Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic (YVFWC), the parent organization of Woodburn's Salud Medical Center, announced that it continues to provide care to patients throughout the Pacific Northwest amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
YVFWC's Senior Vice President of External Affairs Gina Adrien said the group is focused on new challenges posed by the current health climate. Those include quickly launching telephone visits, establishing methods to mail medications requiring refrigeration, continuing to keep all locations open and has been screening and testing patients before entering any clinical locations.
Every YVFWC patient is screened and those who meet symptom and exposure requirements are then tested for COVID-19.
"We are expanding our services and adapting to this new normal," YVFWC CEO Carlos Olivares said.
To date, YVFWC has performed 1,164 COVID-19 tests across its network. These tests account for nearly 30% of all tests performed in Yakima County, Wash. They account for nearly 10% of all tests in Washington, and 2% of all tests in Oregon within the YVFWC network.
"As health professionals are fighting this pandemic with a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), (we) chose to postpone all elective dental procedures in order to conserve PPE for the battle against COVID-19," Adrien said. "All YVFWC dental sites continue to see patients for emergency visits and arrange for dental case management."
The group's health-care providers urge everyone to continue with their regular medical care, practice social distancing by avoiding all gatherings, and continue hand hygiene including washing hands for up to 20 seconds.
Patients are able to continue their care through telephone or in-person visits with their providers. Providers are now performing nearly 70% of regular medical visits over the phone.
"Not only can many of your medical needs be met over the phone, we are also offering phone visits with behavioral health providers and our public can even have their WIC appointments done on the phone," Olivares said.
YVFWC patient-benefit coordinators are also helping anyone who loses health-care coverage – due to job loss or work reduction—apply for state health insurance coverage. Individuals do not need to become patients to take advantage of this benefit.
"We want community members to know they may now qualify for state insurance," Olivares added. "Through all that's going on, we continue to keep our doors open for the health and safety of our communities, and we urge anyone needing to see a medical provider to give us a call."
Adrien said that benefit coordinators can help determine if a patient qualifies and help enroll them in the most suitable plan.
"While we are doing everything we can to help our patients and communities, it is vitally important that our communities hear this: stay at home, don't gather for parties or in groups, and do everything you can to follow the shelter in place orders," Olivares stressed. "Our providers are relying on you."
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