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, several family properties, and its headquarters, located at 1133 North Capitol Street, N.E.
“The health and safety 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 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.”
United Medical Center’s Mobile Health Clinic will begin visiting 16 senior and disabled communities and eight family properties located in Wards 6, 7, and 8 beginning in July. 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
“The team at United Medical Center is dedicated to our mission of caring for the health and well-being of District residents as the coronavirus pandemic continues. We recognize the emotional and physical challenges seeking care presents during this time and are excited to utilize our mobile health units to meet people where they are,” said Board Chairwoman LaRuby May.
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. She said, “It’s important that we realize that most of health happens outside of the clinic setting. Bringing both practitioners and students out to the community, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, expands the ability for healthcare to reach more people. It’s a win/win.“
“The GW School of Nursing is very excited to collaborate with the D.C. Housing Authority,” said Dean Pamela Jeffries. “Not only does it give our students the opportunity to provide a valuable service to the community, it also allows them to experience nursing in a nontraditional way, outside of the hospital and clinic settings.”
To mitigate concerns and reduce the potential for COVID-19 exposure to DCHA customers and employees, the agency partnered with the George Washington University School of Nursing to conduct temperature checks, general screenings, and testing at DCHA offices when it returns to limited in-person operations. 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.