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Agent Corner

Telehealth Visits Now Available

A Message from our Chief Medical Officer Regarding Your Care

As you are aware, COVID-19 (coronavirus) is a serious concern all across the country and the world. Social distancing is the one thing we can all do to reduce the spread to protect ourselves and others. To that end, The Villages Health is moving rapidly to reduce both the number of patients (both sick and healthy) in the care centers, and the number of our team members working in and traveling through our facilities – all without sacrificing the level of care we deliver to you and our community.

To that end, we are now offering telehealth visits. Many of your medical concerns can be addressed by this visit type. You can now hold an appointment with your provider over the telephone, with an option to connect by video. This is the best way to assure your safety, and the safety of our other patients and team members.

If you have an upcoming appointment, you will be contacted soon (if you haven’t been so already) to discuss updating your appointment to a telehealth visit. You will not have to reschedule or cancel your appointment.

If you do not want a telehealth visit, you will have the option to reschedule or cancel your upcoming appointment.

If you wish to schedule a future telehealth appointment, you may do so by calling your care center to schedule an appointment just as you have done in the past.

Please be advised, if your situation requires an in-office visit we will still see you. However, your need will first be assessed by our medical team. Before you are permitted to enter the care center, you will be screened for potential COVID-19 exposure. If you are symptomatic, you will be advised to self-quarantine. Testing supplies are not available at the Care Center at this time.

I want to assure you that The Villages Health is still here and available to keep you healthy and to heal you quickly. Thank you for your patience, flexibility and understanding during this unprecedented time.

Sincerely,

Jeff Lowenkron, MD, MPP
Chief Medical Officer
The Villages Health


All Learning Center Classes Moved Online

You May Register to Attend an Online Class

Please DO NOT Come to the Learning Center

We are continuing to monitor the COVID-19 virus and taking steps to prevent the spread of the virus as per the Center for Disease Control’s recommendations. As a result, we will temporarily conduct our Learning Center classes virtually and will suspend some seminars and expos until it is determined safe to conduct them in person.

Please note: if you are scheduled for a memory screening, you may still attend. Please review the following list for full details on upcoming events, seminars and classes.

Learning Center Classes

For your safety, Learning Center classes will be conducted virtually. Please DO NOT come to the Learning Center. Instead, you may continue to register for your classes of choice and we will send you a link to join us ONLINE.

Matter of Balance Classes

Cancelled through the end of March

Five Wishes Seminars

Cancelled through the end of March. If you already registered for these programs, we have sent you a link to register for April sessions.

Audiology Seminars and Expos

Cancelled through the end of March. If you already registered for these programs, we have sent you a link to register for April sessions.

Medical Nutrition Therapy and Diabetes Education Appointments

Individuals scheduled for medical nutrition therapy or diabetes education will be offered the opportunity to have their sessions virtually.

We will contact you with details of how to join us via telephone or an easy-to-use webinar option.

Memory Screenings

You may still join us for your memory screenings. We will allow extra time to sanitize the space between each appointment.

Call The Learning Center at 352-674-1779 for more information or for any questions you may have.


An Important Announcement from Our Chief Medical Officer

Measures We Are Taking to Protect Against COVID-19

In an effort to protect our patients, visitors, physicians and staff, The Villages Health has implemented some safety measures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and other illnesses. These measures include:

On the Phone Patient Screening

If a patient calls to book an appointment and complains of fever, cough, or shortness of breath, the Registered Nurses who staff our Nurse Help Line will follow Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines to properly screen patients and to advise the patient how to proceed.

Patients exhibiting symptoms should not enter the care centers. Instead, please Call Our Nurse Help Line at (352) 674-1777.

At the Care Centers

In the event a patient does arrive at one of our Care Centers with complaints of fever cough, or shortness of breath, the following will occur per CDC guidelines:

  • The patient will be greeted with a large sign asking them to STOP, DO NOT ENTER and instead please Call Our Nurse Help Line at (352) 674-1777.
  • If a patient does enter the lobby, they will be given a mask and asked to wait in a separate area in order to minimize exposure to others.

We are taking extra measures to sanitize our facilities during the day and to remove items that could spread illness (e.g. magazines and newspapers from our care center living rooms). The Villages Commercial Property Management has also enhanced its efforts to align with the recommended standards for the COVID-19 virus cleaning and maintenance practices. They have expanded the scope of their janitorial services to include specific attention to the cleaning and disinfecting of hard surfaces of all common areas of facilities within our community, including The Villages Health Care Centers.

For the duration of the CDC’s social distancing recommendation, we’ve moved our learning center classes to an online format. You may continue to register as normal for the classes that you are interested in and a link will be sent to allow you to join from home.

Furthermore, if staff members are sick we are allowing flexible time off policies to allow them to fully recover and to prevent the spread of illness.

COVID-19 Testing

Testing kits will be available at The Villages Health Care Centers very soon. Only ten (10) kits per care center will be available at a time, and will be given to patients who exhibit symptoms per CDC guidelines.

How can you protect yourself?

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid large gatherings, including sporting events, church and grocery stores during peak times.
  • When you must be around others in public, keep a 6-foot distance between you.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Please know your safety, and the safety of our physicians and staff, is of the utmost importance. We are in close communication with the CDC, other government agencies and internal teams to remain fully on top of the situation.

For additional resources, we will post periodic updates on our website at TheVillagesHealth.com/coronavirus. You are also encouraged to visit www.floridahealth.gov for the latest information related to COVID-19 in Florida. Additionally, the Florida Department of Health has set up a COVID-19 call center available 24/7 at (866) 779-6121.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey Lowenkron, MD, MPP
Chief Medical Officer
The Villages Health


 

Public Service Announcement: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

We realize that you may have questions about coronavirus (COVID-19) and want to make sure you have the latest information:

  • As of March 15, 2020, there are no known cases of coronavirus infection reported in the Tri-County area. There are 106 confirmed cases in the State of Florida.
  • At the present time, more people may be concerned about being infected with coronavirus than actually have it. 
  • Most people who develop symptoms from the virus have a flu-like illness.
  • Influenza can cause serious medical problems, therefore, immunization against influenza is strongly encouraged. At this time, there is no vaccine or specific treatment available for the coronavirus.
  • For mild cases, rest, fluids, good hand-washing and time will resolve most infections.
  • Even persons with mild infections can help the prevention effort by limiting their exposure to others and following the guidance that has been outlined, including self-quarantine.
  • Additionally, thorough hand washing with soap, respiratory etiquette, such as covering coughs and sneezes, avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and avoiding contact with others if you are sick are helpful measures to reduce disease transmission in a general sense (including coronavirus). 
  • Persons who recently have returned from foreign travel are advised to self-quarantine by remaining at home for 14 days upon return. If these persons develop symptoms (fever, productive cough/shortness of breath), they should contact the local health department. 
  • Testing is not widely available as of March 15, 2020. Commercial laboratories and the Department of Health are working to increase testing capacity.
  • Since there is no specific treatment for COVID-19, both a positive and negative test results are treated based only on clinical symptoms.
  • For general public concerns and questions, the State of Florida Department of Health has established a dedicated call center at 866-779-6121
  • Latest updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) can be found online at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html or the Florida Department of Health at http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/COVID-19/.

 



Bob Trinh is Named New CEO at The Villages Health

The Villages, FL – The Board of Directors for The Villages Health is pleased to announce the appointment of Bob Trinh as its new Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Trinh, along with the other members of the executive team, will be responsible for continuing to build a value-based healthcare system in The Villages® community, where care is patient centered, primary care driven, community based and made easy for patients.

“It is an honor to join this organization and to be part of a team that continues to bring excellent health care to the residents of The Villages and surrounding community,” says Bob Trinh. “I am looking forward to our future as we expand to support the continued growth of The Villages.”

Mr. Trinh, a Harvard MBA graduate, joins The Villages Health from Oak Street Health. There he served as the President for the Illinois Division, the organization’s largest market. During his time there, the Illinois Division grew from 14 to 18 primary care clinics, with 96 providers serving over 30,000 patients.

Prior to Oak Street Health, Mr. Trinh served as the Market Vice President for Orlando and South Florida at DaVita Medical Group with 29 clinics, 69 physicians and over 22,000 Medicare Advantage patients. Mr. Trinh also worked at Physicians United Plan and led STARS, health services, risk adjustment, finance and IT teams at various times during his tenure there.

“We are delighted to have Bob join us as our new CEO,” says Dr. Elliot Sussman, Chairman of the Board for The Villages Health. “He has an extensive career dedicated to improving the lives of both patients and health care professionals.”

For more information about The Villages Health please contact Sophie Ferenz at Sophie.Ferenz@thevillageshealth.com.

About The Villages Health

The Villages Health (TVH) is on a mission to make The Villages community America’s Healthiest Hometown® by keeping people healthy and healing people quickly. The patient-centered model allows patients to spend time with their care providers to build a relationship and address individual needs. In only its 6th year, TVH employs over 450 health care professionals across 8 locations and is growing at a rate of more than 500 new patients per month. With over 60 board-certified physicians across 15 specialties, TVH provides seamless coordinated care to more than 46,000 patients, including more than 18,000 Medicare Advantage members. As a result, all 8 care centers maintain a 98% patient satisfaction rate and perform within the top 1% nationally for quality care.

For more information, please visit www.TheVillagesHealth.com.

Contact:

Sophie Ferenz
Senior Marketing Specialist
(352) 674-8926
Sophie.Ferenz@TheVillagesHealth.com

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How to Access a Family Member’s Portal Using One Email Address

As we transition to our new medical records software, many of you have asked about accessing a family members’ medical records. For example, if you only have one email for both you and a spouse, are you able to access both records using one email account.

The answer is Yes!

To do this, you must first register your account using your email address. Next, call your care center and ask to be added as a “Family Member” to the person’s account that you would like to have access to with the same email account. With their permission, we can add you to their account.

This will allow you to view both accounts using one email address and one portal login.


How to Register for New Patient Portal

Today, we upgraded our medical records and patient portal technology so that we can continue to provide the highest levels of care. This change will impact your next patient appointment, as well as how you use the patient portal.

To make this transition as smooth as possible, we kindly ask that you complete the following steps below to re-register your patient portal account. If you cannot access a desktop computer, please call your care center and we will gladly hep you create your new account.

We apologize for this one-time inconvenience. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this exciting transition.

STEP 1: CREATE AN ACCOUNT USING A DESKTOP COMPUTER

From your desktop computer, visit TheVillagesHealth.com/portal-login. Enter your patient information into the required fields. Be sure to use the same information that we have on record for you. When you are finished, click “Continue.”

STEP 2: VERIFY

Request a temporary passcode to be sent to either your email address or phone number. Choose your preferred method and click “Send Code.”

STEP 3: RETRIEVE AND ENTER CODE

Check your email or cell phone for the 6-digit code. Enter the temporary passcode and select “Continue.”

STEP 4: CREATE NEW PASSWORD

Enter a new password. Check the box to accept the terms and conditions. Then click “Continue.”

You will now have access to your new online health record. You can also login to the portal at any time by visiting TheVillagesHealth.com/portal.


Frequently Asked Questions | New Electronic Medical Record Software

When will The Villages Health launch a new electronic medical records software and patient portal?

The Go-Live data for the new electronic medical records software, called Athena Health, will launch on Tuesday, November 27th, 2018.

Why is The Villages Health changing their electronic medical records software and patient portal?

The Villages Health recently celebrated five years. This milestone was an opportunity for us to evaluate many areas of our operations, including our technology, to continue to ensure we are doing our very best for our patients and our community. Electronic medical record technology is a key function of the organization. It gives us critical tools to provide seamless care so that we can keep people healthy and heal people quickly. During our evaluation, we recognized that our existing technology provider would no longer be able to support our growing organization, nor meet the needs of our patients. Therefore, we underwent an extensive search for a new technology provider and selected Athena Health.

Will there be any delay in service as a result of this transition?

The transition to a new software can be bumpy, but we are doing our very best to ensure a smooth transition. Our entire staff has been trained on the new software and prepared for go-live on Tuesday, November 27th, 2018.

During the first two weeks of the new software, we will have a reduced number of patient appointments to allow our staff extra time to adjust and serve our patients. We will also have between 2-4 software experts at each care center offering additional help and a central command center to provide support.

Will any information be lost during this transition?

No. Your entire medical record will be archived and we are confident it will not be lost during the transition.

Will my doctor still have any access to my medical records?

Yes. Your existing record is available to your provider in the form of an archive accessible within the new electronic health record.

Why do I have to bring my medication to my next appointment?

Your prescription medications will be transferred to the new electronic health record automatically, while over the counter medications and supplements will not. Furthermore, recent medical studies show that most patients start taking new medications or have stopped using old ones. Therefore, medication list records are often out of date.

While we do our best to keep medication records up to date during your visits, we believe it is in all of our patients’ best interest to review your medication one more time to doubly ensure we have the most up-to-date and accurate record for you.

This new software gives us the opportunity to complete a comprehensive medication check to ensure quality of care. This is how we can continue to provide the best care possible.

We apologize for the one-time inconvenience, but hope you will understand.

Will I still have access to my medical records on the old patient portal?

Yes. You will have limited access to your existing records using the old patient portal for the next six months, accessible at TheVillagesHealth.com/old-portal. However, starting November 27, 2018, there will be no new entries available through the old portal. All new entries will be in the new patient portal. You will only be able to review entries in the old portal for 6 months.

How do I access the new patient portal?

Since the portal is brand new, you will need to register a new account. We apologize for this one-time inconvenience.

If you have access to a desktop computer, you can register yourself online. If not, you can contact your care center and someone will gladly help you create your account.

Below are step-by-step details on how to register for the new patient portal using a desktop computer.

STEP 1: GO ONLINE TO CREATE AN ACCOUNT WITH A DESKTOP COMPUTER

On or after November 27, 2018, visit TheVillagesHealth.com/portal-login. Enter your patient information into the required fields. Be sure to use the same information that we have on record for you. When you are finished, click “Continue.”

STEP 2: VERIFY

Request a temporary passcode to be sent to either your email address or phone number. Choose your preferred method and click “Send Code.”

STEP 3: RETRIEVE AND ENTER CODE

Check your email or cell phone for the 6-digit code. Enter the temporary passcode and select “Continue.”

STEP 4: CREATE NEW PASSWORD

Enter a new password. Check the box to accept the terms and conditions. Then click “Continue.”

You will now have access to your new online health record. You can also login to the portal at any time by visiting TheVillagesHealth.com/portal.

Who do I call if I need help registering for my patient portal?

If you have attempted to register for the portal using the directions above and are unsuccessful in creating a new account, please contact your local care center.

Brownwood Care Center
352-674-1790

Colony Care Center
352-674-1710

Creekside Care Center
352-674-1760

Mulberry Grove Care Center
352-674-1750

Pinellas Care Center
352-674-1720

Santa Barbara Care Center
352-674-1740

Specialty Care Center
352-674-8700


12 Free Nutrition Courses in March

Fuel Your Active Lifestyle in The Villages®

Did you know the food choices you make every day impact the way you feel and perform? That’s right. What you eat impacts that golf swing more than you know! In honor of National Nutrition Month, we are offering 12 free courses to help you develop sound eating habits and fuel your active lifestyle here in The Villages®.

Classes include “The Fundamentals of Nutrition,” “Healthy Eating Out,” “Exercise and Physical Activity” and our brand-new class titled “Go Further with Food,” an interactive session that will show you how to meal prep for an entire week using healthy, delicious recipes.

“By preparing foods in advance to enjoy throughout the week, we can ensure that we’re getting the nutrients we need each day to fuel our active lifestyles here in The Villages®,” says Kristen Curtis, MS, RD, LDN, a Registered Dietitian for The Villages Health. “But it’s also a way to make sure we’re making good use of every dollar, and not wasting resources. It makes healthy eating a lot more affordable!”

All of our classes are free for the entire community. You don’t have to be a patient to attend, so remember to register both you and a friend online today.

12 Free Nutrition Courses in March

Go Further with Food
Thursday, March 15th at 1 PM
Pinellas Care Center
Register Online >>

Tuesday, April 3rd at 1 PM
Brownwood Care Center
Register Online >>

Healthy Eating Out
Wednesday, March 3rd at 1 PM
Belleview Care Center
Register Online >>

Monday, March 12 at 8:30 AM
Mulberry Grove Care Center
Register Online >>

Tuesday, March 20th at 10 AM
Colony Care Center
Register Online >>

Fundamentals of Nutrition
Wednesday, March 7 at 2:30 PM
Belleview Care Center
Register Online >>

Thursday, March 8 at 3:30 PM
Santa Barbara Care Center
Register Online >>

Tuesday, March 13 at 8:30 AM
Colony Care Center
Register Online >>

Wednesday, March 21 at 1 PM
Brownwood Care Center
Register Online >>

Exercise and Physical Activity
Thursday, March 8 at 2 PM
Santa Barbara Care Center
Register Online >>

Wednesday, March 14 at 1 PM
Brownwood Care Center
Register Online >>

If you are unable to attend a class in March, don’t worry. We offer courses all year long. You can check the most current schedule online at https://thevillageshealth.com/learning-center/.


10 Tips for Making Healthy Choices While Dining Out

How to Select Delicious, Yet Nutritious Options in a Restaurant

We all love to indulge at a restaurant every once in a while, especially in The Villages® community. There are over 60 restaurants to enjoy in our three town squares, and even more in the surrounding neighborhoods. Not to mention, many of our social activities are held in a dining room with appetizers, entrees and alcohol readily available.

It can be tough to balance this exciting lifestyle with nutritious eating. It’s not impossible though! Here are 10 ways you can make healthier decisions while dining out, and still enjoy a tasty life here in The Villages®.

    1. Research Before You Go – Nowadays, most restaurants have their menu posted online. This is a great resource for you to research healthy options in advance. If you aren’t sure what to order, call ahead and ask the hostess for recommendations or if they will accommodate special requests.
    2. Pass on the Bread and/or Chips – Before you sit down, tell the hostess that you’d prefer to pass on the free bottomless bread bowl or endless chips. If they don’t bring it to the table, it won’t be a temptation for you! Even though these items are free, they can add over 300 empty calories to your meal.
    3. Start with a Veggie-packed Salad – Get your greens and veggies in first by ordering a salad. It will also satiate you enough, and reduce the risk of overeating when the main course is served.
    4. Order an Appetizer-sized Portion – Restaurant portions are much larger than what you would eat at home. Oftentimes, the appetizer portions are just right! Just be mindful not to fill up on fried items.
    5. Share Entrées with Friends – If you do opt for a main course, perhaps share it with a spouse or friend. Both of you will eat less, feel lighter and be more likely to enjoy an evening stroll together later.
    6. Take Home a To-Go Box – Another option is to ask the server to split your meal before it’s even served, putting half of it in a to-go box for you. This will prevent you from overeating on a main dish – not to mention the added bonus of leftovers!
    7. Choose Wholesome Carbs – When choosing bread, opt for whole grains like wheat, rye and pumpernickel. Choose brown and wild rice over white rice, or vitamin-packed veggies, like sweet potatoes or carrots, over vitamin-deficient options, like French fries.
    8. Choose Lean Proteins – When choosing a meat entrée, select a leaner option like chicken or turkey breast, white fish, or filet. Look for keywords like “flank,” “broiled,” “grilled,” “boiled,” “baked” or “braised” to signal a cooking process that limits added fats. Avoid words like “fried,” “battered,” “crispy” or “smothered.”
    9. Avoid Creamy Sauces and Gravies – Sauces like alfredo or béchamel are loaded with heavy whipping cream, butter and salt. They add lots of calories to a meal, without giving you a satisfied feeling, which can lead to overeating. Avoid words like “creamy,” “buttery,” “bisque” and “gravy.” Instead, ask for water and citrus-based sauces for a lighter, yet delicious option.
    10. Skip Dessert – Dessert is a quick way to add another 300 empty calories to your meal, so it’s best to avoid it. If you have a sweet tooth and can’t resist temptation, opt for a small bowl of fruit or berries to satisfy the craving.

When you take the time to learn about the food you are eating and practice making healthy choices, it gets easier and easier to live a happy, healthy life here in The Villages®.

To get more helpful tips and guided techniques from a wellness educator and/or Registered Dietitian, register for one of our free courses. We offer classes year-round to the entire community. From nutrition basics to weekly meal planning, we have the tools and resources you need to live your healthiest life ever!

Explore our free courses in the Learning Center. You do not need to be a patient to attend, so don’t forget to register you and your friend online.


Stay Informed

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I loved that when I went to see a specialist, he had every medication I was on, my full health history and my family history because of the coordination at The Villages Health.

Linda Meng, Patient at Pinellas Care Center & Specialty Care Center