Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to COVID-19
As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at Valley Behavioral Health System to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, on-site visitation is no longer allowed at Valley Behavioral Health System.

  • This restriction has been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • We are offering visitation through telehealth services so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services are being vetted and may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff has received infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance has been provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are being monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.
  • We are in communication with our local health department to receive important community-specific updates.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Telemedicine Offers Kids in Logan County, AR Increased Mental Health Access

Students, families, and faculty members in four rural Arkansas school districts will have increased access to psychiatric care, obesity prevention support, and dental services thanks to a $1.2 million pilot telemedicine project that is being funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The School Telemedicine in Arkansas (STAR) program will be implemented via a partnership between the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and the Arkansas Department of Education. Officials hope that STAR will improve health and reduce absenteeism.

According to a Nov. 29 news release, the STAR program will initially be implemented in four school districts, all of which already have school-based health centers:

  • Jasper School District
  • Lee County School District
  • Malvern School District
  • Magazine School District

In addition to Lee County, the schools that will be part of the STAR program serve students from seven other Arkansas counties. Jasper School District draws students from Carroll, Franklin, Johnson, Madison, and Newton counties. Magazine School District is located in Logan County, and Malvern School District students are from Hot Spring County.

While the STAR program will significantly increase Arkansas students’ access to telemedicine, it is not the only effort to bring this form of medical care to students and families in Arkansas. Early feedback from other programs indicates that the effort is being well received by students and parents.

In a September interview with Little Rock television station KATV, the parent of a kindergarten student who has already had access to school-based telemedicine said that he has been impressed the results of the effort to provide telemedicine services in Arkansas schools.

“I feel like the school wants more answers than just hey, your kid’s sick, come get them,” said Jason Willis. “If your kid’s sick, here’s why, hope you get him or her back as soon as possible,” Willis said.

Willis’s daughter attends school in Benton, Arkansas, a suburb of Little Rock that is located in Saline County. That school, Angie Grant Elementary, receives telemedicine service through Arkansas Children’s Hospital via a separate program that is not affiliated with STAR.

As noted earlier in this article, the STAR program is designed to address dental care, obesity prevention and treatment, and mental health services. Several organizations have noted that expanded access to mental health and behavioral health services is a priority among children, adolescents, and families in Arkansas:

“The STAR project will offer an avenue for students to have more efficient access to medication management and psychiatric services needed to not only improve student attendance but ultimately student performance in the classroom.,” Dr. Elizabeth Kindall, a school-based mental health specialist with the Arkansas Department of Education, said in the news release that announced the STAR funding and pilot sites.

“We are working to simply remove barriers to access in addressing the needs of the whole child. STAR is a huge step toward that goal,” Dr. Kindall added.

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