Social Distancing Doesn’t Mean Disconnecting

05/27/2020

Now more than ever people are turning to their healthcare providers for guidance and support. The uncertainty of what tomorrow will bring is downright frightening, and families are seeking out ways to cope. Acton Medical Associates has remained committed to their patients during these challenging times, acting as a trusted resource for information and advice. Since 1955 they have been providing high quality healthcare to the surrounding communities. This independently owned, private practice employs a staff of over 200 medical professionals. They strive to establish strong patient relationships and go above and beyond to provide exceptional service. When COVID-19 hit, their dedication to their patients did not waiver!


The day Governor Baker declared a state of emergency, healthcare providers were deemed essential and Acton Medical made the decision to keep their main clinic and two satellites open. Chief Operating Officer, Joseph Berman recently walked Northern through the steps they took to adjust their workflows and accommodate over 45,000 active patients. “We take the responsibility of keeping folks healthy, very seriously,” Joe stressed. First on the list was to create a separation within their main Acton facility for patients with respiratory illnesses that are more vulnerable to COVID-19. Then, understanding the importance of children staying current on their vaccinations and wellness checks, Acton Medical converted the Littleton clinic to service all pediatric patients. From there, the Harvard office would now service all adult patients. Also, telehealth appointments were implemented to assist with the stay at home order.


With the critical need for increased testing, Acton Medical dedicated resources to developing an outdoor tent testing facility, where those that meet the criteria, could quickly be tested for COVID-19. Their community of patients have been very vocal about how grateful they are that Acton Medical has made such accommodations. One father of a young child commented on Facebook, thanking them for making the Littleton site dedicated to Pediatrics because he had been worried about exposing his son to people that are potentially sick.


From an infrastructure perspective, Acton Medical has done a phenomenal job reconfiguring how they provide service to their patients. What’s even more impressive is how these medical professionals are holding the hands of all these families, virtually, helping them navigate the unknown. Kimberly Mintz, Acton Medical’s Public Relation’s Manager, explained their approach to keeping patients feeling connected with their healthcare teams. Every day people are torn between what’s fact or fiction, what they should believe, from the news to the latest posting of homeschooling routines. Acton Medical strives to help remove the noise and be a beacon providing clear and valuable information, and health and wellness support during such an isolating time.


When visiting Acton Medical’s website and Pediatrics Facebook page, there is a wealth of information, that reaffirms their #StayTrue commitment to keeping their patients feeling connected and providing the resources they desperately need. All of the content is developed or presented by the Practice’s medical professionals, because these are familiar faces that their patients trust. Kim and the COVID-19 Task Force at Acton Medical have been focusing the content on hot topics that families are experiencing daily. For example, people are unable to go to the grocery store as frequently as they are used to, but still need to prepare three meals a day. Thanks to a recent video posted on Acton Medical’s Facebook page, one of their dieticians provided a tutorial on how to do healthy meal planning during social distancing, without overstocking your pantry.


As we have all seen, there’s an onslaught of news outlets showing charts, graphs and stats, making it difficult to decipher what is happening with the pandemic. So, one of their physicians specializing in Adult Medicine and Infectious Diseases, developed a set of FAQs, breaking down info on COVID-19 diagnoses and testing antibodies. Their COVID-19 Task force is dedicated to making sure patients “have access to valuable information that’s correct when there is a lot of misinformation out there.” Kim further explained the importance of their patients feeling supported when they can’t easily seek external help. Specifically, the mental health for parent’s feeling isolated at home with their children is a huge concern these days. For these patients, Acton Medical promotes the use of virtual consults as well as posting a continuous stream of resources for parents on both their website and social channels. No one should feel like they must navigate these challenging times on their own.


Sprinkled in with the vital COVID-19 resources, the Pediatrics team makes sure to have a little fun and dedicate content to their young patients. Recently, Jasmin S. Darling, M.D., Pediatrician at Acton Medical, partnered with a local bookstore to host a virtual story time. Dr. Darling read two of her favorite books live via Zoom, and answered a few healthcare questions from parents. Additional providers are scheduled to host more story times this year, check @ActonMedicalPediatrics on Facebook for details. Every little activity or engagement opportunity for these families goes a long way right now. And for those children that do need to go in and see their doctors, Acton Medical has tried to remove what could be a scary surprise at the sight of their favorite provider in PPE, by frequently posting pictures of the Pediatrics team donning their masks. In one post, Pediatricians were pictured wearing face masks, shields, and or gowns, and Facebook Followers were asked to play “Guess Who!” Pediatric patients and their parents had fun commenting and trying to guess who was behind that PPE. Again, these small gestures are making a huge positive impact on both the parents and children. Patients have displayed their tremendous gratitude by writing notes in chalk on Acton Medical’s front walkway and donating vital PPE supplies. A local 4H group of children recently hand wrote thank you notes to each and every doctor at Acton Medical, including heartfelt drawings. Joe Berman said that one positive outcome of the pandemic has been seeing “people come together to deal with this issue, and how the better side of us comes out.”


Thank you Acton Medical for all your hard work and dedication as you work tirelessly to #StayTrue to your community of patients.


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About Northern Bank

Northern Bank is a full service bank dedicated to providing practical, common sense financial solutions to help our customers’ lives and businesses grow. From deposit products to loans to payment and collections services, we work hands on with our entrepreneurial customers, both locally and across the country, to provide the financial support they need to realize their personal and business goals. Founded in 1960, Northern Bank has assets of $2 billion with 12 locations serving communities throughout Middlesex County. Northern Bank is a Member of the FDIC, an Equal Housing Lender, and consistently ranked among the best performing community banks in New England. For more information on online banking services, please visit www.NBTC.com or follow Northern Bank on Facebook (/NorthernBankMA/), Twitter (@northernbankma), Instagram (@northernbankma) and LinkedIn (company/northern-bank-ma/).