Great Lakes Bay Health Centers continue to serve as a vital part of our community’s health care safety net during this emergency. By maintaining our ability to treat patients, we can help relieve some of the congestion of patients seeking treatment at our local hospitals.
Although the number of patients we are seeing is reduced, we are still caring for thousands of vulnerable people across the region who need our support to manage chronic illnesses such as diabetes and asthma; to maintain healthy pregnancies or take care of new babies; to receive necessary dental treatment and to continue behavioral health counseling in this stressful time. We can listen to them, address their fears and help them stay home.
Many of our care providers are using telehealth options to conduct virtual visits and counseling with hundreds of patients. Some services are temporarily unavailable so we can protect our staff and patients as much as possible.
We are partnering with the Saginaw County Health Department to provide drive-through Covid-19 sample collection for testing in the parking lot of our downtown Saginaw Administrative offices. This started March 24 with staff set up with a tent and our dental bus. We also have volunteer students from CMU Medical School assisting with logistics.
Anyone from the community is able to get a sample taken at the site but must have a lab order from a provider. We are working with Quest labs to test the samples. Demand for the service continues to build and the site will be open from 9 am to 3 pm weekdays. Soon we will be able to use telehealth to screen people who don’t have a doctor but are struggling with symptoms. We also are working to expand to other counties.
Care providers and all staff at Great Lakes Bay Health Centers are stepping up tremendously to keep centers operating safely for themselves and patients. We are following the guidelines of the CDC and the Governor’s orders. They are on the front lines of the crisis. Sometimes that means bringing in staff at 8 pm on a Sunday to prepare and set up for operations under new conditions. As one manager said: “We will continue to work together as a team and get through this safely one day at a time.”
How can I help?
Patients need your support: We so appreciate your support of our mission to change lives – and to save lives. This is a very challenging time for everyone. It puts unique pressures on our healthcare system. This emergency is putting our health centers at risk because we are not able to see as many regular patients, and we are facing unanticipated costs. Please consider making a donation now at www.greatlakesbayhealth.org/donate
Please contact Jill Armentrout at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (989) 759-6479 if you have other questions or thoughts.
Stay Home and Stay Safe