May 22, 2020 – Letter from Dr. Khan, Executive Director
Dear Friends and Supporters,
Thank you for your continued support at this time. We hope that you and your families are keeping safe.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disproportionately affect our patient population. Our testing results are still showing high rates of infection with approximately 50% coming back positive. Our hope is that by continuing to ramp up testing, providing support to affected families, and assisting with contact tracing and isolation efforts, we can help turn the corner for our patients, families, and communities.
We are currently operating five testing sites in areas accessible to our patients. These include locations outside our Richmond Highway, Merrifield, and Casey clinics. In addition, two are community partnership efforts – one with Casa Chirilagua in Arlandria in Alexandria and the other with Culmore Clinic in Bailey’s Crossroads. We have streamlined enrollment processes in order to quickly bring new patients in to get tested and then to receive follow-up care. So far, we have tested over 1,800 patients at these testing sites. The large majority of those who test positive are Hispanic and uninsured.
Last Saturday we held our first community testing event in Arlandria. The purpose was to reach more asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic patients in a highly affected low-income community that we serve. Neighborhood Health worked with three community agencies to bring 236 community residents out for drive-thru and walk-up testing. The Alexandria Health Department provided health education material and volunteers through the Medical Reserve Corps. Neighborhood Health is providing follow up care for patients who tested positive and did not have another source of care.
For patients who live in crowded conditions and are willing to isolate outside their home, Neighborhood Health staff is connecting them to hotel rooms that have been secured by local governments for this purpose. In order to try to stop the spread of the virus in the tight-knit communities where our patients live, our contact tracing team is identifying high risk contacts and asking them to quarantine.
Our medical providers continue to provide regular check-in calls to our patients who test positive in order to monitor their health and provide support through video and phone health visits. Our Family Support Team is assessing patients’ non-clinical needs and delivering food, masks, and other supplies to their homes.
And as always, we continue to provide our entire patient population with essential primary care services during this crisis. One area of focus is to continue to bring in children under two years old to keep them up to date with their vaccinations and monitoring for developmental milestones.
Everyday I’m grateful for our staff and our supporters who enable us to do this critical work. Thank you for your continued support!
Basim Khan, MD, MPA