Neighborcare Health is standing strong as the COVID-19 crisis continues to affect every corner of the state, including our Neighborcare Health clinic in Pike Place Market. They are currently seeing a major need to increase their impact, especially since their medical services are frequented by individuals on low incomes or those experiencing homelessness in the downtown community.
Here’s how Neighborcare Health is focusing their services so that these vulnerable populations have the same access to COVID-19 testing and care as housed populations.
Neighborcare Health’s Homeless Programs Team is working closely with housing, community, and public health partners to address the many emerging COVID-19 related needs for people experiencing homelessness in permanent supportive housing, on the street, and in shelter settings. They’ve implemented the Housing & Street Outreach (HSO) Mobile COVID-19 Assessment & Testing Team. This group of providers and nurses are deployed to shelters and fixed-income housings sites and reaching out to people experiencing respiratory illnesses, in order to administer essential COVID-19 tests. This enables these providers to ensure not only the safety of someone who’s sick, but helps prevent the spread into populations who already have difficulty accessing healthcare needs.
Neighborcare is also paying close attention to an unseen consequence from the pandemic – an unexpected surge in withdrawal from addiction, as drug supply chains diminish in the wake of social distancing and stay-at-home orders. To help combat this, the clinic has implemented the HSO Primary Care Provider Consult Line. This direct line is available to help patients struggling with opioid use and start them on medical treatment to reduce the harm from their withdrawal. The clinic has also shifted their capacity to administer in-person medical treatment for opioid withdrawal directly at the Pike Place Market clinic, due to the closure of their Belltown REACH office. This allows for increased access for patients around the Market and in downtown who are experiencing homelessness.
Not only is Neighborcare working hard on all of the above, but they are actively fighting the COVID-19 virus as it spreads among low-income communities. Community health clinics are especially feeling the strain of balancing proper attention to these poorer communities, while also ensuring they stay financially afloat and don’t strain the efforts of their healthcare workers. Read more about this struggle in this revealing Crosscut article.
We are proud to support the Neighborcare health clinic at Pike Place Market as they take care of the thousands of downtown and Market neighbors in need right now. Please help Neighborcare weather this crisis, as they engage patients in welcoming, dignified care in a time of great uncertainty and fear.