Residents and neighbors of the greater Greenleaf community were the first community to benefit from the new partnership with health and community support providers this week.
The District of Columbia Housing Authority entered into a partnership with The Not-for-Profit Hospital Corporation commonly referred to as United Medical Center and the George Washington University School of Nursing to provide general health screenings and COVID-19 testing at all of its senior and disabled properties and several family properties using UMC’s Mobile Health Unit.
In addition, to the mobile clinic, the nursing staff and students were also taking general health screenings at the EnVision and Southwest Family Enhancement and Career Center where the GOOD Project was holding its virtual learning hub for some of the community’s school-aged children.
“The health, safety, and education of our residents is of the utmost importance. These partnerships seek to eliminate barriers to healthcare, reduce health disparities, and make it easier for many of the District of Columbia’s most vulnerable residents to receive quality health and support services in their community,” said DCHA Executive Director Tyrone Garrett. “Many individuals have been unable to make preventive and primary health care visits while they stay home during the stay at home order, so DCHA is working to bring health care directly to our residents.”
The greater Greenleaf community, including Greenleaf Gardens, Greenleaf Senior, James Creek, and Syphax Gardens, was the first of several DCHA neighborhoods in Wards 6, 7, and 8, that will be visited by UMC’s Mobile Health Clinic. The clinic, funded in part by DCHA through the CARES Act, will bring primary care, general health screenings, and COVID-19 testing into communities where people may not have access during this critical time. The clinic also will be able to help residents who have limited physical mobility, help manage chronic medical conditions, and have transportation challenges, among other services
Dr. Erin Athey, who is both a nurse practitioner at United Medical Center & faculty member at the George Washington University School of Nursing, forged these partnerships with the D.C. Housing Authority as a part of her community work in Southeast, D.C.
“This lets us get in touch with people and see what is happening, to reach out and see how they are doing,” she said. “We are consistently trying to reach folks out in the community and help facilitate them getting back to their primary care doctors. We are trying to be that bridge.”
The nursing program is in addition to the enhanced safety protocols already being instituted throughout DCHA’s portfolio. DCHA anticipates providing a staging and screening area, work stations, office space, and a respite area for nursing personnel to accomplish this endeavor.