COVID is still dominating many of our conversations and concerns around health care access this year.
There is no denying that the pandemic has created logistical and financial hurdles in Planned Parenthood’s mission to provide reproductive health care to all in need.
However, within PPINK and PPGNHI health centers, there is more good news than bad.
“We have done really well in preventing transmission and spread of the COVID virus in our health centers,” reported Dr. Kara Cadwallader, Chief Medical Officer at PPGNHI.
Though we have seen a very few staff members test positive for COVID-19, “all exposure and infection took place outside of health centers,” explained Cadwallader. “We haven’t had a single case of a patient or staff member infected from exposure within a health center.”
Infected staff had to quarantine for 14 days in accordance with CDC guidance, so that re-infection within the health center was not possible.
Because both PPINK and PPGNHI instituted strict social distancing, PPE-wearing and exposure policies in March, the affiliates’ health centers have been able to continue providing care throughout the national health crisis.
PPINK and PPGNHI did not have to close a single health center though, as there have been no infections within our health centers.
When asked what we did that was so effective at preventing outbreaks, Cadwallader explained, “We’ve been very nimble. We’ve been willing and able to adapt and change rapidly. So, on Monday, the CDC is saying we should do this, then Tuesday, that, and then another guidance is issued. Sometimes it would change not by the day, but by the hour. We did it all.”
She credited the staff of Planned Parenthood and their commitment to patients and each other to make all these rapid changes:
“What has saved us is folks pulling together on every level. Teamwork is critical. The fact that we’re getting through this and doing as well as we are is a testament to the power of a good team.”