Information regarding COVID-19 vaccine at St. Clair can be found HERE.

St. Clair Hospital gets new vaccine shipment

PITTSBURGH — Officials with St. Clair Hospital were able to start rescheduling patients as soon as they found they were getting another shipment of COVID-19 vaccines.

“I’m 86 so I thought I would be right up in the front there but nobody had it,” said Leo Tross.

The hospital went three weeks without receiving the vaccines needed for first-dose appointments. Now that the shipment has come in, they’re able to set up clinics in the South Hills for senior citizens.

“We are very relieved that we are finally able to get it,” said chief medical officer Alan Yeasted.

 

Link:  https://www.wpxi.com/news/top-stories/st-clair-hospital-gets-new-vaccine-shipment/FNPPM6TLX5CTHATHH3WZHKHTXI/

St. Clair Hospital receives first dose vaccines, after three weeks without

PITTSBURGH —Doctors and nurses at St. Clair Hospital has resumed administering first dose COVID-19 vaccines, after not receiving the vaccines for three weeks.

“We’re now back since we got vaccine through the help of many of the legislators in the area and we’re very grateful for the help that they gave us,” said St. Clair Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. Alan Yeasted.

Dr. Yeasted administered the doses at Twin Towers, about 2 miles from the hospital. He said the residents had their first dose appointments canceled when those doses stopped arriving at St. Clair Hospital. Dr. Yeasted said many of the residents of Twin Towers are not able to get to the hospital, for the clinic.

“It’s very nice that we are able to come back and help these people out,” said Dr. Yeasted.

Dr. Yeasted said the hospital finally received 1,000 first-dose vaccines on Monday. He said he expects they will continue to receive that allotment and he said they will call all of the patients who had their dose canceled first, to get each one rescheduled.

 

Link:  https://www.wtae.com/article/covid-vaccine-st-clair-hospital-resumed-administering-first-dose-vaccines/35867422#

St. Clair Hospital given zero COVID-19 vaccine first doses for weeks, leaders frustrated

ALLEGHENY CO., Pa. — For the third week in a row, St. Clair Hospital says it hasn’t been allocated any supply of the Pfizer vaccine for first dose appointments.

Because of that, thousands of people were put on hold — forced to wait even longer to get the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

“It’s profoundly disappointing to those who thought they were right on the cusp of being vaccinated,” said Dr. John Sullivan, senior vice president and chief medical officer at St. Clair. “We canceled several hundred last week, and we canceled all of the first dose appointments this week — and we canceled several senior living facilities.”

That includes the Twin Towers Apartments in Mt. Lebanon and the Dormont Place Apartments — for senior citizens.

Sullivan told Channel 11 5,000 South Hills residents are still in the que, waiting to even schedule a vaccine appointment. And for those who need a second dose, it will depend on shipments over the next few weeks.

St. Clair Hospital is trying to keep residents in the loop as much as possible. They sent out an alert on Twitter and Facebook, telling people to keep checking the hospital’s social media and website for updates.

Sullivan said he would like to see a change to avoid this problem from happening again, along with chief medical officers from many other hospitals in the area.

“The ideal state is going to be when we receive communication three weeks in advance how much we can supply and can book patients with confidence,” he said. “That is the Pa. Department of Health’s plan going forward, just not quite there yet. I think we are on the cusp.”

Link: https://www.wpxi.com/news/top-stories/st-clair-hospital-given-zero-covid-19-vaccine-first-doses-weeks-leaders-frustrated/DIZVN7BKZFEKLPHOYOB2ADUPWU/

St. Clair Hospital not allocated supply of Pfizer vaccine for 3rd week in a row

St. Clair Hospital in Pittsburgh announced Monday that for a third week in a row, it was not allocated any supply of the Pfizer vaccine for first dose appointments.

“We regret the impact on thousands of South Hills residents who remain in our queue to be scheduled, including some of the most vulnerable residents of senior living facilities in the area. We will reschedule these appointments as soon as we are resupplied,” a post on the hospital’s website said.

St. Clair Hospital said patients who have second dose appointments scheduled for this week are unaffected.

Link:  https://www.wtae.com/article/st-clair-hospital-not-allocated-supply-of-pfizer-vaccine-for-3rd-week-in-a-row/35774146

St. Clair Hospital hasn’t been getting first-dose allocations for three weeks

St. Clair Hospital hasn’t gotten any first doses of the Pfizer Inc. vaccine for the past three weeks, which has led to the hospital not being able to provide thousands of vaccines it and the community had been expecting.

The hospital had to reschedule an undisclosed number of first-dose appointments and said thousands still need to be scheduled for their first doses. This doesn’t impact the second doses for people who have already received the first doses. Those supplies are continuing.

The hospital declined an interview request but said in a statement Wednesday that it had talked to state officials about the situation.

“Foremost among those concerns is that, without St. Clair’s participation in the distribution process, the most vulnerable populations in the South Hills will be disadvantaged in securing access to the vaccine,” St. Clair said in a statement. “These populations include the very elderly, those living in senior housing and certain other high-risk individuals.”

State Rep. Dan Miller, D-Mt. Lebanon, said St. Clair’s efforts around the vaccine distribution have been critical to the South Hills. He said the hospital has been not only providing vaccines via clinics, but also reaching out to vulnerable members of the community, including senior housing, who aren’t able to go to a mass-vaccination site.

“You cannot dispute they have been working hard at getting this vaccine out,” Miller said.

Miller said he reached out to the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Wolf administration about the reasons. He said he was told it wasn’t because St. Clair wasn’t doing enough vaccinations, that the hospital system is doing everything it’s supposed to be doing. Miller said he urged the state to resume providing first doses to St. Clair. He had been told there were at least 5,000 people who were waiting in St. Clair’s vaccination system.

“We’re looking forward to seeing hopefully a different result on the allocation decision next week,” Miller said.

The hospital said it was sorry about the impact on the community in a Facebook post, and promised to reschedule appointments as soon as it got vaccine.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

St. Clair Hospital is the seventh-largest health system in the Pittsburgh region, according to the 2021 Pittsburgh Business Times Book of Lists.

 

By – Paul J. Gough – Reporter, Pittsburgh Business times

Link:  https://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/news/2021/03/10/first-dose-allocations-st-clair-hospital.html

St. Clair Hospital cancels appointments after no covid vaccine shipment for 3 weeks

St. Clair Hospital officials say they haven’t received a shipment of first-dose covid-19 vaccines in three weeks, leading to hundreds of canceled appointments and clinics.

In addition to the individual appointments, the hospital has also canceled three clinics at senior-living centers: Twin Towers, Dormont Place and Carnegie Retirement Residence, hospital spokesman Robert Crytzer said.

More than 5,000 people — established patients at the Mt. Lebanon hospital — are on the vaccine waiting list, he said.

Crytzer said the hospital has raised its concerns with the state Department of Health, which is responsible for distributing the vaccines among providers in 66 counties. Philadelphia works directly with the federal government.

“Foremost among those concerns is that, without St. Clair’s participation in the distribution process, the most vulnerable populations in the South Hills will be disadvantaged in securing access to the vaccine,” hospital officials said in a statement.

Officials alerted patients earlier this week that appointments would be rescheduled after no first-shot doses of the Pfizer vaccine were delivered.

Department of Health records confirm the last shipment St. Clair received from the state was Feb. 22 and included 2,145 doses.

In the weeks prior, the hospital received 975 doses on Jan. 25, Jan. 28 and Feb. 1, and a shipment of 1,950 on Feb. 11.

The department on Wednesday provided a breakdown of how it determines the number of vaccines that will go to each provider.

That decision is based on two elements, the first being by county need. The need of a particular county is based on four separate weighted factors: the population over the age of 65 (weighted at 30%), the total population (weighted at 20%), the number of covid cases (weighted at 20%) and the number of covid deaths (weighted at 30%).

The second prong of the decision-making looks at provider capacity – the number of vaccines requested by a particular provider and their ability to administer and store the vaccine.

Hospital officials said they’re hopeful first-dose shipments will resume next week.

“It’s profoundly disappointing to those who thought they were right on the cusp of being vaccinated,” Dr. John Sullivan, chief medical officer, told Tribune-Review news partner WPXI-TV.

 

By Megan Guza – Reporter, Tribune Review

Link:  https://triblive.com/local/south-hills/st-clair-hospital-cancels-appointments-after-no-covid-vaccine-shipment-for-3-weeks/

Mayo’s Leadership Program Sparks Improvements in one of Pittsburgh’s Largest Medical Centers

At St. Clair Hospital, Emergency Medicine Chair Jason Biggs, M.D., has a saying that the sickest patient is the one that hasn’t yet arrived. He knows that when that sick patient comes through the door, the Emergency Department (ED) is fully dependent on other areas of the hospital—labs, radiology and inpatient units—to function. That’s one of the reasons why he and his team from St. Clair Hospital, a member of Mayo Clinic Care Network, attended Mayo Clinic’s Professional Leadership Development Program in September 2019.

“When we are diagnosing a critically ill patient, it’s vital to have integration between all areas of care,” says Dr. Biggs. “We need to be as efficient as possible when admitting the patient, undergoing a CT scan and reading the radiology results. Plus, when there are 20 people in the waiting room, we need to make sure we’re working as effectively as possible to evaluate and treat them.”

While attending the Professional Leadership Program at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Biggs as well as two other St. Clair Hospital leaders—Emergency Department Manager Jacob Meitlzer and Medical Imaging Manager Maurica Moore—discussed ways they could reduce the length of stay for patients in the ED, especially for those needing a CT scan.

The trio started with a few basic facts: St. Clair’s Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based ED sees 175 patients resulting in 60 CT scans daily.  They identified that if their teams could save just a few minutes per patient that would ensure lots of downstream positive effects, including better outcomes for patients, less critically ill people in the waiting room and faster door-to-provider time.

“At the conference, we were allotted lots of breakout time to work together,” Dr. Biggs says. “We were able to talk at length, create ideas, and then benchmark them against other leaders from institutions who were also at the conference.”

When Dr. Biggs and his team returned to St. Clair Hospital, they hit the ground running, identifying ways to better integrate the ED with surrounding and supporting departments. As a result, providers in the ED saw a noticeable reduction in patient wait times—in some cases, a 15-minute improvement.

Dr. Biggs says, “The leadership course empowered us to take action and then provided us the necessary steps to make improvements.”

 

Link:  https://carenetworkmembers.mayoclinic.org/2021/03/10/mayos-leadership-program-sparks-improvements-in-one-of-pittsburgs-largest-medical-centers/

Could the pandemic bring a baby boom to the Pittsburgh region? Early data is mixed.

Laurie Sloan and her husband have always known they wanted to have a big family. The stay-at-home mom, who is now pregnant with her fourth child, didn’t let the pandemic stop their plans. “We were stuck at home and hanging out together and it was kind of fun watching all the kids be close in age and play together,” she said.

Sloan, who is now expecting a son in June, thought being pregnant during the pandemic would allow her to spend more time preparing for his arrival. “I thought by the time the baby was here, life would be back to normal,” she said. “That’s obviously not going to happen.”

For Sloan, pandemic pregnancy has been bittersweet. On one hand, working from their Highland Park home has allowed her husband to help out more. On the other hand, the experience has been isolating. “I just feel like I can’t go anywhere without risking myself or the baby,” she said.

In one important respect, Sloan is not alone: She is one of 60 women who are expected to give birth at The Midwife Center for Birth & Women’s Health in June. That would be twice as many as who gave birth there last year in June.

Across the country, experts have predicted a nationwide ‘baby bust,’ or a lower number of births than previous years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying economic recession. Yet interviews with doctors and experts in the Pittsburgh region, paired with local birth data, paint a more nuanced picture.

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St. Clair Hospital Hopes To Vaccinate 2,000 People In Group 1A This Week

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — St. Clair Hospital is vaccinating some people in the top priority group — Group 1A.

“We reached out to some of our established patients in the age ranges that were at highest risk,” says St. Clair Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Sullivan. “As you compared relative risks, the overwhelming one was age.”

To target those most likely to be hospitalized or die from COVID-19, St. Clair Hospital is only vaccinating patients in its database who are 75 years old and up, who are at the highest risk of being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19.

Supplies are limited.

“We’re getting 1,000 to 2,000 doses per week. We’re going to try to do 2,000 this week based on what we have,” he says.

For that reason, the hospital is only immunizing a subset of this broad group that includes people 65 and up and people with cancer, obesity, COPD, and other chronic health conditions.

“Going with an age-based strategy is basically non-negotiable,” Dr. Sullivan said.

People outside of the strict parameters still try to get in.

“You want to create context for them that there are people that are much higher risk,” Dr. Sullivan said. “I tell people to keep their eye on several potential supply routes. But pharmacies have struck me as potentially an easier route for some people who are anxious to get their dose today.”

The people coming to the hospital are full of joy. Dr. Sullivan likens it to the birth of a baby.

“I find myself congratulating the World War II veteran in his walker, people are taking pictures with their parents,” said Dr. Sullivan.

Doing this in the middle of winter has additional challenges.

“We had some cancellations yesterday,” he said. “So all of us have plans in place to not waste any vaccine because we can’t waste a single dose of vaccine.”

If you have to reschedule your second dose because of the weather, don’t worry. It doesn’t have to be exactly 21 or 28 days, depending on whether you get Pfizer or Moderna. The CDC says you have up to 42 days.