COVID-19 and Patient Calls

One of the challenges of being a Call Center Representative at a healthcare organization, even when it isn’t a crisis, is that you often don’t get to circle back with the patients you assist day after day and inevitably worry about.  On one such occasion during COVID-19, our call center expert Sam at Spokane’s downtown CHAS Denny Murphy Clinic, was fortunate enough to reconnect.

“Last week I had a patient with a 3-month-old son call in panicked that he had been having trouble breathing that morning…” Sam quickly got the patient on the phone with a nurse, “…and I’m not quite sure what had happened from there.” 

Luckily, when the patient called back a few days later, Sam was once again connected with her. 

“She thanked CHAS for being such a great resource for her and her family.  She said that our team is always going above and beyond for our patients’ health!  She emphasized how in the midst of the craziness of COVID, CHAS was there for her!”

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

Working the Tent during COVID-19

During the COVID-19 Crisis, many of our employees were moved from working inside their regular clinic location, to helping in our screening tents outside of our primary care clinics.  Here are some comments about tent work from one of our amazing Nurse Practitioners, Todd:

“The patients and families I interacted with [in the tent] were ALL amazing, supportive and understanding of the processes we went through to keep them and their family members safe.  In those moments there was a real sense of community and we are all working together.” 

Todd noted that CHAS support staff were all great; not just the Medical Assistants and other staff screening at the door and running for supplies, but even the facilities employee who got the heat on to make employees more comfortable and who broke down the tent at the end of the day.  

“I feel very fortunate to work for an organization that supports its employees, families and community in a time like this.”

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 awarded donation from The Pink Shamrock Foundation.

From L to R: Lindsey Ruivivar, CHAS; Katrina Schneider, PA-C, CHAS Denny Murphy Clinic; Tim Murphy, The Pink Shamrock Foundation

From L to R: Lindsey Ruivivar, CHAS; Katrina Schneider, PA-C, CHAS Denny Murphy Clinic; Tim Murphy, The Pink Shamrock Foundation

Katrina Schneider, PA-C at CHAS Denny Murphy Clinic, and I recently had the honor of attending The Pink Shamrock Foundation gala to receive a donation that will enable CHAS to provide transportation assistance for patients diagnosed with breast cancer.

The individuals and history behind The Pink Shamrock Foundation are near to our hearts at CHAS. The foundation was formed by the family of Denny Murphy. CHAS’s Denny Murphy Clinic honors her namesake. Denny Murphy played a significant role in founding CHAS and helping the organization to get up and running in the early years. She was an incredible advocate for Spokane’s most disenfranchised residents, promoting access to health care for all. Her legacy of helping others is continued through The Pink Shamrock Foundation.

At the gala, we had the opportunity to learn about a variety of organizations helping breast cancer patients and survivors throughout Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. At our table, Katrina and I met volunteers from Casting For Recovery, who help rehabilitate breast cancer patients using the therapeutic sport of fly fishing. We also learned about the YMCA of the Inland Northwest’s LIVESTRONG program, where cancer survivors participate in a 12-week small-group workout program. The gala highlighted the incredible impact The Pink Shamrock Foundation has in supporting such a variety of local programs helping individuals and families impacted by breast cancer, and provided all of us with the opportunity to network and make valuable connections.

Katrina and I shared with attendees about CHAS’s services and how our organization will use grant funding from The Pink Shamrock Foundation. At CHAS, once a patient is diagnosed with breast cancer she or he continues to receive primary care services while receiving oncology services provided by specialty providers. Continued access to primary care is critical while a patient is going through breast cancer treatment, and once treatment concludes. In addition to regular primary care visits, a patient going through cancer treatment is expending more of their budget on transportation costs to access specialty care appointments. Gas gift cards will be given to breast cancer patients to help them continue accessing primary care visits throughout the year, and will also be given to breast cancer patients in need of transportation assistance to access care at referred providers.

Thank you to The Pink Shamrock Foundation for this donation, and for your many years of service in the Inland Northwest! Your local efforts continue to significantly impact the lives of individuals in our community who are facing health challenges. Thank you for your amazing work!

–Lindsey Ruivivar, CHAS Public Policy & Development Manager