The Palm Beach Synagogue partnered with a New Jersey medical assistance nonprofit, to help South Florida coronavirus patients recuperating from home.
Palm Beach Synagogue has joined forces with a New Jersey nonprofit to offer oxygen concentrators to coronavirus patients who are recovering at home.
Rabbi Moshe Scheiner said he reached out to Lev Rochel Bikur Cholim, a medical assistance provider in Lakewood, N.J., after receiving calls for assistance. The oxygen concentrators help relieve pain, facilitate breathing and avoid shortness of breath, Scheiner said.
Patients who use the machines are usually not admitted to the hospital because their symptoms are not critical enough.
On July 10, volunteers transporting 20 concentrators arrived at the Palm Beach Synagogue after driving through the night from New Jersey.
“For the past four to five months they’ve been inundated with requests,” Schneider said. “I asked for help when the situation in Florida became grim and New York was improving.”
One oxygen concentrator has gone to a Lake Worth resident who’s a member of the synagogue. Patients must be cleared by a doctor for in-home treatment with an oxygen concentrator to receive a machine.
“The objective is keeping patients out of the hospital,” Bikur Chalom director Yehudah Kaszirer said.
When the call for help came from Florida, the decision to help was easy. The worst of the pandemic in the New York/New Jersey area was over and “these things were sitting on the shelf collecting dust. We might as well put them to good use,” Kaszirer said.
Hatzalah of South Florida, a not-for-profit organization composed of state-certified EMT volunteer responders, will help monitor patients using the machines.
“They train the patient on how to use the machine and a volunteer checks in periodically,” Schneider said.
Bikur Cholim sees to the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of medical patients and their families. It provides hotel stays for families of hospitalized patients, meals, groceries, transportation and medical equipment ranging from wheelchairs to generators for power outages and nebulizers.
Bikur Chalom provided hundreds of New Jersey and New York families with machines during the pandemic, Kaszirer said. During the area’s peak in coronavirus cases, Bikur Chalom the organization was assisting 200 patients. New Jersey and New York are now reporting among the lowest rates of positive virus tests in the country.
“Let’s hope it’s over by tomorrow,” Kaszirer said of the pandemic. “But as long as people need it, we will make sure they have it. That’s our promise.”
The oxygen concentrators will be loaned to patients in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Patients with a doctor’s order can call Hatzalah of South Florida at 305-919-4900.