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Keith Creagh DPT’10 Helped Patients Recovering from COVID-19 in New Jersey
When coronavirus (COVID-19) began to impact New Jersey in March, Keith Creagh DPT’10 helped to lead his team of therapists to care for patients while staying safe.
Dr. Creagh, Director of Rehab at Genesis Rehab Services’ Eastern Territory, leads operations at Powerback Voorhees, a short term facility with 124 private rooms and designated by Genesis as a COVID Recovery site, one of two in New Jersey.
Dr. Creagh is very proud to encounter zero cases of COVID-19 spread within the facility to other patients or employees during the height of the pandemic and to this day. He said this was possible because of an emphasis on infection protection and a commitment by all staff to uphold these standards both at work and in the community. All employees were required to wear Personal Protective Equipment and to practice strict infection prevention guidelines when going between patient rooms to stop the spread. The increase of the use of technology to eliminate in-person meetings helped to protect everyone and improved accessibility. The facility also implemented single-patient equipment use.
“The fact that we have been able to manage these circumstances and continue to provide care that is the greatest victory,” said Dr. Creagh. “During our hardest times, our ability to continue to provide exceptional care and outcomes is important to me.”
After having successfully discharged over 150 COVID-19 positive patients back home the facility is starting to get back to some sense of normalcy. However, protocols remain in place to protect against the spread of COVID-19 and other ailments.
Also focused on the quality of the patient experience, there was an increased emphasis on innovation to connect patients and their families through regular zoom meetings. “Since the beginning of March everyone had an iPad and we were able to connect with families during treatment for training so that they could see the treatment and the progression of their loved one.”
To prepare for unknown circumstances, Dr. Creagh suggests therapists focus on nailing the fundamentals and embrace flexibility at work. At USciences, Dr. Creagh found excellent faculty, close friends in his classmates, and a series of clinical rotations that set him up for success.
“When I was researching PT schools, I wanted a direct entry option, faculty who were active in the field and in research, and with a great reputation,” he said. “Now as a hiring manager, I tend to see high-quality candidates that are better prepared coming out of USciences PT program.”
Working in such an environment can be taxing on therapists who are used to face-to-face collaboration with one another, said Dr. Creagh. To help create a connection with one another he planned fun events including a field day to allow everyone to decompress and socialize while being safe.
“I was checking in with my team to make sure that people are OK and having transparent conversations about the focus on mental health,” he said.
This kind of corporate environment that values their employees, is something that Dr. Creagh says stands out at Genesis. “Do your research on your employer,” he said. “It does make a difference when you work for a company that supports you when times get tough. Knowing how they handled a pandemic will show you how they will handle things in the future.”
Categories: News, Alumni, Coronavirus, Samson College of Health Sciences, Department of Physical Therapy, Physical Therapy