COVID-19 and Community Generosity

During the pandemic, we have received a heartening number of donations of individually wrapped food for employees serving in our clinics and tents, face masks for staff and patients, and monetary gifts to fill in the gaps.  Gifts have arrived not just from caring individuals and organizations all over the Inland Northwest, but also from Seattle, Chicago, Iowa and Florida.  Our own employees and even family members of staff have made generous donations as well.  This is the story of Katie Negri, one of our incredible Application Support Analysts, and how she and our community came together to give:

Katie is part of a Facebook group named “Helping Spokane County get through COVID-19” and she noticed an organization called Spokane Ear Savers mentioned several times. 

“I originally reached out looking to purchase some of the ear savers for a few of my co-workers in IT, but when I mentioned I worked for CHAS, Briana, the woman who responded to my message, stated that she wanted to donate 200 to our practice.” 

After picking up the initial order of 200, “Briana messaged me again to let me know that they made an additional 200 ear savers to donate to CHAS and that I could pick them up whenever it was convenient. This group is amazing and extremely thoughtful!”

A big thank you to our own Katie and to Briana at Spokane Ear Savers for coming together to serve our community and staff during COVID-19.

This blog post is part of a special CHAS Health Foundation series for #GivingTuesdayNow. #GivingTuesdayNow is a global day of giving and unity that will take place on May 5, 2020 as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.  #GivingTuesdayNow emphasizes opportunities to give back to communities and causes in safe ways that allow for social connection and kindness even while practicing physical distancing. #GivingTuesdayNow is a global day of giving that focuses on the collective power that individuals, communities and organizations use to celebrate generosity and philanthropy worldwide.

This mission of the CHAS Health Foundation is to create health equity by strategically investing in patients, partners, and communities. The CHAS Health Foundation supports CHAS Health, a non-profit community health center serving over 97,000 patients annually regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. You can donate to the CHAS Health Foundation at: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/CHAS

By Vanessa Bryant

COVID-19 and New Staff Roles

During COVID-19, a great number of CHAS Health staff had to quickly shift to doing their work differently or doing completely different work!  The impact was especially great on our dental team.  When the pandemic necessitated the treatment of dental emergencies only, Dental Assistant Ayla Maki from CHAS Latah Community Health in Moscow, Idaho got a brand new temporary job:

“During COVID-19, I transitioned from being a dental assistant to helping in the pharmacy as a technician.  Working in the pharmacy has been fun and informative.  The Latah pharmacy staff have been encouraging, patient, and supportive during this new experience!  I have a whole new respect for those working in the pharmacy and what they do on a daily basis.  I am incredibly grateful for this new experience, as well as being able to keep helping out in the clinic where needed during this transitional time. I am thankful for CHAS and that they have continually supported me and my fellow employees through this temporary situation.”

If you require emergency dental care or are a CHAS Health patient needing pharmacy services, give as a call at (509) 444-8200 in Washington or (208) 838-8300 in Idaho.

This blog post is part of a special CHAS Health Foundation series for #GivingTuesdayNow. #GivingTuesdayNow is a global day of giving and unity that will take place on May 5, 2020 as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.  #GivingTuesdayNow emphasizes opportunities to give back to communities and causes in safe ways that allow for social connection and kindness even while practicing physical distancing. #GivingTuesdayNow is a global day of giving that focuses on the collective power that individuals, communities and organizations use to celebrate generosity and philanthropy worldwide.

This mission of the CHAS Health Foundation is to create health equity by strategically investing in patients, partners, and communities. The CHAS Health Foundation supports CHAS Health, a non-profit community health center serving over 97,000 patients annually regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. You can donate to the CHAS Health Foundation at: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/CHAS

Dental Emergencies and COVID-19

Our daily routines have been interrupted as we all work to practice social distancing, and many businesses that we would regularly frequent are currently closed. These changes have also impacted the health care system. Per state and CDC guidelines, dental services may only be provided for emergencies during the pandemic. This order has led many dental practices to temporarily close their doors, or provide limited hours.

What do you do if you have a toothache during the pandemic, and there isn’t a dentist open in your home town right now?

Here is one patient’s story, as told by Jessica, Dental Support Supervisor at CHAS Denny Murphy Clinic, located in downtown Spokane:

“We had a dental patient come in all the way from Ritzville because their one dentist who travels from Ellensburg was not seeing patients. He was in a lot of pain: unable to sleep, unable to control the pain with over-the-counter drugs, unable to eat. He was pretty hesitant to have treatment done by someone else, but was in so much pain he said if he did not get this tooth out of his head, he was going to take some pliers to it and get it out himself!

To make matters worse, his appointment was scheduled for the following week, not that day. Because we knew he traveled all the way from Ritzville, our dental team was able to pull together and make it work, despite a full schedule.

The patient was so grateful by the end of the visit, he thanked all of the staff present, saying Dr. Orth was the best dentist ever and he just might continue to travel for all his dental care because he liked her so much!”

CHAS Health clinicians are honored to be able to serve everyone in need during this challenging time.  If you need emergency dental services, please call us at 509-444-8200.

This blog post is part of a special CHAS Health Foundation series for #GivingTuesdayNow. #GivingTuesdayNow is a global day of giving and unity that will take place on May 5, 2020 as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.  #GivingTuesdayNow emphasizes opportunities to give back to communities and causes in safe ways that allow for social connection and kindness even while practicing physical distancing. #GivingTuesdayNow is a global day of giving that focuses on the collective power that individuals, communities and organizations use to celebrate generosity and philanthropy worldwide.

This mission of the CHAS Health Foundation is to create health equity by strategically investing in patients, partners, and communities. The CHAS Health Foundation supports CHAS Health, a non-profit community health center serving over 97,000 patients annually regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. You can donate to the CHAS Health Foundation at: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/CHAS

#GIVINGTUESDAYNOW | May 5th

#GivingTuesdayNow is a global day of giving and unity that will take place on May 5, 2020 as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.  #GivingTuesdayNow is an opportunity for people around the world to stand together in unity–to use their individual power of generosity to remain connected and heal.  Generosity gives everyone the power to make a positive change in the lives of others and is a fundamental value anyone can embrace. #GivingTuesdayNow emphasizes opportunities to give back to communities and causes in safe ways that allow for social connection and kindness even while practicing physical distancing.

Join CHAS Health for the next two weeks as we share stories from our staff and patients about working on the COVID-19 front lines. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, share our stories with friends, or if you can, participate in the giving to help us continue to serve patients during these trying times. You can donate to the CHAS Health Foundation at: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/CHAS

CHAS Health Announces New Foundation; Prioritizes Funding for Patients Impacted by COVID-19

Spokane, WA, April 13, 2020 – Last year, CHAS Health took the initial steps to start a Foundation, with the intent of creating a funding vehicle to address patient and community health equity. The Foundation Board recently formed and recognizes the urgent need for a fundraising campaign to help economically challenged patients facing extraordinary difficulties during the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We know people in our community are being impacted by lay-offs and lost wages right now. This leads to loss of health insurance, difficulty affording prescriptions, and other social determinants of health. We want to use the new Foundation to start providing patient assistance immediately,” stated Lindsey Ruivivar, Foundation spokesperson.

CHAS Health is actively involved in the community response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and is quickly adapting operations to meet the needs of patients. Like other health care providers across the nation, CHAS Health is experiencing a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), including surgical and N95 masks. The organization has temporarily ceased dental operations except for emergencies, in accordance with CDC guidelines and to conserve personal protective equipment. To limit the number of patients and staff in clinics and to help stop the spread of the virus, most patient appointments have been converted to telehealth visits when appropriate.

To-date, CHAS Health has screened 5,546 individuals for COVID-19, and tested 947 individuals; 31 tests have come back positive, and more results are pending. Five CHAS Health clinics have tents to screen patients for upper respiratory symptoms, while minimizing exposure risks for patients and staff.

“The pandemic has necessitated switching a lot of our operations to virtual care, which has proven to be effective both for medical and behavioral health services,” states Aaron Wilson, CHAS Health CEO. “We are focused on providing continuity of care for our patients, regardless of their circumstances.”

The Foundation has begun to receive seed funding, including financial donations from CHAS Health employees who are working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite operation and equipment challenges, the organization remains optimistic.

“We are excited to move the Foundation forward, and to use this as an opportunity for the community to partner with us to help patients get through the pandemic,” says Ruivivar. “We have been humbled by the tangible donations that have begun to pour in, from people dropping off masks, to businesses donating coffee and lunch for our employees who are working long hours right now.”

The Foundation is actively soliciting donations to provide assistance for patients in need. Donations may be made online at www.chas.org/donate or by calling 509-444-8888 and asking to speak with the Foundation.

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This mission of the CHAS Health Foundation is to create health equity by strategically investing in patients, partners, and communities.

The CHAS Health Foundation supports CHAS Health, a non-profit community health center serving over 97,000 patients annually regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.