We have certainly entered an unusual time. I’ve been spending my days in conference calls with colleagues at community health centers around the state and in meetings with my colleagues here at Duffy Health Center. We’ve had important and challenging decisions to make both in terms of patient care and how to care for our staff.
Medical Director Robert Baginski has taken charge of creating and implementing protocols for our clinical response to COVID-19. For the time being, we must limit access to Duffy Health Center, both for patients and our staff. We are actively exploring telehealth options so that we can continue to care for those who depend on us for support around their physical and mental health.
We have set up a system for screening patients who arrive at Duffy Health Center which includes the use of Massachusetts Department of Public Healthguidelines to determine the need for COVID-19 testing. All patients who meet screening criteria for COVID-19 will be immediately referred to the Cape Cod Healthcare testing site.
We have asked non-essential staff to work from home. With the support of our Board of Directors, we are able to provide flexibility for essential staff so they may continue to work while also staying safe and caring for their families.
These are the most important times for front-line health centers like ours. Congress did not pass long-term funding for community health centers last fall and instead approved short-term funding through May. It’s more important than ever to consider making a gift in support of our efforts to care for those most vulnerable in our community. If you’re inclined, please also consider advocating on our behalf with your elected officials.
We plan to keep our doors open for our patients until we are advised that it is no longer safe to do so. We will be updating our website and Facebook pageregularly.
Stay well and stay safe,
Heidi R. Nelson
CEO, Duffy Health Center