Dear Friends of the Clinic,
We’re getting better at this.
Just because there’s a pandemic, people don’t stop getting sick with other things. The first week of the stay at home order, we saw 39 patients. The second week, we “saw” 51. This week, we will have “seen” 81 patients. These are people who were able to get their diagnoses addressed, get lab tests, and get medication for illnesses. Hernias, gallbladder attacks, urinary tract infections, asthma, diabetes – that’s just a few of the things we’ve dealt with this week.
Our Nurse Practitioner, Cheryl, has been doing a great job with her phone conferences with patients, and the nurses have been incredible in ensuring patients aren’t going without care. Our front office has been busy re-arranging schedules, doing initial screenings over the phone and reassuring anxious patients that we will continue to care for them.
We’ve also learned a few lessons.
Telehealth may not work well for our patients because few of them have computers, and while they may have a cell phone, it can be quite complex to explain how to set up a program for visual telehealth.
Access to food becomes a significant issue for patients in this time. We have now implemented a routine of giving every patient a bag of food when they leave to help them for at least a few days.
Information about COVID and the stay at home order in clear and understandable language is still a little elusive. We’ve utilized existing resources, changed the language to make it more readable and translated it into Spanish for those who need it.
Through all of this, we could not be more proud and more grateful to our staff and our supporters who continue to make this clinic operate under less than ideal conditions.
And so perhaps the most important thing we’ve learned so far is that we have an incredible community and so many heroes in our midst. These everyday heroes are the ones working here at the clinic, writing checks to the clinic, and working in our restaurants and grocery stores to keep us going. Many of this last group are the very people we serve.
Every day, we’re getting better at doing this work. Thanks to you, we have that privilege.
Suzanne Hoban, Executive Director