We are facing unprecedented times, as the COVID-19 pandemic has turned all of our lives upside down. As Massachusetts is heading into its surge, Upham’s Corner Health Committee continues to work creatively to adapt our health and social services in our response to this crisis, but like health centers across the country, we are in need of your help!
Upham’s Corner Health Committee (UCHC) is an essential provider to over 12,000 residents in Dorchester, Roxbury, and adjacent Boston neighborhoods. Our mission of providing comprehensive, culturally competent, community-based health and social services to our diverse community is more critical than ever to ensure we address increased socio-economic barriers to health care access and chronic disparities experienced by residents.
Preliminary data suggests that COVID-19 disproportionately affects people of color in Boston in neighborhoods such as Dorchester, and we have been ramping up our efforts to close this gap in the following ways:
1) Ensuring patients remain connected to critical care and services provided by UCHC with the goal of avoiding unnecessary hospital and ED visits.
· Transitioning all non-urgent primary care, behavioral health, urgent care, dentistry, and vision services to telephonic health care.
· Our social service support teams conducting frequent telephonic check-ins with our patients and participants.
· Gearing up to become a community COVID-19 testing site to increase access for community residents.
2) Expanding upon resource services for our patients by partnering with local agencies to: establish a food pantry as well as offering delivery of food cards, food bags, hygiene kits, school supplies, and other basic supplies to improve access for our most vulnerable patients.
3) Conducting home delivery of prescriptions, meals, toiletries, and other essentials to some of the most vulnerable and at-risk populations, including our Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) participants, 90% of who are 60 years or older. Our PACE model of care is high touch; participants are accustomed to receiving frequent in person healthcare and support services, as well as social interaction, activities, and daily lunch, at our 3 adult day health sites. We are working to address food insecurity for participants with unstable housing via home delivery of meals while also addressing loneliness and depression by setting up telephonic health care and offering interfaith prayer services via video conferencing in participants’ homes.
4) Continuing to provide essential home-based skilled nursing and home health aide services to our homebound and elder patients delivered through our Home Care and Home Health Aide departments in close collaboration with our PACE program.
We have included photographs highlighting a day in the life of some our amazing UCHC staff who are dedicated to serve our community in a time of significant need in order to keep everyone safe and healthy. Will you stand with Upham’s as we uphold our mission and play a critical role in keeping our residents healthy and safe for a better today and even brighter tomorrow? Please join our cause and contribute today!