June 2022 Meeting of the ECCL
Please note: the videotaping begins after Jim Gilmartin, ECCL’s President, welcomed the attendees, followed by the “Pledge of Allegiance.” Jim introduced the first speaker, Cindy Drapal, Chief Nurse Executive, Lee Health Ambulatory Services.
Summary of June 2022
Jim Gilmartin, ECCL’s President, welcomed the attendees, followed by the “Pledge of Allegiance.” Jim introduced the first speaker, Cindy Drapal, Chief Nurse Executive, Lee Health Ambulatory Services.
The Dispatch Health/ Lee Health Initiative
Ms. Cindy Drapal explained the Dispatch Health initiative to provide a home care service for urgent illnesses and injuries that do not require an Emergency Department visit. Cindy also outlined why Lee Health decided to implement the service with Dispatch Health and what the benefits were to patients.
The COVID 19 pandemic has put a tremendous strain on local emergency rooms. Even when taking suitable precautions, visiting the hospital increases the risk of exposure to COVID and its transmission to non-COVID patients.
Being able to treat otherwise healthy patients in their homes and minimize the transmission of the virus was an additional impetus behind Dispatch Health’s idea to bring home care services to patients. The advantages of providing patients with service to assess their condition in the comfort of their own home rather than wait, often for hours, in the Emergency Department to be assessed are apparent.
Lee Health believes that providing this healthcare resource in the patient’s home in conjunction with the usual medical support services it offers is a futuristic approach to addressing the patient’s medical needs. For that reason, Lee Health has contracted with Dispatch Health to provide this service.
Initially, Dispatch Health launched its services with two mobile units in the area. Early in 2022, a third unit was added to meet the increasing demand. Staffing includes a nurse practitioner or a physician’s assistant, with a virtual physician always available. A medical technician is also part of the team. Each vehicle carries a wide range of medicines and emergency equipment. Ultrasound and mobile X-Ray equipment may also be available in the coming months.
You can use Dispatch Health services for several different situations:
- Acute Care:
- In-home care for urgent illnesses and injuries that do not require an Emergency Department visit.
- The cost to the patient is in line with urgent care co-pay if in-network.
- They accept all Medicare and Medicare Advantage and standard Medicaid and are in-network with the Lee Employee Health Plan, Vivida, WellCare, Humana, AvMed, United, Devoted, Bright, and WellMed. Self-pay is $275.
- For patients after discharge from an acute care hospitalization.
- “Bridges” is the time between a patient’s discharge and a follow-up visit with primary care physician.
- Emergency Department to Home/Dispatch Health:
- Used for low-risk Emergency Department patients or those at risk for readmission.
Dispatch Health services are not intended to take the place of an emergency room visit for life-threatening injuries or illnesses.
Kelly McKenna, Lead Provider, Dispatch Health, was the next speaker.
Kelly McKenna has over 20 years of experience in Emergency Medicine as an RN and Nurse Practitioner. As a Lead Provider for Dispatch Health, she manages the clinical staff with hiring, training, and clinical reviews.
In August 2021, Lee Health Launched Dispatch Health Service, where Lee Health brings the provider to the patient’s home rather than having the patient go to either the emergency room or an urgent care facility. Dispatch Health Services were provided to over 2000 visits since September.
You can request Dispatch Health services by calling 239-301-3730 for specifics on procedures they can perform or visit the website www.DispatchHealth.com. If you have a “My Chart” link with Lee Health, it can be requested using that link too. Services are available 8 am – 10 pm, seven days a week, including holidays. No pre-registration is required. Check out their highly informative website.
The President’s Report.
Jim Gilmartin, ECCL’s President, made the following comments.
Recently, the Village leadership advised the ECCL that they are cancelling possible future workshop on creating the Estero Project to Improve Air and Water Quality we introduced.
However, the ECCL is discussing a similar project with the Calusa Waterkeepers, the Sanibel & Captiva Conservation Foundation, the Lee County Chapter of the Climate Reality Project, and the FGCU Water School. The focus is on implementing a program to help improve water and air quality and reduce Greenhouse Gases in greater Estero. We believe that it is essential to advocate for local action given the earth’s warming.
By collaborating with a group of local leaders in renewable energy, conservation, water quality, and business, we aim to educate and engage the Village and communities on cost-effective energy policy to establish greater climate resiliency.
Jim Gilmartin then introduced the next speaker Mike Wasson, Co-Chair of the ECCL’s Educational Council.
Mike reported that Estero Schools ended their year with a burst of activity and awards. He extended the ECCL’s congratulations to the 305 students that graduated from Estero High this year. At the May 4th Senior Awards Night, Estero High students received their Senior Awards and were recognized by nearly 20 organizations for individual achievements. The Community Scholarships presented totaled $350,000.
In addition, with the Bright Futures Scholarships of $500,000 and the College Scholarships of $2 million, the combined total of awarded Scholarships amounted to almost $3 million.
One scholarship example is the Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation Award presented to senior Julia Neis. She was awarded a $10,000 annual Scholarship to FGCU from the Mary T. & Richard G. Reichle, Jr. Scholarship Endowed Fund. Totaling $40,000 and focused on middle-income first-generation college students, the $10,000 award is for up to 4 years through graduation.
Community groups making awards included: APA of Southwest Florida, Bonita Springs AM Rotary Club, Bruce L. Scheiner and Associates, Collaboratory Coalition, Continental Women’s Club, Estero Encore Women’s Club, Estero Rotary Club, The Foundation for Lee County Schools, Michael Mastroianni Foundation, Pelican Sound Golf and River Club, PEO Chapter IH – Bonita Springs, United State Army, United States Marine Corps, and the United States Military Academy West Point.
The Estero Historical Society, Estero Chamber of Commerce, and the ECCL each awarded $1,000 Scholarships based on student-submitted essays. J. Oelmann received a $1,000 Scholarship for his essay on Village History and a second $1,000 Scholarship based on Estero Area Business History. The $1,000 Scholarship on Governance History went to Clayton Chauncey. Terri Hensley, Estero High School Guidance Counselor, coordinated this essay contest. Fifteen judges reviewed the ten essays submitted.
Allan Bowditch, ECCL’s Chief Communications Officer, made the following comments to conclude the meeting.
- Allan said, “the communications team has a key role in bringing to residents’ issues of importance and matters that could affect the quality of life in greater Estero. The team encourages additional volunteers to join the group because of a range of new issues that will need our attention in the coming months. You can find details on the opportunity on the ECCL’s Website, esterotoday.com” don’t hesitate to get in touch with Allan by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lead Provider, Dispatch Health
Kelly McKenna has over 20 years of experience in Emergency Medicine as an RN and Nurse Practitioner. As a Lead provider for Dispatch Health, she manages the clinical staff with hiring, training, and clinical reviews.
In August 2021, Lee Health launched its Home Health Care Service (click to see a video about this new service). The Home Health Service is a service where Lee Health brings the provider to the patient’s home rather than forcing the patient to go to either the emergency room or an urgent care facility.
Chief Nurse Executive - Lee Health Ambulatory Services
Ms. Cindy Drapal tells us about this innovative idea, Dispatch Health, why they decided to implement it, and the results.
The Covid 19 pandemic had put a tremendous strain on local emergency rooms. It was also a significant opportunity to transmit the disease to non-covid patients. Being able to treat otherwise healthy patients in their homes and minimize the transmission of the virus was a necessary action to balance healthcare resources with needs.
Lee Health has contracted with Dispatch Health to provide this service. Initially, the service was launched with two mobile units. Early in 2022, a third unit was added to meet the increasing demand.
Cindy Drapal is the Chief Nurse Executive for Ambulatory Services for Lee Health, the largest public health system in the State of Florida receiving no direct tax support. In her role, Drapal provides input into growth strategy, quality, cost, standardization of evidence-based practices, and over-sees operations of clinical services in community based practices across the health system.
Drapal received her Doctorate of Nursing Practice at Walden University; and Master’s degrees in Nursing, Health Administration, and Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. She is board certified in advanced nurse executive leadership, and stroke. She is active member on the SW FL Board of the American Heart Association, has served on the executive leadership council for the Go Red for Women campaign since 2017, and has been a Lee Health company co-chair for the Lee County Heart Walk since 2015.