The main and emergency entrances to the Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington. Morning Sentinel file photo

A Farmington area health network that oversees Franklin Memorial Hospital announced new policies that aim to better meet the needs of employees during the coronavirus pandemic.

Franklin Community Health Network of Farmington, with its parent company MaineHealth, said in a statement that it has implemented the following for its health care workers:

• a temporary financial benefit to cover the cost of child care while schools are shut down.

• a child care referral network to help employees connect with available child care providers.

• 24-hour, seven-day a week employee health resource to answer any questions.

• flexibility in paid time off policies including removing the maximum cap so employees can continue to accumulate paid time off while they work through the outbreak.

• the ability for certain employees such as human resources, IT, finance, and marketing and communications to work from home.

• assurance that if asked to stay home on furlough, compensation would not be negatively affected.

These policies are in place until further notice, according to Trampas Hutches, president of Franklin Community Health Network.

“We care greatly about our care team members and want them to be at their best as they take care of our patients,” Hutches said in an email.

Franklin Community Health Network is a nonprofit network of health care providers serving communities in Western Maine.

Hutches said that the health network is adequately staffed with care team members to keep up with the immediate demand of patients.

No employees are working overtime currently because the network reduced some of the non-urgent care services to help “flatten the curve” and prepare staff for a possible surge in patients, according to Hutches. These non-urgent services include cardiac rehab, medicare annual wellness visits and procedures that can be done safely at home.

Visitor restrictions have also been implemented that include: pediatrics, one parent or guardian per day; obstetrics, one spouse or coach per day allowed in the labor and delivery area; day surgery, one person involved in care of the patient; end of life, one person per day for patients likely to die within 24 hours; extraordinary circumstances, one person per day.

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