Healthcare notes: ChristianaCare, Saint Francis Healthcare, Blood Bank, Beebe, Bayhealth

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ChristianaCare turns to Pear digital therapeutics in addiction treatment.

Patients in Delaware and surrounding communities seeking treatment for opioid and substance use disorders will now have access to a treatment option, prescription digital therapeutics (PDTs), thanks to a collaboration between ChristianaCare and Pear Therapeutics, Inc.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the vital importance of connecting people with the substance-use disorder to effective therapies, and ensuring that they have access to these therapies when and where they need it,” said Jolomi Ikomi, M.D., medical director of Project Recovery at ChristianaCare. “FDA-authorized prescription digital therapeutics used with complementary therapy is shown to keep patients on the path to recovery. The use of proven software-based therapeutics could provide innovative, convenient, and cost-effective care to assist in the fight against addiction.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Delaware has the second-highest rate of overdose deaths in the nation. Staying in treatment is critical for people on their recovery journey. reSET and reSET-O will give patients an evidence-based tool to complement their remote or in-office addiction therapy provided by their care team.

“Pear is excited to team with ChristianaCare to integrate our PDTs into their treatment paradigm for suitable patients who are fighting the battle of opioid or substance use disorder,” said Julia Strandberg, a chief commercial officer of Pear Therapeutics. “We believe these innovative therapies can benefit ChristianaCare patients.”

Pear’s reSET and reSET-O are the first two PDTs to receive market authorization to treat the FDA’s disease. Both products have been tested in real-world and randomized controlled trials, with results published in peer-reviewed medical journals.

Saint Francis gets an $895,000 Health Equity Grant.

New Castle County has awarded Saint Francis Healthcare, a part of Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic, a Health Equity Grant of $895,000. The grant enables Saint Francis to expand the services available to vulnerable populations by its St. Clare Medical Outreach Van, such as care for the home-bound elderly, food-insecure families, and the homeless.

“In the recovery process from the pandemic, Trinity Health and St. Francis are pleased to assist families in a more integrated way through services on an updated mobile van addressing the needs of the whole person,” said Lillian J. Schonewolf, Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic’s vice president of community health and wellbeing. “Services will include backpack meals for children, produce and grocery gift cards, medical needs and supplies as well as access to care for social care resources through our Caregiver Model.This is a wonderful opportunity to take care of our community by going to them.”

The grant money will be used to design and build an entirely new mobile health van that will expand primary care services and offer social care and behavioral health services, provided through a partnership with Catholic Charities. The grant will also enable the expansion of operations; provide for the hiring of a Health Equity Coordinator, and provide resources to ensure hungry families and children have access to healthy food.

“Since day one, our mission has been to protect our County’s most vulnerable,” said New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer. “We are pleased to provide CARES Act funding to support the expansion of services provided by St. Francis and their St. Clare Medical Outreach Van to provide testing and other services throughout the pandemic.”

Beebe, Bayhealth team up to bridge gap caused by the end of student blood drives

Beebe Healthcare and Bayhealth have joined forces with Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD) to increase blood donations at donor centers by asking college and high school students and all donors to make appointments at the Dover Donor Center and the Salisbury Donor Center.

In 2019, BBD was able to rely on 7,000 donors alone from high school and college blood drives that have been suspended indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That has left the Blood Bank of Delmarva scrambling to make up for a shortfall that has caused mobile donations to be at just 43 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

To make up for the shortfall, BBD has added hours every other Sunday, from 8 a.m. to noon, at its Dover Donor Center in Kent County and Christiana Donor Center in New Castle County. The Salisbury Donor Center also has hours every other Saturday for the convenience of donors.

Delmarva’s healthcare system requires 350 donations each day to treat patients ranging from trauma victims to newborn babies and their mothers to cancer patients. Before the pandemic, donors could stop by community blood drives at convenient locations in Kent and Sussex counties. Still, nearly all high schools, colleges, offices, and other community groups have had to cancel their blood drives due to Covid-19.

Blood Bank of Delmarva officials outlined some of the challenges caused by the pandemic.

Account Manager Ralph Groves, who coordinates all blood drives in Kent and Sussex counties, said the pandemic had the hardest hit high school and college blood drives. They alone account for 25 percent of BBD’s daily collections.

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