COVID Clinics’ Care Team Give Critical Assistance to COVID-19 Patient
To Clinics’ patient Mario, contracting the coronavirus was the scariest and most overwhelming time of his life. And Mario is not alone. The COVID-19 pandemic has created high levels of fear, anxiety, and stress for many of us.
Receiving Test Results
In April, Mario started having symptoms including fever, cough, and body aches. He had been following safety precautions to prevent COVID-19, but several of his neighbors and friends in the San Rafael Canal neighborhood had been infected.
The Canal has a high concentration of essential workers and crowded housing conditions, making it a “hotspot” for the virus. These living conditions and his construction job, put him at a high risk of being exposed.
A Clinics’ patient for over 15 years, Mario knew that COVID-19 testing was being offered at no cost, which gave him a sense of relief. But getting treatment if needed, was still a concern. Without insurance and the means to pay for care, he hoped the Clinics could assist him. Mario got tested. Three days after receiving positive results, his symptoms worsened and his worst nightmare began.
A Terrifying 15 Days
Mario’s family contacted the Clinics to report that his health had deteriorated. Although Mario is only 47 years old, his pre-existing conditions placed him in the high-risk group. Melanie Thompson, DO, his primary care physician at Marin Community Clinics, and her care team immediately began coordinating and advocating for his hospital admission. Mario was hopeful that it would be a short hospital stay and that soon he would be reunited with his wife and two kids. The Clinics’ Behavioral Health team also connected Mario’s family with needed resources to relieve some of their burden.
“We have been working hard to provide primary care and supportive services while administering COVID-19 testing and closely monitoring infected patients,” explains Dr. Thompson. “This is why having established care teams is so important. All patient interactions are essential for improved outcomes, from the phone call to the call center to the retrieval of medical records, to follow-up calls and appointments.”
“I thought I was dying and lived the worst moments of my life,” says Mario. “I prayed to God to see my family once again and not die at the hospital alone.”
At the hospital, Mario’s health condition quickly degraded. Because of very low oxygen levels, he had to be intubated and remained hospitalized for 15 days.
The Clinics’ care team checked on him regularly and worked closely with the hospital staff to ensure that Mario was receiving all the help he needed.
Helping Mario Recover
After 15 days, Mario returned home believing that a miracle had happened. Today, the Clinics continues to treat him for post-COVID-19 symptoms and to connect him with resources. He is very thankful for the support received from his care team and hospital staff. Most of all, he thanks God for getting a second chance at life.
The Clinics’ COVID-19 Testing Team
Clinics Recognized Nationally for Clinical Excellence San Rafael Clinicians Voted As “Best of Marin” Meet the Marin Community Clinics COVID-19 Testing Team — a compassionate, resilient, and devoted group of essential workers. They put themselves at risk to provide much needed COVID-19 testing to our patients and other community members. The team is led by Dr. Melanie Thompson, the Clinics’ physician champion for this effort.
All Clinics’ employees were hit hard with the operational changes and challenges that the pandemic brought to our organization. Yet, the COVID-19 Testing Team bravely accepted another major challenge: the mission to test, educate, and connect people with vital resources, leaving their own feelings of fear, uncertainty, and grief behind.
“I’m confident that this is one of the most talented teams of people we’ll ever see. They are passionate, fearless, and tremendously dedicated,” says Sarah King, Campus Clinic Director. “Even during the most stressful times, they are always willing to step up to the plate and help. They are true healthcare heroes.”
A lot goes into preparing for the testing clinics. The team sets up outside the Campus and Novato locations, organizes all medical and administrative supplies, creates and prepares education materials to be distributed, and provides testing in a calm manner.
“We could not be more thankful to this wonderful team. They took on a huge challenge in the midst of these trying times and exceeded all expectations,” says Jose Chibras, Chief Medical Officer. “Our Clinics and community are fortunate for having such a remarkable group of people helping fight this pandemic.”
As we went to press in early December, over 3,500 people had been tested by the Clinics’ Testing Team.
San Rafael Clinicians Voted As “Best of Marin”
Lisa Leavitt, MD, our San Rafael Lead Pediatrician, and Mai Magliocco, MD, our San Rafael Lead Physician were voted by readers of the Pacific Sun paper as “Best of Marin 2020!” Dr. Leavitt has worked at the Clinics since 1996, and Dr. Magliocco started as a Medical Assistant in 2005 and returned as a physician in 2016.
We thank the Pacific Sun readers for their recognition and support, and give special thanks to Dr. Leavitt and Dr. Magliocco for their commitment over all these years. Your dedication is valued!
Clinics Recognized Nationally for Clinical Excellence
Every year, the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) reviews the clinical performance of all federally qualified health centers in the nation. In August, Marin Community Clinics received a Silver Designation (top 20%) for Health Center Quality Leader for the best overall clinical performance among all health centers. Currently, there are approximately 1,400 health centers and over 11,000 delivery sites in the U.S, which serve almost 30 million (1 in 12) people across the United States.
“Thank you to all MCC staff for your incredible diligence, which is truly amazing team work!” Jose Chibras, Chief Medical Officer
Telehealth: Potential to Transform Health Care for the Most Vulnerable
Since March, when the shelter-in-place order began, the majority of healthcare services have been provided to Clinics’ patients through telehealth visits. During this time, we were able to confirm something we had already suspected: telehealth is critical for our patient population and can help reduce the persistent health disparities they face, COVID-19 or not.
Reducing Barriers to Care
With video and phone visits, no-show rates have dropped as patients have been relieved of navigating work, childcare, and transportation challenges to keep their appointments. For some people, the provider-patient relationship has also been enhanced. Patients often feel more comfortable asking questions and sharing concerns from places where they feel
most comfortable. “As a behavioral health provider, I’ve been reminded that so much of our one-on-one work right now is not about ‘fixing’, it’s about fostering connection.” explains Elizabeth Horevitz, PhD, LCSW, Chief Behavioral Health Officer. “I’ve also been reminded that deep connection can happen in so many ways — over instant messaging with my team, and over the phone with my patient.”
In the past 9 months, we have provided over 9,600 telehealth visits to patients who may have not otherwise been able to receive care. While COVID-19 has been one of the most devastating times we have experienced, we are grateful for the telehealth expansion and the ability to continue to care for our patients.
We hope that the successful outcomes of telehealth visits will push legislators to see the strides we have made in patient care and will allow it to become a permanent component of the reimbursement structure.
As a result, health inequities can be reduced for the most vulnerable populations and we can continue to provide much needed services long after this pandemic is over.
A Preview of our New Look
I’m thrilled to announce the completion of our rebranding process and revamped website. We have a new visual identity, a new tagline, and updated mission and values statements in addition to a more comprehensive, user friendly website. After much consideration, we decided it was time to update our mission statement, values, and to give our organization a fresh and upgraded look. The previous brand was created 12 years ago and no longer reflected the breadth of services that our clinics provide and the critical role we play in the Marin’s healthcare arena.
The new brand and website give us the opportunity to re-introduce our Clinics to patients, donors and supporters. We are also looking forward to reaching out to new
audiences in 2021.
The new logo is inspired by the sunflower, known for being a happy flower, representing positivity and strength, nourishment and long life.
Our new tagline “Touching Lives Through Health” best describes the impact we have on our patients’ lives. The opportunity to provide them with “whole person” healthcare opens doors to fulfill other needs such health education, social support, and nutritious food and to “touch” lives in several ways.
From our perspective, these updates better communicate our commitment to excellence and equity.
I hope that you will visit the new website and follow us on social media. I also invite you to direct friends, co-workers, and family members to our website where they can learn about the services we provide and about the impact we have on our patients and community.
We are excited to share our updated mission and values with you and hope they resonate with you. Thank you for your ongoing support!