May 3, 2020

The COVID-19 crisis has required the unbelievably flexible employees of CHAS Health to extend themselves even more than usual.  Did you know that at CHAS, we have a Gumby Award?  For those of you who are Millennial or younger, Gumby is a big green clay old-timey cartoon character known for his flexibility, recently portrayed once again by Eddie Murphy on Saturday Night Live (the original Gumby is significantly less salty and more agreeable than Murphy’s version).  Since what seems like the dawn of time, we have been giving this award out yearly to express our appreciation for the extreme resilience and adaptability of our employees.  Our jobs change constantly and we swiftly accept change and move on to focus on how to best serve our patients in the context of today’s changes (or this morning’s changes, or this minute’s changes…). 

Working from home has been a new experience for many of us during this time, and has been particularly unusual for our front line health care workers. 

Rachel Clements, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner at CHAS Lewis and Clark Health Center in Lewiston, Idaho shared, “I am so grateful that I can connect with my patients by phone or virtually so that I can help them achieve health.  It’s also a joy to be able to talk to people when we are most comfortable (both of us at home).  I get so many compliments on my kitchen curtains!” 

Rachel’s positivity and humor around this change are emblematic of the quiet heroics our health center staff display daily.

Due to the urgency of the COVID-19 crisis, some of our staff transitioned from working at a clinic to working at home on same day notice.  Less Gumby-like employees may have struggled with such a quick turnaround but at CHAS we’re more like, “That’s it?  What else you got?”

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:

By Vanessa Bryant