Taking care of you as we stay safe during the Coronavirus response
We’re here for you because you’re a part of our family.
As we have all seen, it has been a rough time for many in the world and within our own community these past few weeks.
Now that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has become a local concern in New York, we want to reassure you that your health and safety are top priorities for us. We are committed to doing our part to keep both patients and staff healthy as we keep our doors open during this time.
Please note that as of today, any pending travel restrictions exclude healthcare as an essential business. You can come in to see us in-person throughout this crisis for any of your medical needs.
We realize how stressful this time is for many of us. However, we also recognize that there is still a need for women’s healthcare, and we intend to serve that need for as long as you need us.
We are making every effort to not only provide the same quality and level of care that you’ve come to expect from us but also take precautionary measures so you can feel comfortable and safe.
We are operating under normal business hours and will continue to honor all appointments and requests for rescheduling appointments. For your peace of mind, here are some of the steps that our team is taking to minimize the spread of COVID-19:
What we’re doing
- We installed very advanced HEPA filters in our waiting rooms, every exam room and throughout our office, which will clean the air in our office several times throughout the day. These filters remove up to 99.97% of airborne particles that are 0.3 microns or bigger. This will ensure that the air in our office is as clean as possible.
- We have improved our already high standards of personal cleanliness to ensure that staff has time to wash their hands thoroughly as needed. In addition, we have ample supplies of hand sanitizer available for our staff as a backup.
- All clinically facing staff are wearing face masks and will continue to do so until further notice.
- We have increased the frequency of the professional cleaning and disinfecting of our exam and procedure rooms, reception, bathrooms, and other spaces.
- We added screening questions to our appointment scheduling checklist to ensure that people with cold or flu symptoms are directed to appropriate medical resources and do not come to our offices.
- We have strengthened our room turn-over protocols. Our team cleans and disinfects the room after each patient, including hard surfaces, door handles, and the exam room chair.
- We implemented a remote work policy for all of our staff who do not directly interact with patients. This change has dramatically reduced the flow of people in our offices to further increase open space between patients and staff.
- We have greatly expanded our paid sick-time policy to support staff members who should stay away from the office to help protect everyone’s health. Every staff member has great leeway to recover from any potential coronavirus-like symptoms without any artificial pressures.
- We have adjusted the schedules of all our doctors, nurse practitioners and other health care team members so that they rotate strategically with adequate backup for each if needed.
What you can expect when you visit us
- A clean and calming atmosphere where you can feel safe knowing the precautions that we’ve put in place for your peace of mind.
- Spending the time needed to address your concerns, whatever they may be – we’re here for you.
- Making you our priority every step of the way through your individual health journey from pregnancy to routine visits.
- That you may see a different provider that initially intended. Dr. Gohar, Dr. Gopal, Dr. Heather, Juliette Blount NP and Jessica Catalano, NP are all rotating together strategically to ensure adequate coverage for the office, non-elective hospital services to our patients and any potential sick time if needed.
What you can do
- Report your symptoms to our front desk if you’re feeling ill. They will help you find appropriate medical care.
- To prevent the spread of any sickness, try to avoid bringing any guests or children with you to your appointment. If this is unavoidable, please note that they may be asked to wait for you in the waiting room while you are being seen by the provider. Accompanying adults may be asked to wait in their cars if the waiting room is busier than usual.
- Get your flu shot – it’s not too late. Although this will not protect you from Coronavirus, it will help prevent the flu, which has similar symptoms.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing – do not use your hands.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you are unable to wash your hands.
- Do not touch your face with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you are experiencing symptoms.
Below are some links to helpful information and where you can find assistance:
- New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/health/health-topics/coronavirus.page
- New York State Department of Health Coronavirus page: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
As always, please let our dedicated staff know if you have any questions or concerns.
You are a part of our family here at Forest Hills Medical Services, we’re here for you, and we’ll take care of you.
Dr. James A. Gohar and Nehal A. Farouky