Thank You to All the Community Health Care Heroes

Ann Lundy, R.N., B.S.N., M.B.A., Chief Operating Officer
August 14, 2020

This week health centers across the country, including Access Community Health Network, celebrate National Health Center Week. This annual celebration provides community health centers an opportunity to raise awareness around the critical role community health centers play while also highlighting the incredible impact of our essential workers. From the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, community health centers have risen to the challenge time and time again to provide vital care and support to our most vulnerable patient populations. 

 

Being there for our patients has also taken on new meaning like never before. In fact, throughout this pandemic, we have had to rethink, reimagine and readily adapt our care delivery model.  In the past five months alone, we have pushed ourselves to innovate by launching telehealth services for both primary care and behavioral health and opened five custom-designed COVID-19 testing sites in our hardest hit communities. From our frontline care team members that spent hours supporting our chronically ill patients with needed prescription refills and other emergency resources, like food assistance to our outreach team members that got masks and other critical supplies to our pregnant moms and young families, our #TeamACCESS has gone above and beyond to be there for our patients. 

 

Operating a small health system that serves nearly 175,000 patients each year also takes a strong support structure. We have many unsung heroes behind the scenes and beyond our health center walls.  For example, our facilities team members have done an amazing job maintaining our health centers and testing sites as clean and safe spaces for both our staff and patients. The pandemic has also put an immense strain on our centralized call center, which just last week fielded more than 14,000 calls for our testing sites and scheduled more than 6,500 appointments. That is just a glimpse into one week of this pandemic.  

 

If this public health crisis has taught us anything, it is that our nearly 1,000 team members are not just essential workers but, true heroes who continue to persevere and show resilience while remaining committed to our mission and the patients that depend on us.  I am proud to work for one of the leading networks of federally-qualified health centers and salute #TeamACCESS and the critical role community health centers play across the country. Happy National Health Center Week