CHC/SEK responding to COVID-19

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The COVID-19 situation is challenging each of us in different ways. For the staff at Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, “business as usual” has always meant constantly trying to improve and find new and better ways to care for our patients.

This week we made several procedural changes in response to the virus. You will see tents in front of some of our clinics, and a screening nurse will greet you at all locations. Nurses will ask you a few questions, and possibly take your temperature before you enter the clinic. The reason is to identify any potential COVID-19 patients before they enter, so we can properly treat them with minimum exposure to other patients and our clinical staff. In some cases, COVID-19 testing may take place in the patient’s vehicle rather than inside the clinic.

Public Health Officials are emphasizing that not everyone can, or needs, to be tested. Potential COVID-19 patients must meet specific guidelines that include specific symptoms and risk factors as directed by the CDC and state health departments. Our nurse-staffed information line is now open 24-hours a day to answer health questions and screen patients concerned about exposure to the virus. The toll-free number is (866) 888-8650.

We also understand that as the virus pandemic continues, we must continue to provide our “normal” health care services with as little interruption as possible. We are now seeing some patients through eVisits. Patients can be “seen” by their health care provider from home via a smartphone or other device using an internet or data connection. E-visits are a convenient option for patients who are generally in good health, and more routine visits. Call us at your regular clinic number to ask about eVisits.

We’re also shifting appointment times in some locations, with “well” or routine visits in the mornings (or afternoons), and ill, or symptomatic patients on the opposite schedule with the idea of minimizing exposure risks. In Pittsburg, we will soon be diverting well-child visits with our pediatricians to our mobile clinic, called the KidCare Connection. We want to keep your healthy child’s examinations and vaccinations on schedule in the safest environment possible. The bus will be parked at 3011 N. Michigan, on the north side of our clinic.

Finally, Apothecare pharmacies at the Pleasanton, Fort Scott, and Pittsburg locations are providing free same-day delivery by vehicle or delivery by mail for prescriptions.

CHC/SEK will continue to provide updates as they unfold.

— CHC/SEK Communications, Rob Poole