Kristen Lentsch '19
Dr. Thomas A. Dooley Intern, Sister Maura Brannick CSC Health Center, South Bend
Clinic-wise, our volume has been dramatically decreased since we've cancelled most of our routine visits due to COVID-19. Typically, we have approximately 40 volunteer providers who see patients at the clinic; all volunteer providers (and all other volunteers) have been cancelled for the month of April.
Our Medical Director, Dr. Powell, has reviewed all the appointments for April and postponed all that could be postponed until May. Any visits that can be done over video call are being rescheduled as telemedicine visits; however, since the patients at Sr. Maura Brannick Health Center are uninsured and fall below the 200% poverty line, many face barriers that prevent them from accessing telemedicine services.
However, we have seen a large increase in demand for our food pantry services. In a typical month, we serve approximately 20 families with our food pantry services; in March, our food pantry served 61 families.
Our patients have been especially affected by this pandemic. Many of them work in factories or restaurants, and many have either been laid off or had their hours drastically reduced due to COVID-19 restrictions. In addition, since many of them are undocumented immigrants, they are unable to receive the COVID-19 assistance from the government that many of us will be receiving in the coming weeks/months. For this reason, we are allowing our patients to access food pantry services two times a month instead of one, and are providing information about other food resources they may receive.
Thank you all so much for your donations to the food pantry so far -- they have been extremely helpful to our patients, and I am so grateful for the support and generosity of the ND Club in this difficult time.
As far as our COVID-19 in our part of the world, a few of our patients have tested positive for the virus. We are hoping and praying that our patients - and staff - stay safe and healthy as this pandemic continues on.
Thank you again for your support, and Go Irish!