Life Care Centers of America
Rivergate Complex looks forward into 2021
Stories of Passion & Care

Rivergate Complex looks forward into 2021

Life Care Public Relations

Rivergate Complex’s first priority is the safety and well-being of its residents. When the twin facilities found themselves face-to-face with COVID-19 at the end of March and beginning of April 2020, divisional and facility leadership demonstrated this as they sprang into action to fight against the deadly virus.

Rivergate Health Care Center and Rivergate Terrace had prepared for this eventuality as cases spread throughout the United States and into the greater Detroit area. The facilities’ leadership continued to evolve its methods of resident care daily in conjunction with CDC guidelines as the nation learned more about COVID-19.

Throughout several months, the teams at Rivergate fought against the virus. Triumphantly, they came out on the other side and stabilized their buildings. Sadly, they lost 59 residents and one team member in the process. Although the campus faced unwarranted scrutiny from the local media, Champions Rise – which is what the dedicated team at Rivergate has done.

Rivergate Health Care Center cleared its outbreak on May 21, while Rivergate Terrace met that goal on July 24.

“I am very proud of the Rivergate facilities,” said John Polturanus, vice president of Life Care Centers of America’s Lakes Region.

Because the safety and peace of mind of residents and their family members is the highest priority, we continually research and assess emerging technology that may further enhance our safety measures with infection control, air quality, associate training and family communication.

Life Care and our associates are committed to providing vigilant care that goes the extra mile to keep residents safe. That vigilance includes:

  • Providing every patient with a routine clinical assessment.
  • Using “Point of Care” testing equipment from the federal government.
  • An ongoing surveillance testing program that continues for staff, per state requirement.
  • A policy that states new admissions will be placed in quarantine for at least 14 days, allowing for observation to focus on preventing any new introduction of the virus into the facility.
  • Ongoing communication with family members includes monitored outdoor visits, window visits, texts, phone calls, FaceTime calls and “drive-by” parades to keep families connected to their loved ones.
  • Strict adherence to CDC, CMS and state health department infection control protocols will be maintained.
  • Training for associates will be continuously updated based on regulations and first-hand experience in controlling the virus.

Michelle Peeper, executive director at Rivergate Health Care Center, shared that her staff feels more confident in handling the COVID-19 threat now.

“Our hope for this year is to get everybody back to where they can see each other again,” she said.

Rivergate Complex’s journey since this spring has been filled with tragedy, sorrow, heroism and community support. Despite the challenges they have faced, leaders and associates at Rivergate Health Care Center and Rivergate Terrace continue to demonstrate true strength as they come together to fight against this unseen enemy.

With new tools and technology available, a commitment to vigilance and the wisdom of first-hand experience, Polturanus believes the Rivergate facilities are well positioned in the fight against COVID-19.

“We’re all committed to doing whatever we can to make our buildings as safe as possible,” Polturanus said.

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