Montana facility gets staff help from Billings Clinic, state amid COVID-19 outbreak

Billings (Mont.) Clinic and state officials have been working together to ensure staffing needs are met at a memory care facility experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak, the clinic confirmed to Becker's.  

Canyon Creek Memory Care in Billings — which provides care for patients with cognitive issues, such as dementia and Alzheimer's — reported July 10 that 55 of the facility's 59 residents tested positive for the illness. At that time, it reported five resident deaths due to COVID-19. As of July 14, that number had risen to eight deaths, and there were seven residents hospitalized due to COVID-19.

Amid the outbreak, Billings Clinic said it has worked with the state to provide medical staff to care for residents, and — in coordination with Canyon Creek, the state and local public health officials — was able to deploy 30 Billings Clinic medical professionals to the facility, including registered nurses, respiratory therapists, licensed practical nurses and certified nursing assistants. On-call pharmacy coverage and administrative support also has been provided.  Billings Clinic staff was at the facility from the evening of July 10 to the morning of July 14.  

Members of the Montana National Guard also were brought in to help take care of residents, and Canyon Creek flew in additional staff to help last weekend, Billings Clinic said. 

"This was a true community response to a very serious crisis," Billings Clinic CEO Scott Ellner, DO, said in a news release. "COVID-19 outbreaks can be devastating to care facilities, and we have to work together to provide the care people need. We knew that our colleagues at Canyon Creek needed help, and our teams at Billings Clinic stepped in without hesitation during a time of great need. They are all truly heroes, and I am incredibly honored to work with each and every one of them. At the same time, it is vital that we all remain vigilant and do everything that we can to slow and prevent the spread of this illness."

Canyon Creek and the state continue to coordinate staffing efforts at the facility.


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