top of page

Bridges Cornell Heights Teams with Cayuga Medical Mobile Testing Van

April 17, 2020


Bridges Cornell Heights, a licensed enhanced assisted living residence for seniors in Ithaca NY, announces plans to leverage Cayuga Medical Center’s mobile testing van to provide voluntary, on-site novel coronavirus (covid-19) testing to interested staff and residents.

Bridges Cornell Heights, known for its innovative approach to caring for older adults, will provide incentives for all staff members and will encourage all residents to be tested for active and previous exposure to the novel coronavirus, and further advocates for other local senior care communities to take advantage of Cayuga Medical Center’s convenient mobile testing to help bend-the-curve in local senior communities.

Today Elizabeth Classen Ambrose, founder of Bridges Cornell Heights, reached out to Dr. Martin Stallone, CEO of Cayuga Medical Center, with her plan to incentivize all of Bridges’ staff members, and to encourage interested residents at Bridges, to participate in active virus and previous exposure testing. Within forty-five minutes, the Cayuga Medical Center mobile testing van arrived at Bridges Cornell Heights ready to start testing. “Knowledge is power in any crisis, certainly this is true in a pandemic,” says Classen Ambrose. “I have to hand it to Dr. Stallone and the Cayuga Medical experts for their responsiveness. Bridges has been forging ahead with protective measures from the start – suspending visits before the state directive, covering the cost of grocery delivery fees for our staff to help them avoid exposure, requiring staff in off-hours to wear masks and gloves when they must leave their homes and providing double-pay for those who are willing and able to work overtime because it reduces exposure for our vulnerable population. Some of our caregivers are even social distancing from their families within their homes to further reduce the potential for spread. Although we have zero residents infected with the virus, the science tells us that any individual can be a silent carrier. Honestly, I cannot think of a good reason we would not be proactive and do everything within our power to identify exposures so we can actively address them.”

Previous guidelines may have inadvertently reduced testing of asymptomatic caregivers because of staffing concerns caused by mandatory isolation until test results were received. Now, the CMC mobile van testing results can arrive within two days and new guidelines allow asymptomatic essential caregivers to return to work while awaiting those results. Therefore, Bridges feels they have the ability to test their entire community while continuing to provide exceptional care for their residents. Although Classen Ambrose acknowledges that Bridges’ average staffing ratio, almost double the industry average, allows her community more flexibility to manage resulting staff shortages, she believes that “every new piece of information will allow each senior residence to be more strategic and effective in managing care for its residents. If our community has mobile testing capacity, I can’t think of a better use than to proactively protect our vulnerable populations in senior residences.”

Please reach out to Elizabeth Classen Ambrose at 607-280-1410 for additional information about Bridges Cornell Heights plans for covid-19 testing.


Bridges Cornell Heights, operates several licensed enhanced assisted living residences in Ithaca, NY. Principal, Elizabeth Classen Ambrose has innovated in the area of senior living by concentrating on the intersect between hospitality and healthcare. Bridges Cornell Heights served as the prototype for the development of NYS Enhanced Assisted Living Residence Licensure and was recognized for sensitive development in an historic district by Ithaca’s Rotary Club and Historic Ithaca. Learn more about Bridges at 403 Wyckoff Avenue, Ithaca, NY 14850 (607) 257-5777


bottom of page