CHDC Weekly Update #1

Dear Colleagues, Patients and Friends,
I want to first start off and thank everyone for their hard work and commitment to our community at this time during this pandemic. I will be providing weekly updates about CHDC operations, as most of you are aware, we closed 2 locations last week due to very low PPE supplies for our staff and that has not changed this week. CHDC has been providing care to our community remotely and has served many of our patients over the telephone for medical, dental emergencies, physical therapy, OBGYN, behavioral health, MAT, case management as well as nurse triage services. We are still seeing OB patients at our 700 Heritage location.
We instituted telehealth on March 23, 2020 by providing telephone visits. During our first 4 days, Telehealth appointments have been amazingly successful with providing 268 telephone visits including: 28 Behavioral Health, 186 Medical, 33 MAT, and 20 Physical Therapy. My staff is telling me patients do not want to come out or into our offices and appreciate this service we are offering. We are not receiving a lot of emergency room reports from HSX indicating our patients are not going to the emergency rooms. I reached out to our local hospital and asked if they needed support for a Dentist in the ER and the response was the ER volume is very low. In the beginning of the week, DHS sent out a guidance stating dental services need a negative pressure room as a requirement and with much state-wide and national advocacy DHS revised the guidance on 3/26/20 lifting this requirement.
CHDC has barely any N95 masks and absolutely no COVID-19 testing kits. My staff is working hard from the local level to FEMA to request PPEs and we are applying to Direct Relief to seek approval to receive PPE supplies. If this is successful, we will be analyzing opening dental for only true emergencies depending on how many supplies we receive.
We should have telehealth up and running next week to provide video visits and as you can imagine a lot of health centers have been trying to get this set up since DHS allowed telehealth visits to be reimbursed during this pandemic.
Overall, I will continue to send this weekly communication to keep you all posted on what CHDC is doing and how we are still providing support and services to our community even if our physical sites are temporarily shut down. We will continue to follow CDC guidance and work with HRSA, DHS, PACHC and other partners as things are changing daily.
Please take care and don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions. Please feel free to share this letter with whom you may feel it is important to have this letter. We will be posting this on our website and continue to provide social media updates and daily text messages to our patients keeping everyone up to date.
Bridgette McGivern, CEO
Community Health & Dental Care, Inc.