call us – our 24/7 call center staffed with expert clinicians is here to help and get you to the right level of support.
We Get You Back to Your Priorities
Gateway is continuing the healing process for those who are in need during this unprecedented crisis. We are optimistic that through this challenge we will all come out stronger and with a heightened awareness of our interconnectedness and need for each other.
In partnership and solidarity with everyone in a time like no other, we stay true and steadfast to our mission.
March 16, 2020
Given the current incidence of Coronavirus in Illinois, we wanted you to know what precautions we are taking to keep our patients safe and healthy during this time.
At Gateway Foundation, patient health and wellbeing is our priority. We are a state-licensed and Joint Commission accredited behavioral healthcare provider and follow safety and infection control protocols at all of our programs. In response to the recent threat of COVID-19, we are monitoring the Center for Disease Control (CDC) information sites daily to stay current on all national and local healthcare trends and concerns. We have a plan in place to ensure the proper response to COVID-19.
Gateway Foundation facilities utilize products that are pre-approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and we employ full-time staff members who are devoted to cleaning and maintaining our facilities. We use standard precautions to minimize the spread of any viral pathogens through hand washing protocols, making hand sanitizer readily available and using gloves as needed. Our nurses, doctors, clinicians, and staff follow approved infection control and safety procedures.
We have recently implemented an additional screening protocol for everyone who seeks admission into our program. Gateway Foundation has been successfully treating clients for over 52 years, and patient health and facility hygiene, and safety will always be our priority.