CARMEL, N.Y. - Nuvance Health hospitals, which includes Putnam Hospital Center in Carmel, have reopened for elective surgeries and endoscopy procedures as the region observes a decrease in the rate of new COVID-19 infections and in accordance with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order.

Staff at Putnam Hospital, Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck, and the Center for Ambulatory Services at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie have been preparing for weeks to resume a limited number of elective surgeries and procedures starting with high-priority patients and those most acutely in need.

“Together as a community, our flexibility and perseverance are paying off. Our approach to COVID-19 was thoughtful, determined and deliberate. In doing so, we were able to safely provide essential surgical care despite the pandemic around us,” said Kerry Eaton, chief operating officer for Nuvance Health. “We are approaching resuming elective surgical care the same way: with thoughtful planning and a resolve to get this right. We will continue to keep the safety and well-being of our patients, their families and staff as top priorities as we resume these elective surgeries and procedures.”

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Dr. Jeffrey Nicastro, Nuvance Health’s chair of surgery, said the hospitals have put extensive measures in place to promote safety and the patient experience.

“Our staff adheres to a comprehensive screening process for all patients, which will now include our procedural patients. This includes safely and effectively providing care from arrival to the procedure and through discharge to home or to next-steps care,” he said. “Our process ensures every step to resuming elective surgeries and procedures is seamless and safe.”

One of Nuvance Health’s most notable safety measures is mandatory COVID-19 testing for patients scheduled for a surgical procedure. Patients are required to have negative test results within two days of their procedure, and they must self-isolate and follow stringent safety precautions to avoid possible infection between testing and the procedure date itself. Other important points include:

• Any patient who tests positive for a COVID-19 infection will be re-tested before elective surgery can be rescheduled.

• The hospitals and ambulatory centers are continuing visitor restrictions.

• All facilities are employing stringent, CDC-based, enhanced cleaning and sterilization regimens and enforcing proper use of PPE (personal protective equipment).

• Social distancing will be maintained in common areas, and all patients, visitors and staff must wear masks.

• Any COVID-19 patients in the hospitals will be treated in a separate area.

• Nuvance Health Virtual Visit care options are expanded to keep patients who don’t need a face-to-face appointment out of the facilities.

Patients whose care was postponed are being contacted to schedule appointments. For more information, they should contact their physician directly or visit

Article courtesy of Nuvance Health

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