All Care’s Michael Miller Battles the Blizzard for Patient Safety: Devoted Occupational Therapist Goes Above and Beyond

February 23, 2015
By
Michael Miller

Michael Miller

When All Care VNA Occupational Therapist and Winthrop resident, Michael Miller, learned that a client of his could not get out of bed during the late January blizzard that paralyzed Massachusetts, not even several feet of blowing white stuff could stop him. 

Still, traveling on the roads was nearly impossible, and to make matters more difficult, the Governor’s driving ban complicated the situation.

Despite all of these odds, Michael demonstrated his high level of professionalism and dedication to patient care in the home and did what any determined clinician would: he grabbed his shovel and proceeded to dig himself out of his house and clear off his car.

The client, from Winthrop, is an All Care VNA patient who receives supportive personal care services from another organization that was unable to attend to her as planned, due to the storm—despite their best storm preparations. 

All Care VNA had also put its emergency plan in place when they learned the storm was projected to make traveling nearly impossible; their plan ensured that patients and staff were safe during the blizzard. However, despite detailed planning from two agencies, this patient was in crisis.

Upon learning her personal care service provider could not reach her, the client contacted Michael, recalling that All Care VNA had directed her to reach out to him with questions or issues.

After receiving her anxious phone call, Michael consulted with his clinical manager, Margaret Yonis, RN, who gave Michael the go-ahead to assess the patient’s functional capacity and address her needs—despite the storm.

All that was left to be done was for Michael to get to the patient—despite 25 inches of snow on the roads between his home and hers.

After clearing off his car, he contacted the Winthrop police department to alert them to his traveling on the roads despite the ban. After all that digging out, Michael was rewarded by the policeman, who decided it would be best to transport the occupational therapist to and from the patient’s home. 

Once there, Michael assessed the patient, helped her out of bed, treated her appropriately and made sure she was in a safe situation to ride out the remainder of the storm until her PCA services could resume as normally scheduled.

The devoted clinican’s efforts ultimately allowed the client to receive the care she needed in an urgent situation, and helped her avoid having to be transported to the hospital instead.

 “Michael was able to think on his feet, make the extra effort on a cold snowy day, and, most important, provide the care the patient needed at a difficult time,” said Yonis, his manager. “We are so proud of Michael’s professionalism and dedication to his patient care. And we thank the Winthrop police, as well, for their tremendous assist in keeping Michael safe.”

Founded in 1911, All Care VNA is a Medicare/Medicaid-certified agency offering services of nurses, home health aides, specialists in geriatrics, oncology, diabetes, physical, occupational, and speech therapies as well as palliative care. All Care Hospice provides the highest quality medical and emotional care for those with life-limiting illnesses, as well as respite care, spiritual support, and bereavement counseling for families. All Care also offers All Care Resources, our private pay division for flexible in-home services. All Care employs nearly 600 people, serving over 50 cities/towns in the Greater Boston North, Merrimack Valley and North Shore communities. For more information, call 800.287.2454 or visit www.allcare.org.

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