Through the 2020-2021 Capture Cares Mission grant, CHCCC was enabled to expand its outreach services and increase digital equity for their most marginalized, isolated, and at-risk patients through the pandemic. Since 2020, CHCCC’s priority has been to ensure access to COVID-19 testing, COVID-19 vaccines, personal protective equipment (PPE), and integrated health services for our patients including Limited English Proficiency (LEP) individuals, older adults, migrant and seasonal agricultural workers, and under-insured patients.
CHCCC has relied on its team of linguistically and culturally responsive behavioral health outreach workers (or promotores) who have established trusting relationships with patients to provide COVID-19 and behavioral health resources. This team engages patients in geographically isolated/rural areas for whom accessing preventative health services has always been difficult and became nearly impossible when the pandemic required health care organizations to pivot to telehealth services. In response, and with the support of Capture Cares, CHCCC equipped the Capture Cares Van with a Cradle Point wide area network that provided the outreach team and the patients with a steady internet connection to reach vital health services. With the help of the Capture Cares Mission grant, the van became a “mobile techsuite”. The newly equipped van allowed CHCCC to meet the emergent needs of the most vulnerable patients through the pandemic and helped bridge the digital divide experienced by their patients.
COVID-19 exacerbated existing basic needs and health concerns for their most marginalized and isolated patients. Most notably, the food insecurity experienced by agricultural workers and the lack of access to care for patients with chronic conditions worsened in 2020. In response, CHCCC expanded its partnership with a local food bank to deliver nutritional food to isolated and home-bound older adults. This partnership was made possible during the pandemic thanks to the Capture Cares Mobile Techsuite Van. CHCCC support staff and promotores used the van to transport food to patients twice a month in addition to weekly neighborhood food distributions. These in-person interactions with patients in their own neighborhoods and homes have decreased social isolation for patients and yielded greater insight into their social needs. Further, the Capture Cares Mobile Techsuite Van mitigated digital inequities by providing internet access to patients on the field while they spoke to CHC staff to help them navigate the CHC website and portal and access preventative and vaccine appointments.
An important service aided by the Capture Cares Mobile Techsuite Van was the delivery of “COVID Care Kits” to home-bound patients. These kits contain masks, hand sanitizer, soap, hydration packets, a thermometer, a finger pulse oximeter, a digital wrist blood pressure cuff, instructions on how to use the devices in English and Spanish, and educational materials about prevention and the COVID-19 vaccines. Home delivery was provided to home-bound and socially isolated patients who tested positive for COVID-19 or were living with long-COVID-19. CHCCC was able to deliver these needed resources to those who could not go to a clinic site to pick up a COVID Care Kit due to transportation or health barriers. From a safe distance, meeting patients at their doorstep helped reduce social isolation, and provided a clinical opportunity to see the patient in person to identify other wellness needs they may have. Having the Cradle Point wide area network in the Capture Cares Mobile Techsuite Van allowed CHCCC to send messages on the patient’s behalf to the care team directly from the field.
The Capture Cares Mission grants continue to empower CHCCC to reach patients in their neighborhoods to create awareness of preventative health services and link patients safely back into the clinics through this ongoing pandemic. During the most critical moments in recent health care history, Capture Cares enabled CHCCC to address the needs of their patients by responding to the immediate needs by having wheels on the ground and an emergency network connection to access life-saving services and resources.