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INTERNET | Internet Software & Services / Search
villagecare.it

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Stage

Incubator/Accelerator | Alive

Total Raised

$80K

About Villagecare

Villagecare is an online search engine for caregivers to find resources for those dependent on them.

Villagecare Headquarter Location

Via Torricelli 3

Milan, 20136,

Italy

Latest Villagecare News

Should businesses mandate that staff get the Covid vaccine?

Jan 11, 2021

When the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines became available to health care workers in December, hospitals and nursing homes didn't expect pushback from employees. But an estimated 30% of health care workers are now expected to refuse the shots, according to health officials. "What do you do if your own workers refuse the vaccine?" asked Michael Balboni, executive director of the Greater New York Health Care Facilities Association, a nonprofit serving the needs of long-term-care facilities. "Do you just take people off the schedule if they refuse? Can we require them to take the vaccines?" Updated guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission issued Dec. 16 did not necessarily provide clarity. It stipulated that an employer can lawfully exclude a worker who cannot be vaccinated due to disability or religious convictions from the workplace if it cannot provide reasonable accommodation. The guidance gave employers the option of a vaccine mandate, but implementing one comes with myriad complications, Balboni said. Not by force Northwell Health, the largest private employer in the state with over 74,000 workers, considered requiring employees to get the vaccine but ultimately decided against it. "We recognize that we work with vulnerable populations and we need to keep our employees and patients safe," said Maxine Carrington, the health system's deputy chief human resource officer. But Northwell ultimately decided that a heavy-handed approach was against its workplace culture and would be counterproductive to compliance, she said. In December the health system conducted a survey on vaccine sentiment within a limited pool of employees and found 60% of its workers wanted it, 37% were unsure, and 3% said they would not take it. Northwell sought to address the uncertainty, and after an education and publicity campaign, the rate of unsure employees came down, Carrington noted. "People tend to have a 'You take it first and I'll see how you do,' mentality," Carrington said with a laugh. She pointed out that a hardline approach could lead employees to leave. "Workers might think, If you're going to force me to take it, I'll go work for someone else who won't force me," she said. A vaccine mandate could be resisted by labor unions. Although it's unlikely a pre-Covid-19 collective-bargaining agreement would have covered a pandemic, any new issues that arise are negotiable, said Chamtouli Huq, associate professor at the City University of New York School of Law. Unions would want to be involved in the conversations on vaccines, as ultimately their goals of protecting the workplace align with the employer's, said Pat Kane, executive director of the New York State Nurses Association. Gray areas Despite the EEOC guidance, there are still gray areas. Employers have to consider whether a vaccination is a business necessity and the legal implications of enforcing such a requirement. A business owner who wants to mandate vaccinations would want to be given proof one was taken. And any time medical information has to be collected, potential liabilities are triggered, Huq said. Legal pitfalls could include the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (better known as HIPAA) and even the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, she said. "It could be possible that a worker is trying to become pregnant and hence declines the vaccine, and there are federal, state and city protections for that worker," Huq said. Although the city's Commission on Human Rights has not commented specifically on the EEOC guidance, its definition of a disability tends to be broad and has historically offered favorable protection to employees, Huq said. Employers should consider less intrusive solutions before considering mandatory vaccines if the intention is to keep the workplace safe, Huq said. Measures such as temperature taking, symptom monitoring and mask wearing can still be required even after vaccines are available, she said. After all, a vaccine does not magically make the workplace safer, Kane said. "People will eventually come round to taking the vaccine with time and education," she said, "and until herd immunity is achieved, it is important not to take a punitive approach." —Shuan Sim Read the full version of this article in the Jan. 11 issue of Crain's New York Business. Somos vaccinates 400 community-based physicians Somos, a network of more than 2,500 physicians in the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn, last week vaccinated 400 community-based physicians. Hundreds of Latino, Asian and Black frontline primary care doctors were among those who received the Moderna vaccine at a Somos urgent care facility in Upper Manhattan, Somos said. The inoculations were performed on camera and broadcast locally in an effort to build trust in the Covid-19 vaccine. "It is an incredible relief to begin vaccinating our frontline health workers who have put their lives on the line—some of whom we have lost—to do what we do best: serve the underserved and treat our own communities," said Somos Chairman Dr. Ramon Tallaj in a statement. Tallaj added that the physician network will be critical in vaccinating New Yorkers who have been most affected by the pandemic. "Our patients don't trust hospitals. They don't—and they won't—go to hospitals to receive the vaccine," Tallaj said. "They do, however, trust their local doctors who speak their language, share their stories and have treated their families for generations, and they will come to our clinics and get vaccinated for these reasons. And I want them to know, we are ready." Tallaj and other Somos leaders indicated they have the capability to vaccinate more than 1 million New Yorkers if they receive shipments of vaccines to their clinics in the next several months. Somos said it will continue to collaborate with city and state officials to help ensure inoculations reach vulnerable and marginalized New Yorkers. Since early in the pandemic, Somos has been at the forefront of testing efforts in underserved communities throughout the city. Its doctors have continued to stress the importance of involving community-based physicians in the fight against Covid in reaching those disproportionately affected. The vaccination process is the next step in doing so, it said. —Jennifer Henderson   Mount Sinai receives $1.9M NCI grant for cancer research Last week Mount Sinai announced that the Tisch Cancer Institute in East Harlem received a $1.9 million grant over five years from the National Cancer Institute to explore why tumor cells remain dormant and ways to target them. Tumor cells that spread from their original source have a period of dormancy before becoming metastatic and proliferating. This phenomenon has received increased attention in the past five years, and many labs across the nation are studying it to unlock novel approaches toward cancer treatment, said Jose Javier Bravo-Corduro, assistant professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and primary investigator for the five-year award. The team hopes to achieve its first publication within a year, with subsequent publications during the course of the award period, Bravo-Corduro said. The lab will use high-resolution imaging tools and undertake animal studies as part of the program. The research is applicable to many solid-tumor cancers, including those of the breast, lung and colon, he added. "Once we understand the niches better, it will allow us to find ways to keep cancer cells asleep and prevent them from metastasizing or perhaps even find ways to kill these cells," Bravo-Corduro said. This research will pave the way for future partnerships with pharmaceutical or biotech companies to achieve those ends, he said. —S.S. Managed-care plan partners with tech firm on virtual services for vulnerable members VillageCareMax, a managed-care plan operated by Financial District–based nonprofit VillageCare, last week announced a partnership with the tech firm Adracare, which provides virtual services and practice management solutions. The goal is to improve the quality and accessibility of health care available to members, VillageCareMax said. The program will be offered to the majority of its more than 16,000 members as soon as staff training concludes, a spokesman confirmed. Members will be asked to opt into the service and must be able to participate through a smart device or browser, he noted. VillageCareMax offers low- or no-cost health plans for individuals eligible for Medicaid, or both Medicare and Medicaid, who live in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx or Queens. Many of its members have multiple chronic illnesses as well as functional limitations requiring assistance with daily living tasks and cognitive impairment. The Adracare telemedicine solution, VillageCareMax said, allows for a wide range of services to be conducted at home, giving patients the option to remain in a comfortable setting and helping to alleviate accessibility barriers. Appointments are booked online, and patient communications are sent via email and text messages. Virtual visits are also available. "In these unsure times of this pandemic, it was important for us to develop alternative care-delivery options for our members to ensure that they are safe while continuing to gain access to quality health care," said Emma DeVito, president and CEO of VillageCare, in a statement. VillageCare is a continuing care organization that offers post-acute and community services in addition to managed-care options. Olivier Giner, CEO of Toronto-based Adracare, added in a statement that the company will continue supporting VillageCareMax with additional updates and configurations as the partnership evolves. There are more than 150,000 patients being taken care of with Adracare's clinic management solution, according to the company, and more than 7,500 providers using its platform. Financial terms of the partnership were not immediately available. —J.H. AT A GLANCE WHO'S NEWS: F. Lisa Murtha joined Moses & Singer as the newest partner in its health care practice group, the Midtown-based legal firm announced last week. She had been senior managing partner for more than three years at Midtown-based health care consulting firm Ankura Consulting. EXPANDED NETWORK: Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in a Friday briefing that starting today phase 1b workers will be eligible to schedule appointments to receive a Covid-19 vaccine through the state's website. This group includes essential workers such as police, firefighters, teachers and transit workers as well as individuals ages 75 and older. Phase 1a and 1b workers will now be able to receive doses through the state's expanded distribution network, although vaccination for phase 1b workers could take up to 14 weeks to complete, given current supplies, Cuomo said. Health care workers will continue to be prioritized over phase 1b workers, he added. DUCHENNE CARE: Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, a Hackensack, N.J.-based nonprofit focused on Duchenne muscular dystrophy, last week announced the kickoff of a grant program for its Certified Duchenne Care Center network. It will offer a maximum of three grants of up to $150,000 per collaborative network to support the work of no less than six centers from across the country. RECOMMENDED FOR YOU

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Expert Collections containing Villagecare

Expert Collections are analyst-curated lists that highlight the companies you need to know in the most important technology spaces.

Villagecare is included in 1 Expert Collection, including Digital Health.

D

Digital Health

11,292 items

Technologies, platforms, and systems that engage consumers for lifestyle, wellness, or health-related purposes; capture, store, or transmit health data; and/or support life science and clinical operations. (DiME, DTA, HealthXL, & NODE.Health)

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