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Standing Strong, Together: FQHC Providers Extend the Safety Net in Response to COVID-19

May 22, 2020

Amida Care’s Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) community partners are doing remarkable work in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Though these organizations themselves are experiencing staffing and resource shortages and challenges due to the pandemic, they continue to serve vulnerable populations in need of their services, and in many cases have even ramped up their efforts. We are working in partnership with these organizations to provide as much support as possible, wherever and in whatever way it is needed—whether through consistent outreach and communication or working to provide supplies to our providers, including our sponsor sites. We stand strong when we stand together!

Read the following stories from some community health centers in Amida Care’s network:

Acacia Network continues to aid underserved communities, including the Latinx community, people who are homeless, the elderly, and those who are immunocompromised due to HIV/AIDS or other pre-existing conditions. As of mid-April, Acacia had provided direct services to approximately 21,000 individuals and families across programs; offered approximately 26,000 meals through its soup kitchen, food pantry, and senior centers; and ensured that over 11,500 individuals and families are safely housed through affordable, supportive, and transitional housing. Amida Care has provided support for wellness sessions for Acacia staff to help them focus on self-care during these difficult times.

Brownsville Multi-Service Family Health Center (BMSFHC), which provides a wide array of services to Brownsville, Brooklyn, and surrounding neighborhoods, has seen an increase of families and seniors in need of food and pantry items since the COVID-19 pandemic began. To meet this need, the center has been distributing up to 1,200 bags per week to three housing projects in the area. Amida Care recently donated bags of supplies to support their work.

Callen-Lorde Community Health Center continues to provide health care to New York’s LGBTQ community during the pandemic, both in-house and through telemedicine. The center recently teamed up with Housing Works and the NYC Department of Homeless Services to offer 24/7 medical care at a Queens hotel that is serving as temporary shelter for homeless New Yorkers with COVID-19. As of mid-April, the shelter housed 150 patients.

Housing Works is keeping its clinics open to continue to serve low-income individuals, those affected by HIV and AIDS, and/or those experiencing homelessness, in addition to running an emergency homeless shelter for those with COVID-19. So far, the shelter has welcomed almost 200 people into fully staffed accommodations to isolate, rest, and heal.

HRHCare, which recently merged with Brightpoint Health (an Amida Care sponsor organization), is providing testing for COVID-19 at most of its health centers, as well as several pop-up locations and its NYC Mobile Health Center. Nearly 200 doctors and other practitioners in the network now offer virtual care through telemedicine visits. HRHCare staff are also providing care to the homeless in a Times Square isolation hotel and continue to offer support for those living with HIV/AIDS though telemedicine and grab-and-go basics.

We also salute our other sponsors Community Healthcare Network, Harlem United, St. Mary’s Center, and Village Care, and our community health partners Apicha Community Health Center, Montefiore Medical Group, Mount Sinai Medical Center, NYU Langone Family Health Center, SUNY Downstate, Urban Health Plan, VIP Community Services, and the many other dedicated providers in our network for their extraordinary service on the frontlines of the pandemic.