Traditional Home Health Care Tackles COVID-19 Crisis

Traditional HealthAs the foreboding news of COVID-19 crept into our lives on the nightly news, Traditional Home Health Care wasted no time in the implementation of a disaster plan for the impending pandemic. Recognizing the need to prepare and adapt for a challenging health crisis, the administrative team knew it had to put forth measures to continue its highest standards of care in a manner that would protect both its patients and employees

Traditional Home Health Care, a locally owned agency located at 113 W Drinker St. in Dunmore, provides a broad spectrum of services to people in the community including home health and hospice care, palliative intervention, pediatric care, and non-medical services. All of these services are provided to patients and consumers in their homes. At a time when there are so many unknowns regarding the novel coronavirus, the goal to keep patients and consumers safe and contained in their homes has been of utmost importance.

Before state mandates and shelter-in-place orders had even been issued, Doreen Nixon, RN, Director of Nursing at Traditional Home Health Care, instituted a number of measures to safeguard employees and patients, and she stated, “It was imperative that Traditional implement processes swiftly in order to maintain the safety and well-being of its staff, its patients and the agency itself.”

Employee and patient screening questionnaires are being utilized prior to home visits and entry to offices to identify potential exposures. New policies and procedures have been developed in adherence with guidelines regarding COVID-19 set forth from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health. Competencies and educational refreshers have been offered to staff regarding infection control. Administrative staff has been assigned to perform daily job duties remotely while visit schedules have been restructured to allow the caregiver staff to reduce patient contact. Tireless efforts to acquire personal protective equipment for staff has been a daily challenge.

With the focus on providing seamless care to patients in an uncertain time, the agency identified a core group of caregivers that included nurses and therapists known as the COVID-19 team. These frontline health care providers are assigned to perform home visits to COVID -19 positive patients in a manner that highlights excellent skilled care, dignity, and infection prevention. This allows such patients to receive the same gamut of skilled interventions – wound care, infusion therapy, medication and chronic disease management, physical, occupational, and speech therapies, and patient education – that Traditional Home Health Care excels at.

Jamie Ruiz, RN on the COVID-19 team stated, “Of course we must be cautious. It’s just another obstacle in the healthcare field that we will adapt to and overcome. I feel it is my duty as a nurse to be available to these patients and their loved ones. I feel Traditional has provided adequate supplies and support in protecting me so that I can perform my job and help these patients.”

The landscape of healthcare is certainly changing in light of this pandemic. Telehealth has become very instrumental in allowing for a continuum of care when regular direct patient contact may not be prudent. Traditional Home Health Care has worked with IT to develop Best Practices for telehealth care allowing nurses, therapists, aides, and social workers to communicate with and visualize patients. This new means of patient communication also allows the agency to keep primary care physicians and health

care providers in the loop of patients’ health issues in a timely and consistent manner. The use of telehealth during this time of crisis may be setting the stage for a new mindset on physician-patient and caregiver-patient interactions.

Prior to March 2020, the superheroes I knew of wore armor, shields, capes and possessed powers like X-Ray vision and invisibility. The real super heroes of today are wearing rubber gloves, paper masks and face shields, sometimes homemade, and they possess true hearts of gold.

Thank you to all the staff of Traditional Home Health Care and Thank You to all Front Line First Responders!

Freshman Ciera Toomey Named 3rd Team All-State

BCiera Toomeyy Steve Svetovich

She made an impact.

Enough of an impact as aman that Dunmore freshman Ciera Toomey last month was named to the Class 3A all-state third team. 

Daughter of Pat and Carrie Toomey, Dunmore, Ciera was part of a contingent of five Lackawanna League players who earned berths on the Pennsylvania Sports Writers All-State girls basketball team. 

Ciera’s teammate, sophomore Moriah Murray, was a first team All-State selection.

Ciera averaged 16.5 points per game as a freshman.

The 6-2 freshman opened eyes with her play in the second half of the season and hit 51 percent from 3-point range.

Ciera showed a great ability for handling the ball and shooting with quickness and agility.

She averaged 19 points in two state playoff games, shooting 9-of-11 and scored 22 points in a win over Neumann Goretti. She hit 15-of-18 shots in the two state playoffs games before the impact of Covid-19 cancelled the rest of the state playoffs.

Ciera also averaged 5.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists and three blocks in the two state playoff contests.

Ciera was also an All Regional pick as a freshman.

And she comes from good basketball stock. Her mom, Carrie Bowen Toomey, was a Dunmore all-star selection and 1,000-point scorer for Franklin and Marshall College. 

Her sister, Victoria Toomey, earned numerous all-star selections and awards as a Dunmore standout and currently plays for Rider University.

Ciera said she was honored by her third-team All-State selection. “We are in a league with a lot of good players,” she said. “I certainly did not expect it. It could have been anyone.”

The talented freshman said she enjoys playing with sophomore teammate Murray. “Moriah is great,” she said. “She is such a good passer. She makes plays all the time. I just love playing with her. We feed off each other very well.”

Ciera has an impressive 97 academic average at Dunmore. Her best subject is math.

She also plays on the golf team and is a member of the French club.

She praised Dunmore veteran basketball coach Ben O’Brien. “He is such a good coach. He has us prepared all the time. He is a game changer. There is a reason why the Dunmore Lady Bucks win every year.”

Ciera said her parents and older sister Victoria have been big influences. “My parents always teach me to work hard for what I want and to go after it.

“My sister taught me how to play in the post and get position. I was a guard before, so she really taught me a lot and helped with the transition.”

The scholar-athlete said she and her teammates were disappointed with the ending of the season due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “We were really playing well, so we wanted to keep going. It was tough ending the season like that. But we were playing great and will have all of our starters back next season. We can go further next year.”

Ciera said she is staying in shape during the stay-at-home orders by working out and playing basketball and golf with her sister Victoria.

She enjoys listening to music, especially Dua Lipa.

She called her freshman experience at Dunmore as “unforgettable” and hopes to play college basketball after she graduates in three years.

“We are a very close team. We have a great bond and outstanding coaching. We hated to see the rest of the season cancelled, but we will come back stronger next year.”

Actors Circle Production Postponed

Actors Circle

Playing the leading roles in “On Golden Pond,” to be presented at a date to be announced by Actors Circle are Bob Thomas and Carol Davis.

Due to the Coronavirus, Actors Circle has postponed the opening of “On Golden Pond.” Please stay in touch on Facebook or call our theatre for the most up to date information, and to make reservations, when we do  confirm our dates, 570-342-9707.

Actors Circle will present “On Golden Pond,” by Ernest Thompson, at Providence Playhouse, 1256 Providence Scranton onThursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m., on dates to be announced. 

Tickets are $12, General $10 Seniors, $8 Students; Thursday prices are discounted:  $8 General and Seniors, $6 Students. Reservations Call 570-342-9707, or email to  All reservations are held 10 minutes until show time.

Directed by Katie VonBergen, this well known classic tells the story of Norman Thayer and his energetic wife, Ethel, who have been spending the summers at their lakeside home on Golden Pond for 48 years, fishing and watching for loons. It is then that, their divorced daughter, Chelsea, her new fiancé and his teenage son make an unexpected visit.

Cast members include Bob Taylor as Norman Thayer, Carol Davis as Ethel Thayer, Marcie Herman Riebe as Chelsea, Eric Lutz as Billy Ray, Michael Semus Fenton-Kapacs as Billy Ray, Jr., and Jeff Ginsberg as Charlie Martin.