To our Staff, Patients, Community Members, Community Leaders, and Stakeholders:
During this unprecedented and troubling time, I wanted to take a moment to check in, take a collective deep breath, and update you on how we are navigating this new terrain. Like many organizations, our workflow and operations have been drastically affected by COVID-19. We have taken safety measures for front-line staff (ex. strict testing protocols, postponing non-essential/non-emergency visits) and support staff (ex. working remotely) to prioritize the safety of our employees, as well as patients seeking testing or other essential medical care.
Due to COVID-19 we are adjusting/suspending some of our services.
- New Dunlap hours: Mon – Fri 8am – 5pm
- New North End hours: Mon & Wed 8am – 5pm
- Saturday clinic and Tuesday/Thursday evening clinic will be suspended.
- All Dental services will be suspended until further notice. We will continue to monitor the American Dental Board’s recommendation.
- Limited services provided by Chiropractic and Optometry.
- Behavioral Health will continue with in-person therapy as needed, but has made the transition to telehealth visits as appropriate.
- Medical appointments will continue to address urgent needs while we focus on COVID-19. We are also looking to add telehealth services shortly.
- MNSure – for those whose job or insurance has been affected by COVID-19, open enrollment is extended until April 21.
We, along with every other Federally Qualified Health Center in Minnesota, are feeling the impact of keeping our community and staff safe through this crisis. Due to recommended scheduling restrictions and enforcement of social distancing, our visits are currently down by 70% and therefore, our revenue. As things rapidly change we anticipate these numbers to continue to increase. This has dire implications for our staff, the patients we serve, and our ability as an organization to provide community healthcare during and after this crisis. We have had to make difficult cuts to our already overburdened staff.
In the midst of all of this, we have been deeply touched by the kindness, generosity, and compassion shown by this community. Specifically, we have had an outpouring of donations in the form of masks, hand sanitizer, and gloves. It is s this level of support that we all must demonstrate to one another in order to move forward. Healthcare workers, in particular, seem to have the innate ability to rise to the challenge during difficult times. Throughout this process, our staff has personified our mission, whether they are on the frontline treating patients with dedication and compassion, or behind the scenes working on security, housekeeping, communications, or system operations.
In the spirit of transparency, we are feeling the weight of these uncertain time, just like every industry. However, one thing remains certain; our commitment to preserve the work of providing healthcare to some of the community’s most vulnerable populations.
We want to acknowledge all who are suffering during this difficult time. Across all sectors, jobs have been impacted, revenues have been drastically affected, and loved ones have been lost. For those who find themselves in a position to do so, we are asking you to consider a contribution to help us keep the doors open at Open Cities Health Center. Please consider signing up to become a recurring giver today. There is power in compound giving and if each of us is willing to commit to a monthly donation it could very well shift the tide for the patients and staff at the clinic.
We are honored to serve our community in Saint Paul and the greater Twin Cities area. We are proud to be Minnesotans. We are proud of Governor Walz and how he is leading with data, not fear. We support his Stay at Home Order and believe he is doing a remarkable job leading Minnesotans through these uncharted waters with facts, grace and compassion. A few things you can do while observing Stay at Home Orders: Outdoor activities with proper social distancing. Read books. Stay up to date with reliable news sources and CDC recommendations. Keep an eye on our social media pages for wellness videos from our Department Directors!
As you are already aware, things evolve rapidly and our operations are subject to change at any time. Please follow our social media channels and website for updates in real time.
Stay safe, stay positive, and stay home if you are able.