How We're Meeting the Impact of COVID-19 and Supporting Our Community

By Alisha Fehrenbacher

The Washington State Department of Health announced 162 cases of coronavirus-19 (COVID-19,) also known as novel coronavirus, with four cases in Pierce County. We are locally monitoring the situation in Pierce County and globally, as well as staying up-to-date on guidelines and recommendations to protect public health.

Dear Partners and Allies,

The Washington State Department of Health announced 162 cases of coronavirus-19 (COVID-19,) also known as novel coronavirus, with four cases in Pierce County. We are locally monitoring the situation in Pierce County and globally, as well as staying up-to-date on guidelines and recommendations to protect public health.

We're fortunate to have community partners and dedicated health care members who are working tirelessly to keep our public informed and safe in response to COVID-19. The hard work from our state and local health departments, tribal, community and healthcare delivery systems is critical in the preparation and protection of those most vulnerable in our community during this time. As we all take our community’s health and safety seriously, it’s important we take extra precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Steps to reduce contraction of COVID-19 include1:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces
  • Stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill

For Community Partners and Committees

To reduce the burden on our community partners so they may focus their attention to the needs of the community we are:

  • Canceling all large external meetings/events for the month of March.
  • Reviewing committee, partner and work-group meetings and converting them to virtual/online only meetings or postponing them to a later date.
  • Our Board of Trustees retreat, originally scheduled for March 17, 2020, has been postponed (updated March 11, 2020).

For Care Continuum Network and Community-Based Care Coordination Partners

We are providing guidance to our community partners managing our Care Continuum Network (CCN) and community-based programs so they may use standard precautions and manage their personal safety for home and community visits in response to COVID-19. The CCN community-based programs include:

  • The Pathways Community HUB
  • Health Homes
  • Community Health Action Teams

Our Clinical Director of the Care Continuum Network, Sarah M. Stacy, MSN, RN, is also working to ensure guidelines for community & home visits as well as materials for personal health and safety are available to our partners. These guidelines are available on our website.

Please use care@elevatehealth.org as a resource if you're in need of information or tools to support your work.

Public Health & Safety is for Everyone

Accurate information and tools are important to plan, prepare, and respond to COVID-19. As partners for our community’s health, we are allies in fighting its spread. It’s also part of our job is dispel disinformation, and counter it firmly. In crises it’s not uncommon for people’s minds to create misinformation and reinforce it with suspicion. Instances of bias, stigma and discrimination increase out of fear – but you can help reduce these issues by providing accurate information and taking positive steps to address people’s experiences and perceptions during this time.

We understand the need to be nimble and flexible as a community for our shared health and safety. We will continue to communicate and changes to our operations as public health recommendations are available. Please continue to work with staff, family, friends, and communities to support one another. We will be here doing the very same.

Alisha Fehrenbacher, FACHE
Chief Executive Officer
Elevate Health

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