January 22, 2021 – As vaccinations against COVID-19 become increasingly available, Seven Hills Women’s Health Centers joins the CDC and the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists in their recommendation that the COVID-19 vaccines should not be withheld from pregnant or breastfeeding women who meet criteria for the vaccination based on their recommended priority group.
Additionally, our colleagues at Axia Women’s Health dispelled the rumors surrounding the safety and side-effects of the vaccine, especially as it relates to fertility and pregnancy, for those with questions or concerns. Read more here.
Although the availability of the vaccine is exciting and very positive news, we want to remain cautious and vigilant with our efforts in being safe. Until our community spread is well under control, we will continue to practice safe social distancing protocols, enhanced cleaning procedures and requiring masks worn by all individuals at our offices.
Video Discussion – COVID-19 Vaccine in Pregnancy and Women of Childbearing Age
A video discussion with Seven Hills Physician, Dr. Michael Fesenmeier. Dr. Fesenmeier is the chair of the Maternal Perinatal Clinical Care Collaborative: https://vimeo.com/504950841/430e5dcf01
Breast Health Services and COVID-19 Vaccination
The Society of Breast Imaging recommends scheduling your screening mammogram prior to your first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination OR 4-6 weeks following the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccination. Although this may help to avoid incorrect results, you should still seek care and speak with your physician if you have a concern.
If you have an appointment with one of our physicians at Cincinnati Breast Surgeons, we encourage you to keep your appointment for imaging as you will be given a thorough breast exam at the time of your visit. Should you need further work up it will be completed at that time. Please call the Cincinnati Breast Surgeons office at 513-221-2544 if you have any questions or concerns regarding the vaccine and your upcoming appointment.
Our Commitment to you
Seven Hills Women’s Health Centers and Cincinnati Breast Surgeons are committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of our patients, clinicians, and employees, particularly among the current concern and ongoing cases of the COVID-19 virus. We are continuing to respond to the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Public Health from each state, which are closely monitoring the outbreak of the COVID-19.
Impact of COVID-19 on Your Care
May 1, 2020 – At this time, the Ohio government has announced that all procedures that do not require an overnight stay in the hospital can resume. In Kentucky, as of May 6, 2020, outpatient/ambulatory surgery and invasive procedures may resume.
Throughout this time, we have continued to care for our pregnant patients as well as scheduled postoperative and emergency GYN appointments. Elective surgeries can now be scheduled or rescheduled as needed and appointments with our breast surgeons will continue on a patient-to-patient basis. All procedures, in-office or those performed at an area hospital, will be scheduled based on the urgency and need for our patients’ well-being as well keeping all precautions in place for our providers and staff. Please be advised, local hospitals are requiring that patients be tested for the COVID-19 virus, prior to finalizing the scheduling of your elective procedure.
We are now working to bring patients back for routine care, starting with those who were cancelled during the outset of COVID-19. If you have a routine care visit scheduled in the near future, such as your annual wellness exam or mammogram, your appointment will be kept unless you are notified by your provider’s office to reschedule due to appointment staggering and availability.
If you are ever unsure about your concern or need for an appointment, please contact your provider’s office to speak with a triage nurse and discuss your situation. Your care is as individual as you are, and we are committed to continue to meet your needs.
Please know that all of these guidelines are a preventive measure to contribute to social distancing and limit potential COVID-19 exposure for our patients and staff. This does not change our dedication to serving our patients, but instead reflects our commitment to ensure their safety. We are proud to put women first and prioritize the health of our community.
As women’s health providers, we understand our patients sensitive and personal health concerns. To improve access to care during this difficult time, we have launched eCareConnect as an opportunity to help complete appointments without risking patient exposure. With an eCareConnect visit, you can have an appointment with your provider using your smartphone, tablet or other device though a secure video conference, from the comfort and safety of your own home. Learn more about eCareConnect here.
In-office Guidelines & Preventive Measures
Across our network, Seven Hills Women’s Health Centers and Cincinnati Breast Surgeon offices are implementing safety precautions to help limit the spread of COVID-19 during essential patient visits. As we begin to see more patients, we are instating even more precautions, as well as requiring participation from patients, to minimize exposure and help you feel confident in receiving the quality and compassionate care you deserve. These preventative measures include the following, but may change at any time, given the fluid nature of the outbreak:
- Screening phone calls the day prior to your scheduled visit. You will be asked about your health and potential exposure to COVID-19. You will be asked to take your temperature prior to your visit. Depending on your circumstances, you may be asked to reschedule your visit.
- Additional text message communications prior to your appointment. We may ask you to stay in your car or text us upon arrival for your appointment.
- We will be monitoring patient temperatures at the office and anyone with a 100.4 or higher temperature will not be able to stay for their appointment.
- At all of our locations, visitors are strictly prohibited. If you have a need for a visitor in attendance with you for your visit, for transportation, interpretation, etc, call your provider’s office to discuss.
- Please wear a mask. Face masks or coverings, such as bandanas or scarves, are now required to wear to your appointment. If you decline to wear a mask, you may be asked to reschedule your appointment.
- Additionally – and as always – our staff is taking measures to ensure your safety: disinfecting of surfaces between all patients, rearranging waiting room seating to provide more separation, continuing to wash our hands frequently, staff screenings including temperatures checks and wearing protective masks. Any staff members who are not feeling well or who exhibit symptoms are asked to go home.
Tips for Prevention
The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed. There are simple everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of any respiratory viruses. These include:
- There is still time to get a flu shot. This is strongly suggested, as the flu season is still here and the symptoms are very similar.
- Make sure to wash your hands continuously for 20 seconds and keep hands away from your face; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home if you are sick!
- Always cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in your home using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Additional Information and Resources
The CDC believes the virus may appear between 2-14 days after exposure. There are now vaccines but if you are positive for the virus, a vaccine won’t be of help to you. The virus is spread person to person mainly by respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. This is similar to other respiratory pathogens like influenza.
For more information, visit:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Official Information on COVID-19
- American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Official Practice Advisory on Novel Coronavirus
Hospital Resources and Guidelines
All the hospitals in which we provide care, in the Greater Cincinnati area, have instituted new guidelines and protocols to reduce exposure and limit the spread of COVID-19, particularly in the Labor & Delivery and NICU units. Below are links to some of these hospitals’ dedicated COVID-19 pages.
- TriHealth Bethesda North and Good Samaritan Hospitals
- Mercy Health Anderson and West Hospitals
- The Christ Hospital
- St. Elizabeth Hospital
- Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
As always, but during these difficult times especially, we value you and your trust in us to provide you comprehensive and compassionate care. Please know that the providers of Seven Hills Women’s Health Centers and Cincinnati Breast Surgeons are here to support you and if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.