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Meet the LPN and Clinical Analyst Who Keeps Alice Center Residents Connected to their Loved Ones

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Angela Penera, LPN, is a Clinical Analyst in the Information Services Department at UVM Health Network – Alice Hyde Medical Center, where she has worked for about 15 years. When she first came to Alice Hyde, Angela worked as an LPN/Ortho Technologist at Alice Hyde Orthopedics for about 10 years, before joining the Information Services Team.

Angela is currently working at The Alice Center, this hospital’s long-term care facility which contains 135 skilled nursing beds and another 30 beds in the assisted living facility.  She maintains the facilities’ Electronic Medical Records systems, and has taken on computer maintenance and software troubleshooting duties as well, as the hospital works to limit the number of non-essential visitors amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

As COVID-19 prevented residents at The Alice Center from enjoying visitation with their families, Angela also took on another very impactful project: launching the facility’s video visitation program, which helps residents connect with their loved ones remotely.

“Our residents get lonely and want to see their family members, so I was able to implement Zoom meetings to keep them connected,” said Angela. “I also implemented telehealth visits here, so residents can see their providers without having to leave or enter the building.”

Implementing the programs was no small task, as it required Angela to develop a process for using the variety of devices available for teleconferencing, as well as train residents and staff in how to use the technology.

“Now it’s just a matter of keeping it going, and working through the little glitches that pop up because of increased volumes on Zoom,” said Angela, adding that she’s motivated to ensure people can continue to connect safely during the crisis.

“What motivates me is, I would want to know my family member was being taken care of, and the fact that I’m able to set up meetings for residents to see their loved ones is very gratifying.”

Despite being the only Information Services team member on-site at the Alice Center during the pandemic, Angela said she’s never felt uncomfortable or overwhelmed – though she said “it’s a lot busier, and a lot of change” to adapt to the pandemic.

“I was never nervous, because I felt like this was the safest place for me to be working,” she said. “They were so quick on activating processes to keep the residents safe early on.”

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