ChristianaCare expands COVID-19 testing for communities in Wilmington
ChristianaCare is working to overcome disparities in COVID-19 testing and increase accessibility through clinics that combine virtual primary care and COVID-19 testing in some of Wilmington’s underserved communities.
Sites at the Latin American Community Center and Kingswood Community Center are the first two of a model that ChristianaCare expects to expand to other neighborhoods based on assessments of community need.
“Globally, there are racial and ethnic disparities related to COVID-19 infection and outcomes,” said Erin Booker, vice president of Community Health and Engagement at ChristianaCare. “These sites are an important way that we can bring care and testing to our neighbors who may face barriers such as lack of transportation, limited ability to speak English, lack of a primary care provider or other obstacles that prevent them from getting the care they need.”
During a screening at one of these sites, patients have their vital signs taken by a nurse or medical assistant on-site before beginning a virtual visit with a doctor or nurse practitioner via an iPad. After the virtual screening, the provider determines if the patient needs to be tested for COVID-19. If so, a nurse or medical assistant performs a nasal swab. Test results return in three to four days, and patients are then notified by phone. Test results are also provided to the Delaware Division of Public Health.
“Virtual care is an opportunity for us to meet people where they are and provide excellent and equitable care in trusted community spaces,” said Rose Kakoza, clinical director of Community Health and Equity for Primary Care and Community Medicine at ChristianaCare. “Virtual care also allows us to continue to care for COVID-19 positive patients in their homes and connect all patients with primary care providers.”
Medical interpreters from ChristianaCare’s Language Services team are available to assist individuals in Spanish or other languages as needed.
“It’s more important than ever that our caregivers can communicate accurately and completely with patients who have limited English proficiency,” said Jacqueline Ortiz, director of Health Equity and Cultural Competence at ChristianaCare. “Having an interpreter assist in a virtual COVID-19 screening can help relieve anxiety for the patient as well as ensure the correct plan of care and education moving forward.”
The Latin American Community Center, 301 N. Harrison St., is open for screening and testing from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays and Fridays. Patients are encouraged to make an appointment before arriving for a screening, but walk-ins are also accepted. For an appointment, call 320-6439.
“The Latin American Community Center’s partnership with ChristianaCare is invaluable to the well-being of our community,” said Maria Matos, president and CEO of LACC. “We appreciate the constant connection that ChristianaCare has had with the Latino community throughout the years. This commitment made it possible to immediately respond to this critical need.”
The Kingswood Community Center, 2300 Bowers St., is open for screening and testing from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Patients are encouraged to make an appointment before arriving for a screening, but walk-ins are also accepted. For an appointment, call 428-6586.
“REACH Riverside is truly grateful to our long-standing relationship with ChristianaCare,” said Logan S. Herring, CEO, REACH Riverside Development Corporation. “For us, it is all about providing access, and any barriers that we can eliminate through strong partnerships, we will. These screenings are important to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on an already overburdened community, and we trust that the community finds it beneficial as well.”