Caregiver Support Housing Program updates options for caregivers with COVID-19

Caregiver Support Housing Program updates options for caregivers with COVID-19

Updated April 13, 2020

Throughout this pandemic, our top priority is the health and safety of our caregivers and patients. Last week, we announced the Caregiver Support Housing Program and have since adjusted the program to make it accessible to more caregivers.

Updated eligibility

Caregivers are eligible for the Caregiver Support Housing program if they meet the following criteria:

  1. Caregiver provides direct patient care (hands-on, face-to-face contact with patients for the purpose of diagnosis, treatment and monitoring); and
  2. Caregiver lives with others and has no way to isolate in their own household.

Housing for caregivers with COVID-19

When caregivers are ill with COVID-19, we are here to support them. Our Caregiver Support Housing Program now accommodates eligible caregivers who are recovering from COVID-19 and do not require medical care.

This accommodation provides caregivers with a safe place to isolate away from family members. Please note that these accommodations are separate locations from the accommodations for well caregivers. Currently, housing is available in Cleveland, Ohio, and Weston and Vero Beach, Florida.

Application process

If you wish to apply for the Caregiver Support Housing program and meet the above criteria, please complete this survey. The Caregiver Support Team, who contacts every caregiver diagnosed with COVID-19, will also inform caregivers about this program. Note that it can take up to 72 hours after applying to be assigned an accommodation.

Cleveland Clinic will cover the cost of the room for the duration of a caregiver’s stay. The caregiver will be responsible for all other costs (e.g., food and beverage, other services offered at housing site).

You may have questions about the Caregiver Support Housing program. Please refer to these FAQs. If you have additional questions, reach out to the Strategic Space Plan team.

Additional housing options

Other sponsoring organizations have established housing programs for first responders and select healthcare providers. Our caregivers may qualify for these programs. If you do not meet eligibility criteria for Cleveland Clinic’s housing program, we encourage you to find more information about alternatives on this Connect Today page.

Update on Organ Donation in Ohio During COVID-19

Update on Organ Donation in Ohio During COVID-19

During this rapidly evolving situation, Cleveland Clinic continues to support organ donation.

At this time, Lifebanc is not accepting patients who test positive for COVID-19 for organ, tissue or eye donation. 

Please note the following reminders and updates related to organ donation:

  • In accordance with our policy, all hospital deaths must be called in to Lifebanc within one hour of asystole.
  • If the patient has COVID-19 or is a person under investigation, the patient will be ruled-out for tissue and eye donation by Lifebanc.
  • As with all potential rule-out issues, Cleveland Clinic must still make the timely referral after time of death for all patients, regardless of COVID-19 status.
  • Lifebanc will continue to do all referrals, however the initial evaluations will be performed remotely.
  • Cleveland Clinic will test all potential organ donors in Lifebanc’s Donor Service Area as well as transplant recipients for COVID-19, regardless of prior history.
  • Should an organ donation case begin, Lifebanc will work closely with the local primary ICU team and nursing management to minimize any unit disruption and will follow local PPE recommendations.
  • For donation following circulatory death cases, only one family member will be allowed in the OR and will wear appropriate PPE. 
  • All Walk of Honors are suspended until further notice

Additional questions? Contact Christine Chambers at

Daily CEO Update

Daily CEO Update

Fellow Caregivers,

This year’s Easter celebration will always stand out to me. My family, like many around the world, used virtual ways to connect. Who knew we would create new memories over Zoom and FaceTime? While it was no replacement for enjoying a meal together, we took comfort knowing we kept each other safe.

At Cleveland Clinic, we are exploring virtual ways to host our favorite events. VeloSano’s Bike to Cure Weekend will be a virtual fundraiser this year, July 17–19. In six short years, VeloSano has made a tremendous impact on our cancer research, and it will continue in 2020.

We have embraced virtual ways to care for patients. At the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, we now use video conferencing to reduce isolation for patients battling brain disease. We bring friendship, support and understanding to them through music therapy and yoga. Many of the center’s free education programs, including support groups, have also gone virtual.

When care is needed in person, our caregivers are answering the call. Cleveland Clinic nurses are traveling Wednesday to assist NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. We are grateful to United Airlines for providing a complimentary flight to these caregivers.

At Cleveland Clinic London, our caregivers have been supporting the United Kingdom’s National Health Service to help fight COVID-19. Some are working directly with patients in intensive care units, and many others are supporting the activation of the temporary 4,000-bed Nightingale Hospital. Their courage and resilience reflect our global values of empathy, teamwork, integrity and innovation.

In Cleveland, we continue with surge planning efforts. We have assembled 140 teams comprising 600 clinicians for redeployment. Teams are being virtually introduced this week.

We are proud and humbled by all Cleveland Clinic caregivers around the world for their dedication.

To recognize caregivers for their teamwork and service, we introduced Hero Huddles. They are part of our tiered daily huddles that take place every morning.

Hero Huddles identify teams, caregivers and patients for their inspiring stories that enrich our lives. The leadership team will reach out to caregivers and patients every day to express thanks.

If you would like to recognize your fellow caregivers, leave a post at the kudoboard. We now have more than 1,800 posts. Their heartfelt words of encouragement uplift our spirits.

Thank you for everything that you do for our patients, each other and our communities.

Dr. Mijahlevic |  Cleveland Clinic

Tom Mihaljevic, MD
CEO and President

Giving Back to Our Fellow Caregivers and Organization

Giving Back to Our Fellow Caregivers and Organization

In our near 100-year history, we’ve never experienced anything like COVID-19. But during this uncertain and challenging time, our caregivers show teamwork, selflessness and pride. We’ve seen an outpouring of gratitude and appreciation for the work that’s being done throughout the organization. 

Our caregivers are already going above and beyond, and still, many of you have asked what more you can do to help your colleagues. There are two funds are dedicated to COVID-19: 

  1. The COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, which supports high-priority COVID-19 research initiatives working toward treatments and a cure. The fund also provides aid to front-line caregivers, including meal delivery service for those caregivers who are at home due to illness, comfort stations and take-home meals for caregivers during their shifts, and self-care resources.
  2. The Caregiver Hardship Fund, which supports fellow caregivers who may be struggling right now. This is an established fund that is now dedicated to aiding Cleveland Clinic caregivers who are experiencing unexpected hardship due to COVID-19, such as eviction notices or utility disconnection notices.

You can give by credit card or through payroll deduction by clicking this link.

Giving is entirely voluntary. We appreciate your consideration and are grateful for anything you can contribute.

The COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund is also open to the public. We have had a tremendous response to date from members of the community committed to supporting all of our caregivers and research.

Thank you for your generosity, and for your ongoing service to our patients, organization, community and each other. 

Epic Provider Training and Support for Workforce Redeployment

Epic Provider Training and Support for Workforce Redeployment

A new course in MyLearning centralizes Epic inpatient training resources to prepare providers for reassignment during the potential COVID-19 surge.

Resources include training videos, reference guides and tip sheets and are broken down by workflow (e.g. admission, rounding, and procedures).

This course allows you to complete the training at your own pace, at a time that is convenient for you.

Access training anytime, anywhere

The MyLearning course can be accessed remotely. Simply log in using your active directory ID and password which are the same credentials used to access Outlook.

Epic support from physician specialists

Dedicated physician specialists are here to help you “translate” Epic and leverage inpatient tools in a way that supports your new role.

Once you have started your MyLearning training, a physician specialist will contact you to schedule time to review what you’ve learned, answer questions and personalize your workspace.

Additionally, the following options are available to access physician specialist support:

  • Contact your institute / facility physician specialist or COA directly.
  • Message the “Virtual Physician Specialist” through Secure Chat on the Haiku mobile app or the desktop, and a team member will respond.
  • Call the IT Service Desk at 216.444.HELP (4357) to be connected to a physician specialist.
VeloSano "Bike to Cure" Weekend Moves Virtual

VeloSano "Bike to Cure" Weekend Moves Virtual

Over the past six years, together with VeloSano, we’ve achieved remarkable accomplishments in our cancer research. During these unprecedented times, it's more important than ever that we continue to work together, to support each other, to unify through hope and to persevere.

What’s changed?

This year, VeloSano’s flagship event, Bike to Cure July 17-19, will move to a virtual event. Fundraising will continue, as the need for cancer research is more important than ever. However, for this year, all fundraising minimums are removed.

What will a virtual event look like?

Planning is underway but the VeloSano team is looking for your help! You can share ideas for how to make the virtual experience as fun and interactive as possible. Please click here to share your thoughts.

Registered to Ride?

No need to switch to a "Virtual Rider". You can stay with your planned distance, receive the event jersey, and if you paid a registration fee this year, those dollars will be applied as a registration credit for VeloSano 8 (2021). Learn more in the Virtual VeloSano FAQs.

While we won't be able to unite in person this summer, we look forward to offering unique and meaningful ways for everyone to engage with VeloSano. Whether you're biking, walking or cheering, we can all still be together virtually, the weekend of July 17-19.

For more information, visit

Expanded COVID-19 Testing Capabilities and Guidelines for Surgeries and Procedures

Expanded COVID-19 Testing Capabilities and Guidelines for Surgeries and Procedures

Up until now, rapid COVID-19 testing has only been available for symptomatic patients in the Emergency Department (ED) who were admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), need for emergency surgery and behavioral health, transplant recipient patients and symptomatic patients in Labor and Delivery.

Effective April 13, we are now able to order rapid COVID-19 tests for symptomatic patients:

  • In the ED who were admitted from post-acute facilities
  • In the ED who are immunosuppressed/have cancer

Rapid testing capabilities will also be expanded to include asymptomatic inpatients requiring an emergency surgery or interventional radiology procedure within 24 hours.

Please note that as we make efforts to expand, rapid testing is still necessarily limited to allow for the most urgent patient needs.

Rapid testing for emergency surgery and interventional radiology patients

If you need to request rapid COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic inpatients who are undergoing emergency surgery or interventional radiology procedures within 24 hours, you can now utilize the rapid COVID order in Epic.

To do this:

  1. Select the button that states “Emergency Surgery/Procedure within 24 hours.”
  2. The test will be obtained by a clinician on the inpatient floor using appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The patient should be treated as a PUI while awaiting the test result.
  3. Test results will be followed up by the surgical/interventional radiology team via Epic. Positive test results are called to the inpatient floor as well. The decision to perform the surgery or procedure is made by this team based on the results.

Routine testing capabilities for outpatient essential pre-operative surgical evaluations

Routine testing capabilities will be available to outpatient essential pre-operative surgical evaluations (regardless of symptoms) in a phased rollout beginning April 13 for ENT, thoracic and cardiac surgeries.

On April 27, they will go live for Digestive Disease and Surgery Institute and Interventional Radiology.

Beginning May 11, this testing capability will expand to include the Cole Eye Institute.

Routine testing prior to essential outpatient surgery

Surgeons and IR providers who need to request routine COVID-19 testing for essential outpatient surgery and interventional radiology procedures should send an in-basket message through Epic to the COVID-19 Hotline Pool requesting testing for their patient.

This message should be sent through the patient chart and include the following information by using the dot phrase “.COVIDelectsurg” which includes:

  • Statement about the need for testing for pre-operative purposes
  • Surgery and date of surgery
  • Mode of patient arrival

The Hotline pool will enter the order for regular COVID-19 testing immediately — symptoms or chart review are not needed. The Hotline pool also enters request comments into the order instructions regarding preoperative surgical patient and mode of arrival (car vs. pedestrian appointment).

The order is then sent to the Scheduling pool, which reviews orders from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The Scheduling pool calls the patient to arrange a time for testing at the Walker Building (can be same day if needed) within 5 days of surgery.

The patient is tested at the Walker Building (pedestrian appointment available if needed) and sample is fast-tracked to the lab with a green sticker. The patient is also informed to follow standard precautions (avoid close contact with other individuals, hand hygiene, and cough etiquette) pending the test result. COVID-19 testing should be the last item in the pre-operative evaluation if other testing is needed.

The surgery or IR team will follow up on the test result; they will not receive an in-basket result. They will make a decision about proceeding with the surgery/procedure. If the test result is positive, the surgical/IR team will arrange for proper patient follow-up.

Updates to COVID-19 related orders in Epic

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Toolkit