April 2020 e-Newsletter
Our Response to COVID-19 & How You Can Help
Healing Hands Health Center’s mission, “To glorify Christ by providing quality, charitable health care to the uninsured in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia,” is an imperative that remains unchanged since our founding more than 23 years ago. Like the rest of the nation, COVID-19 turned Healing Hands’ world upside down, but unlike most places, we can’t shut down. We are still OPEN. A patient who faced cancer, diabetes, or heart disease in mid-February—before COVID19 invaded our community—must still receive timely access to treatment to avoid devastating health effects. Healing Hands is moving forward during this challenging time to help provide care for vulnerable neighbors who are often overlooked and forgotten:
- Our medical staff are treating emergency patients on site and are treating all other patient appointment needs via telemedicine.
- Nurses are delivering needed medications to patients in their cars.
- Dental staff are treating patients who are experiencing severe dental pain.
- Many of our patients who work in construction, restaurant, cleaning, or childcare sectors have lost their jobs. They are struggling with access to food, transportation, and other emergency needs. Not all will benefit from federal government support. We are working hard to connect patients to local resources.
- Our local business community has always extended strong support to Healing Hands. As the pandemic progresses, we are standing ready to help the employees of local businesses who have or will have to layoff employees. We are working to streamline our online application and screening process to be ready to enroll new patients in a timely manner.
- Staff and Volunteers, who are sheltering-in-place, are writing grants; developing new policy and procedure guidelines; assembling new patient packets and dental kits; attending meetings via video conference to collaborate with other organizations and leaders to better navigate the pandemic and post-pandemic path forward.
Although we are managing our resources wisely, additional support during this time will give us the necessary flexibility to “keep the lights on” while responding effectively to this crisis. Healing Hands commits to:
- Continuing to pay our 24 staff members, operate with a small-but-mighty onsite clinical team, while surging forward via telework for those able to do their jobs from home
- Purchasing hand sanitizer, gowns, masks, and cleaning supplies
- Enforcing strict social distancing and Personal Protective Equipment policies for everyone onsite
- Increasing our staff’s hours to compensate for the reduction of volunteer hours
- Transitioning to a software platform that will better enable us to conduct virtual telehealth visits with patients, staff, and volunteer providers
As we move through this crisis, so much is unpredictable—what was true yesterday is outdated today. What’s certain is that Healing Hands will continue leveraging your support with 23 years of experience meeting the healthcare needs of our region’s most vulnerable to ease the burden of this pandemic on our low-income neighbors.
While these are uncertain financial times for all of us, a special gift to support our ongoing operations would be greatly appreciated.
We remain deeply grateful for your support!
God Bless and Stay Safe,
Healing Hands Health Center