As most of us near the end of the work week (residential staff, I see you and appreciate you), I wanted to summarize our efforts here. First and foremost, we’re still taking admissions in all programs. Our prospective patients need our care right now. Regional acute care and criminal justice systems need our support as well, so they may focus on the most urgent needs. We are doing the work we are meant to do.
Within departments, we have made many adjustments throughout the week:
• Our residential programs:
o Census in Gresham Men’s and Women’s residential programs was lowered slightly to reduce crowding.
o We adjusted daily treatment schedules to ensuring therapeutic continuity while incorporating distancing
o We eliminated non-essential visitors and outings, and are screening everyone entering the program for symptoms
• Our opioid treatment programs:
o We’re following federal and state guidance to reduce the frequency of clinic visits for medications
o We’ve implemented distancing in all areas where patients may gather to ensure community safety, knowing many patients will still need to visit us regularly
o We’re utilizing remote technologies to connect to patients as much as possible
o We’ve created dispensing alternatives for those patients in CDC high risk categories so they may avoid high-traffic portions of the clinic
• Our outpatient programs:
o We’re transitioning to telephonic and other technologies rapidly to reduce the number of patients visiting the clinics
o We’ve implemented distancing practices in group and waiting areas
o We’re screening all patients at point of entry for COVID-like symptoms or exposure, ensuring anyone at risk is directed to a healthcare provider
o We’re prioritizing continuity of medications, extending protocols to include telehealth and prescription renewals to limit face to face visits
• Our leadership teams and administrative departments:
o Teams that are not patient-facing have developed strategies to stagger onsite schedules and incorporate remote options, while ensuring the same level of support for our operations
o Leadership across the organization meets virtually at least once a day to share updates, ask questions, and encourage each other
In so many ways, we are getting creative so we may stay connected. And still we are sometimes anxious, sometimes unsure, and oftentimes beleaguered by the continuous flow of information. In times of great strain, our reactions are not always as we wish they were. Right now, kindness toward our peers and partners is as essential proper hand washing techniques. May we all do our best, recognize when we need a break, and offer our support to one another.