Beacon Medical Group leaders provide update on Beacon Mobile COVID Testing Unit

More than 1,650 community residents in Elkhart and St. Joseph counties have been tested since the Beacon Mobile COVID Testing Unit launched in mid-April. The unit reaches out to residents in their neighborhoods, including underserved areas, and Beacon helps those who test positive get the care they need.

The unit has also distributed thousands of fabric face masks. Ginny Schackow, director of physician practices, and Laura Kreger, senior project leader, Beacon Medical Group, explain the screening and testing process and how it has evolved since April. They also describe the willingness of community organizations to host the unit, and how the dedicated Beacon team has worked in snow, rain, wind and now the high summertime temperatures.

Many of the residents who visit the testing unit would have otherwise not been tested. “We focus on areas that don’t always seek care because of social determinants and other factors,” Schackow said. “It’s part of Beacon’s commitment to focus on the underserved.”

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Dr. Scott Eshowsky: Do you have allergies, upper respiratory illness or maybe COVID?

When is a sore throat, cough or fever, seasonal allergies, symptoms of an upper respiratory illness, or possibly COVID-19? Dr. Scott Eshowsky, a primary care physician with Beacon Medical Group Main Street, explains the differences as well as when it is time to call your doctor. Dr. Eshowsky also discusses lyme disease and how to distinguish that infection from other illnesses, and offers advice about how to stay healthy this summer as we take to the outdoors.

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Dr. Michelle Bache: A “glimmer of hope” seen in Elkhart County

The mask order that goes into effect in Elkhart County on Tuesday is the right move and the most effective thing to do to contain the COVID outbreak, said Dr. Michelle Bache, Vice President of Medical Affairs, Elkhart General Hospital. There are glimmers of hope beginning to show in the county. “We’re starting to see our percentage of positive cases coming down,” she said. Elkhart General is still seeing the effects of the past two weeks, with the highest number of COVID cases that the hospital has seen since the start of the epidemic. But Dr. Bache is not discouraged, however, because if county-wide numbers come down, as they started doing late last week, then Elkhart General’s hospitalization rate will also decrease.

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Dr. Chris Ketcham: Importance of resuming therapy and rehab after quarantine

“It’s amazing how much you lose over just a few weeks time of being inactive.” Dr. Chris Ketcham, Medical Director of Rehabilitation Services at Memorial Hospital, emphasizes the importance for patients who had been receiving rehabilitation and therapy services before quarantine to resume that activity and get back on track as quickly as possible.

Your safety and health are Beacon’s top priority. Dr. Ketcham discusses what therapy looks like today and he offers insight into what to expect if you or a loved one are receiving inpatient or outpatient services at a Beacon location.

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Dr. Michelle Bache, Vice President of Medical Affairs, Elkhart General Hospital: Update on COVID cases in Elkhart County

The trajectory of positive COVID cases is continuing to climb in Elkhart County. Dr. Michelle Bache, Vice President of Medical Affairs at Elkhart General Hospital, provides the latest information about the effect this is having on the hospital, including the increasing number of COVID patients who are requiring hospitalization and requiring ventilators. “But we are still in a good position that we are able to provide non-COVID care to the community, perform surgeries, and do the important things the community as a whole needs,” Dr. Bache says.

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Terrance Tanner, psychotherapist, Beacon Medical Group Specialities in Mishawaka, talks about the importance of a good night’s sleep, especially during times like these when a lot might be on your mind

The importance of sleep cannot be understated. Terrance Tanner, Psychotherapist with Beacon Medical Group Specialties in Mishawaka, discusses what he has been hearing from his patients about insomnia and trouble falling and staying asleep during the pandemic. Tanner offers practical tips that can help us all get a healthier night’s sleep.

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News Stories: June 10, 2020

Elkhart County wrestles with how to respond to spike in coronavirus cases (South Bend Tribune, June 7) Elkhart County hospitals battle recent spike in Coronavirus cases (WNDU, June 8) Number of COVID cases in county still rising (Elkhart Truth, June 8) IOSHA clears air on employee safety as it receives

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Dr. Jennifer Prins, Psychiatrist, Beacon Medical Group Behavioral Health, South Bend Spirituality and your mental health

The pandemic has been tough on a lot of people, whether they have been out of touch with family and friends or experienced a loss of a job or income. But Dr. Jennifer Prins, Psychiatrist, Beacon Medical Group Behavioral Health in South Bend, says many of us turn to our faith to cope with losses and stressful situations. Dr. Prins also offers alternative ways to live one’s faith outside of attending services in person, if you’re still wary of being around a lot of people in public.

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