The challenges of 2020 changed us, but they did not stop us. A look at how PATC adapted during unprecedented times.
By Kathryn Narumiya, PATC Program Director
Happy New Year!
One year ago, few would have thought that in just weeks, our places of business, worship, and pleasure would be severely limited or closed. Fewer still could have predicted the profound effect this would have on patient access to medical care.
Project Access Tarrant County was similarly affected. Sometimes we wondered how the program would continue. But, true to PATC tradition, we evaluated, collaborated, and devised a plan that fits our current reality.
Instead of attending in-person intake sessions with PATC staff, patients now complete the process virtually. Instead of delivering documents to the office, patients fax or mail them. And while some of our patients have had to be creative in how they access the necessary technology (who hasn’t?), every one of them has been able to make it work.
Reflecting on 2020, we are amazed at how much we were able to accomplish given the shutdowns and hospital limitations. PATC coordinated 382 medical appointments for 105 patients, including 20 surgeries and other hospital procedures during a period when access for even paying patients was severely limited.
We are always grateful for our volunteers and partners, but this year, we are especially thankful for our generous volunteers who continued to see patients and provide charity care during a time of uncertainty.
As I write this, hospitals are reaching capacity (again) and are postponing and canceling surgeries and procedures. As a result, PATC has several patients whose cases are on hold indefinitely. But this time, we know how to proceed. We have a plan and we will continue to take each day and each moment one step at a time until we reach the other side.
A new COVID-19 vaccination site was opened in Tarrant County on Tuesday. This new locations, which is hosted at the Hurst Conference Center, has the goal of immunizing 2000 individuals per day. At of yesterday, 23,000 individuals have received their initial COVID-19 vaccination through Tarrant County Public Health.
For more information about the site or to find out if you qualify to register for the vaccine, you can read the Star-Telegram’s article on the topic here.
Governor Greg Abbott announced Saturday that the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) has established two new COVID-19 therapeutic infusion centers in Fort Worth and Irving. The infusion centers began accepting patients on January 11 and have been provided with Regeneron’s monoclonal antibodies and bamlanivimab to treat outpatient cases of COVID-19 who meet certain criteria and who have a referral from a hospital or doctor. You can find the referral form here.
The infusion centers have been established through a partnership with TDEM and the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council.
“Increasing access to COVID-19 therapeutic treatments is a proven strategy to reduce hospitalizations and save lives,” said Governor Abbott. “I thank our partners from the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council for working with the State of Texas to establish these infusion centers. Together, we will continue to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and keep our communities safe.”
These two new infusion centers are the latest to be launched by the State of Texas. Previous centers have been established in El Paso, Laredo, Harlingen, and Austin to help communities combat COVID-19 and reduce hospitalizations.
If your hospital is having difficulty administering COVID-19 therapeutics due to staffing or space restrictions, please contact the NCTTRAC EMCC at NCTTRAC_EMCC@ncttrac.org to discuss sharing your supply of Bamlanivimab or Regeneron monoclonal antibody treatments with the Regional Infusion Centers.
Join us on Friday for our TCMS Physician COVID-19 Vaccine Event. In partnership with Tom Thumb/Albertson, we will be providing Moderna vaccines for TCMS members and their clinical staff who participate in direct patient care.
Members, if you did not receive the email or need additional information, contact Melody Briggs at email@example.com.
*Update 12/31/20 – This clinic is currently out of vaccines but hopes to receive more shipments at a later date.*
The City of Arlington/Arlington Fire Department is actively planning to start COVID-19 vaccinations, beginning this week at the Arlington Convention Center.
This morning they received doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
The City of Arlington/Arlington Fire Department, in cooperation with Tarrant County Public Health, will provide vaccinations to first responders and frontline healthcare providers who work or live in Arlington, Bedford, Colleyville, Dalworthington Gardens, DFW Airport, Euless, Grapevine, Hurst, Kennedale, Mansfield and Pantego.
Health care providers and first responders arriving for a vaccination will need to provide an ID that identifies their current association with a healthcare organization. This will be required to receive the vaccine.
On-site registration will also be available but slightly more time consuming.