COVID Updates

Friday, January 15, 2021

IMPORTANT: Operations for Week of Jan. 18, 2021


As announced yesterday, there will be many safety measures in action throughout the District next week in preparation for the 59th Presidential Inauguration. Please review the highlights below to make sure you’re up-to-date on the latest updates to Unity operations.

Unity’s Community Health Centers will be closed on Monday, Jan. 18, (in recognition of MLK Jr. Day) and Wednesday, Jan. 20. Unity staff at the DOC and ISAQ locations will maintain regular operations on those days. CCNV will be closed on Tuesday, Jan. 19, in addition to Monday and Wednesday. Unity staff at CCNV should follow guidance from their leadership.

There will be major disruptions to all methods of transportation in and around the District through at least Thursday, Jan. 21. These include restrictions/closures of major bridges, expressways, WMATA lines, and more. Significant additions to the list of closures include Rock Creek Parkway (Kennedy Center to Virginia Ave NW) and Arlington Memorial Bridge. Anyone taking part in essential travel should review this comprehensive list from DC Gov. and Secret Service and adjust their routes accordingly. Anyone that does not have to engage in essential travel is strongly encouraged to avoid affected areas.

Throughout all of next week, any employees required to attend work in-person should carry their Essential Healthcare Worker Letter and their Unity badge whenever traveling to allow smooth passage through access points or potential traffic stops. Click here to access a PDF of the Essential Healthcare Worker Letter.

Unity employees approved to telework should do so through Jan. 21. Telework employees must have supervisor approval and a telework agreement must be in place.

See Something, Say Something: If you see or hear about suspicious activity in or near a Unity site, they should notify site leadership and access control immediately. If you see suspicious activity outside of the workplace, you should contact 911.

Stay Prepared: As an extra precaution, staff should make sure they are familiar with their site’s lockdown procedures and the nearest evacuation routes. In the event of an active shooter, please remember to practice “Run, Hide, Fight” protocol.

EZ Texting: If there are disruptions to Unity operations, affected staff will receive a text alert through our EZ Texting system. If you do not already receive Unity EZ Texts, sign up at https://tapit.us/WRyUw by entering your first and last name and cell phone number.

Rapid Evaluation Tent Operations Moving Inside


Beginning Tuesday, Jan. 19, COVID-19/Respiratory Evaluation Tent services at Anacostia, Brentwood, Minnesota Ave., Parkside, and Upper Cardozo Health Centers will move indoors until further notice. Similar to when operations were moved indoors during the summer months, Infection Control Guidance should be followed closely.

This means sick and well patients should be separated to the best of our ability; rooms holding patients that screen positive for COVID-19 should be terminally cleaned following the patient encounter (standard cleanings are appropriate for patients that screen negative for COVID-19); and suspected COVID-19 positive patients should be seen in full PPE.

Vaccine Update


Since our start as a distribution center a few short weeks ago, Unity has administered approximately 900 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. And we’re just getting started!

Growing Vaccine Distribution: Rollout of the vaccine at our Health Care for the Homeless locations and the DOC is set to begin as early as Jan. 25. We are also in the process of adding another site to our list of vaccine distribution locations, bringing the number of Unity health centers distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to three. This will likely begin in February, and more information on this project is forthcoming.

Helping Patients Access the Vaccine: DC has officially shifted into Phase 1B of vaccine rollout. Follow these steps to protect our patients and help them access this important care.

If you’re interacting with patients that are eligible under Phase 1B, make sure they know! If they’re eligible and interested, help them register at vaccinate.dc.gov. Patients can also schedule an appointment by calling DC’s coronavirus call center at 855-363-0333 between 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

If a patient is eligible and interested, but the list is full, they can submit their information here to receive email or text notifications when additional slots become available. If a patient is not eligible in Phase 1B, they can submit their information here to receive email or text notifications when the registry opens to additional populations. See a full list of the prioritization tiers here.

Remind patients that the COVID-19 vaccination requires two doses. Patients can only make their first appointment through vaccinate.dc.gov or the call center. Their second appointment must be made on-site when they receive their first dose through the regular follow-up scheduling process.

Frontline Staff: It’s Not Too Late to Sign-Up for Vaccination! Unity employees eligible in Phase 1A and 1B that have not yet been vaccinated can still receive the COVID-19 vaccine through Unity. Sign-up for the opportunity to receive a vaccination appointment through this short internal survey.

If you previously marked that you were not interested in receiving the vaccine, but have since changed your mind, you can complete the survey again to update your response. Employees that have already completed the survey and marked that they were interested will be contacted to sign up for an appointment slot when their prioritization group is eligible.

COVID-19 Vax Facts: Will the Vaccine Give Me COVID-19?


As vaccinations continue, we want to provide as much information as possible to reassure our patients and staff and address any questions or concerns. Read answers to staff questions about the vaccine submitted during the Jan. 5 all-staff Q&A here, or review the latest CommUNITY Live Webinar recording covering COVID-19 vaccination. Read CDC answers to more frequently asked COVID-19 vaccine questions here. If you have a question about the COVID-19 vaccination, email it to Communications@UnityHealthCare.org.

COVID VAX fACT 01-15-21

Free Yoga for Healthcare Workers

Circle Yoga is offering healthcare workers a free “movement and meditation” online yoga class every Saturday for the month of January to show gratitude for their dedication and support. The class will be led by yogi and Johns Hopkins/Sibley Hospital frontline healthcare worker Antoinette Solnik, RN. Click here to register.

COVID-19 Vaccine Resources



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Tuesday, January 13, 2021

COVID-19 Vax Facts


For several weeks, there have been massive amounts of information shared across the country and throughout the world about COVID-19 vaccines. While news about the development, approval, and distribution of the vaccines is incredibly exciting, it also raises questions among both patients and staff. As the vaccination process continues, we want to provide as much information as possible to reassure our patients and staff and address any questions or concerns. Below is the first in a series of “Vax Facts.”
COVID Vax Facts

Staff can click here revisit answers to staff questions submitted the Jan. 5 all-staff Q&A and review the latest CommUNITY Live Webinar recording covering COVID-19 vaccination. Read CDC answers to more frequently asked COVID-19 vaccine questions here. If you have a question about the COVID-19 vaccination, email it to Communications@UnityHealthCare.org.

Update on Employee Exposure


Exposure trends 01-13-21Last week, 6 known employees were newly diagnosed with COVID-19, the highest weekly number we’ve seen since early May. Additionally, 12 staff members were placed in isolation or quarantine. This spike could be related to holiday travel, but it serves as a reminder that COVID-19 continues to be prevalent throughout our community.

Follow Infection Control Guidance and take precautions inside and outside the workplace.

Frontline Staff: It’s Not Too Late to Sign-Up for COVID-19 Vaccination!


Employees eligible in Phase 1A that have not yet been vaccinated can still receive the COVID-19 vaccine through Unity. We strongly encourage staff to sign up for the opportunity to receive a vaccination appointment through this short internal survey, if they have not already.

If you previously marked that you were not interested in receiving the vaccine, but have since changed your mind, you can complete the survey again to update your response.

Your health and privacy are incredibly important, and it is wise to be cautious when making personal medical decisions. However, with millions of people around the globe having safely received the vaccine, we hope staff will consider the many benefits of COVID-19 vaccination and take advantage of this opportunity to protect themselves, their patients, and their loved ones.

COVID-19 Vaccine Resources



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Monday, January 11, 2021

DC Enters Phase 1B of COVID-19 Vaccination


In her Situational Update, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the start of Phase 1B of DC's COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Effective today, Monday, January 11, COVID-19 vaccination appointments are available for District residents 65 years of age and older, in addition to those already eligible under Phase 1A. Phase 1B also opens vaccination appointments to individuals in congregate settings (intermediate care facilities, community residential facilities, group homes, homeless shelters) and correctional officers.

    Our Call to Action: All employees at all Unity sites can play a role in helping Unity patients access this important care as they become eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. Use the information below to answer patient questions and help eligible, interested patients schedule their vaccination appointment.

Info for Unity Patients


  • Registering through vaccinate.dc.gov is the most effective way for eligible Unity patients to schedule a vaccination appointment. Patients may also schedule an appointment by calling DC’s coronavirus call center at 855-363-0333 between 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
  • Unity patients that are not eligible during Phase 1B (do not work in a healthcare setting/are not a DC resident age 65+), can submit their email address or mobile phone here to receive an email or text message from DC Gov. when the registry opens to additional populations. Click here to review the most up-to-date list of DC’s vaccine rollout phases and tiers.
  • Remind patients that the COVID-19 vaccination requires two doses. Patients can only make their first appointment through vaccinate.dc.gov or the coronavirus call center. Their second appointment will be made on-site when they receive their first dose through the regular follow-up scheduling process.
  • The COVID-19 vaccine is free to patients. Unity is billing insurance companies for vaccine administration; however, patients should not receive a bill for this service. Insured patients must bring their insurance card or have a card on file prior to their vaccine appointment, but they will not be charged a co-pay. Those without insurance will not be charged or turned away.

Info for Unity Staff


  • As DC continues to rollout new phases of vaccine eligibility, Unity will accommodate the increased demand by offering COVID-19 vaccinations at more locations, adding to our current sites at Brentwood and Upper Cardozo Health Centers. More information on new vaccination sites will be provided as it becomes available.
  • Unity frontline staff eligible in Phase 1A that have not been vaccinated can still receive the vaccine. If they have not already, Unity employees should complete this short internal survey to sign up for the opportunity to receive a vaccination appointment. If you previously marked that you were not interested in receiving the vaccine when completing the survey, but have changed your mind, please email Dr. Ryan Buchholz at RBuchholz@UnityHealthCare.org.

COVID-19 Vaccine Resources



 

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Friday, January 8, 2021

CommUNITY Live Recap: Thank you to everyone that participated in Tuesday’s CommUNITY Live Webinar covering the COVID-19 vaccine and its distribution at Unity. Staff can revisit and reference the important information that was shared and read answers to questions submitted by staff that were not covered during the webinar through the links below.

Unity Administers 500+ Vaccinations (And Counting!): As of yesterday, Unity has administered COVID-19 vaccinations to more than 500 healthcare workers throughout the District, including many of our own employees! Through our partnership with DC Health, Unity will continue to administer COVID-19 vaccinations in accordance with the District’s phased rollout. Big thanks to the teams at our Brentwood and Upper Cardozo Health Centers who have supported Unity's initial vaccine distribution sites, and thank you to staff from all across our organization that have stepped up to play a part in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in so many different ways.

ADDITIONAL UPDATES


You're Vaccinated! Now What?! Many Unity staff have received their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Below are recommendations and “things to expect” for those who have been or are preparing to be vaccinated.

  • Side Effects: Some people may experience side effects in the days following vaccine administration. The most common side effect is pain in the arm where the injection is received. Recipients may also feel achy, tired, or develop a fever; these are signs that the vaccine is working and your body is building immunity. Symptoms may last a few days and usually resolve within a week.
  • Can I go to work with these side effects? Side effects may overlap with answers on the self-attestation form that are associated with COVID-19; however, because they are attributable to a known cause (receiving the vaccine), it is ok for you to go to work. If you do not feel well enough to work, you may take sick leave.
  • Infection Control: Regardless of vaccination status, it's important to continue all safeguards for infection control. The COVID-19 vaccine is another layer of protection, but all staff, including those that have been vaccinated, must continue to follow Infection Control Guidance, including required measures like wearing mask and eye protection in patient areas, exercising good hand hygiene, and maintaining physical distancing.
  • Two-Doses: The COVID-19 vaccine is administered in two doses. Please schedule an appointment to get your second dose 4 weeks after you receive your first injection!
  • Enroll in V-Safe: v-safe is a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and surveys to provide personalized check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Through v-safe, you can quickly tell CDC if you experience side effects. Depending on your answers, someone from CDC may call to check on you. Also, v-safe will remind you to get your second COVID-19 vaccine dose. When you are offered the opportunity to sign up for a vaccine slot, you will receive information on how to enroll in v-safe.
Referring Vulnerable Patients to PEP-V Sites: In April of 2020, Unity partnered with DC Dept. of Human Services (DHS) to provide medical assessments and outpatient care to individuals experiencing homelessness through ISAQ (Isolation and Quarantine) and PEP-V (Pandemic Emergency Program for Highly Vulnerable Individuals) sites. These resources remain available to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in especially vulnerable populations. Providers can refer Unity patients to PEP-V sites by completing this DC DHS PEP-V Referral Form. If you encounter families or individuals seeking access or transportation to homeless services, encourage them to call the DC Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m., Monday - Sunday, or call 311 at any time of the day or night. More information can be found at https://dhs.dc.gov/page/shelter.


Employee Exposure 01-08-21Update on Employee Exposure:
Last week 9 staff members were placed in isolation or quarantine, and 1 known employee was diagnosed with COVID-19. It is incredibly important to recognize the continued prevalence of COVID-19 in our community. Please follow Infection Control Guidance and take precautions both inside and outside of the workplace.

Correction: Q&A Response on Dental Leadership

In the recap of the Jan. 5 CommUNITY Live Q&A, a response related to dental leadership was unintentionally clipped. See the full submission and answer below. Click here to review responses to all non-COVID-19 Q&A submissions.

Q: When will a new Dental Director be announced, and will there be any structural changes to the dental leadership team?

A: A new Dental Director, Dr. Cassandra Wright, was announced to the department on Jan. 5 at the dental staff meeting. After Dr. Wright has had the opportunity to orient in her new role, we will collectively look at the department’s structure and identify opportunities for change. 

Vaccination Survey Reminder: This short survey serves as the official sign-up for Unity employees wishing to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment based on CDC and DC Health prioritization. Please take advantage of this opportunity and encourage your staff and colleagues to do the same! Remember, this opportunity for immunization is for ALL staff at risk, not just providers. Click here to share your interest in receiving the vaccine and secure the opportunity to schedule a vaccination appointment.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Kick Off 2021 by Sharing Your "Why"


Mywhy-part2The beginning of a new year always evokes feelings of excitement and hope, this year more than ever! As we settle into 2021, we carry with us gratitude for the continued rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. 
Click here to watch the next edition in our video series of Unity staff sharing their "whys" for getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

We want to hear yours! Email your "why" to Communications@UnityHealthCare.org or post your vaccination photo and “why” on social media with hashtag #ThisIsOurShot! Tag @UnityHealthCare on Twitter and @UnityHealthCareInc on Facebook and Instagram, and we'll share them with our followers to encourage others to make the most of their “shot.”

First Amendment Demonstrations


First amendment demostrationDC Government is currently aware of multiple “First Amendment” demonstrations scheduled to occur within the District as early as today, Jan. 5, continuing through Wednesday, Jan. 6. These gatherings and possible counter-demonstrations could disrupt traffic and travel through the District.

Unity leadership and DC Health will monitor the situation and provide additional updates as necessary.

Road Closures and Parking Restrictions: DC Metro Police Department (MPD) expects the heaviest impact on transportation to occur today and tomorrow in the downtown corridor and near the Capitol. Additionally, heavy foot traffic is expected along Pennsylvania Avenue and BLM Plaza throughout the day and into the evening. Numerous no-parking restrictions and road closures in these areas went into effect today, Tuesday, Jan. 5, at 6:00 a.m. and will continue Thursday, Jan. 7, at 11:59 p.m. A full list of road closures and parking restrictions can be found on DC MPD’s Traffic Advisory Page. Live updates are available through social medial. If your facility’s operations are impacted by these events, please contact appropriate Unity leadership.

ADDITIONAL UPDATES


Delivering COVID-19 Test Results: Text Message Notifications

COVID Vaccine program workflowPatients with cell phone numbers listed in eCW now receive their COVID-19 test results through SMS or text messaging! This initiative leverages technology to deliver results quickly and directly as we continue to see a high volume of COVID-19 tests being performed. This messaging feature allows us to reach a broad range of patients by enabling simpler test result delivery to patients that are not web-enabled and providing results in Spanish for patients who have Spanish selected as their preferred language. Here are a few quick reminders to help our results delivery program running efficiently:

  • During registration, staff should make sure patients have a cell phone number that is verified and recorded in the cell phone field
  • Staff working in the tents should let patients know they will receive a text notification when their results are available
  • Staff should remind symptomatic patients needing a follow up and patients with positive test results to expect a phone call from a member of the Unity team in addition to the text message with their results
  • Providers should close (or lock) all COVID-19 PCR test results for asymptomatic patients with negative test results within 24 hours of the result becoming available, as the text message serves as notification of the test result
  • If patients connected to the health center by phone are inquiring about a COVID test result, it is likely that they have received a text message instructing them to follow-up. Please make every effort to work within the care teams at your site to connect them to a provider to deliver the test result.
  • Please continue to encourage patients to sign up for the Unity portal and recommend the LabCorp portal as well. We want to present all available options for receiving COVID-19 test results to ensure we’re reaching as many patients as possible. Click here to review patient handouts with step-by-step guidance for retrieving results. (A Spanish language version of this documentation is being developed.)

Vaccination Survey Reminder: This short survey serves as the official sign-up for Unity employees wishing to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment based on CDC and DC Health prioritization. Please take advantage of this opportunity and encourage your staff and colleagues to do the same! Remember, this opportunity for immunization is for ALL staff at risk, not just providers. Click here to share your interest in receiving the vaccine and secure the opportunity to schedule a vaccination appointment.

COVID-19 Vaccine Resources: Healthcare workers must be both educated and educators on the ins and outs of the COVID-19 vaccination. Below is a curated list of convenient resources to help our staff stay informed for their own enrichment and for the enrichment of our patients.

 Quick Links


 

Tuesday, December 29, 2020
The COVID-19 Vaccine and Unity Health Care



My why image Jessice COVID vaccineSharing our Why: Last week, Unity began the long-anticipated process of immunizing our frontline staff to prevent the spread of COVID-19. To commemorate this moment of hope and to encourage our staff and community to join us in getting vaccinated, we collected personal accounts from staff sharing their motivation for receiving the vaccine and what being immunized against COVID-19 means to them.

For nearly a year, our staff have been fighting to protect the disproportionately impacted patients we serve. We are forever grateful for your compassion and hard work and are so encouraged by this step forward!

My why COVID Vaccine groupWe'll be sharing more stories in the coming days, and we want to hear from you too! Post your vaccination photo and “why” on social media with hashtag #ThisIsOurShot! Tag @UnityHealthCare on Twitter and @UnityHealthCareInc on Facebook and Instagram, and we'll share them with our followers to encourage others to make the most of their “shot.”

COVID-19 Vaccine Resources: As the immunization process continues across the country, healthcare workers must be both educated and educators on the ins and outs of the COVID-19 vaccination. Below, we have curated a list of convenient resources to help our staff stay informed for their own enrichment and for the enrichment of our patients. In the coming weeks, we will continue to add to and share these resources, as well as other useful pieces of guidance related to the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Vaccination Survey Reminder: This short survey serves as the official sign-up for Unity employees wishing to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment based on CDC and DC Health prioritization. Please take advantage of this opportunity and encourage your staff and colleagues to do the same! Remember, this opportunity for immunization is for ALL staff at risk, not just providers. Click here to share your interest in receiving the vaccine and secure the opportunity to schedule a vaccination appointment.

IMPORTANT UPDATES


Employee Exposure 12-22-20Update on Employee Exposure: While we are seeing a slight downward trend in positive screens and test results among our patients, we will likely begin to experience another spike in the coming weeks following holiday gatherings. Last week we placed 15 employees in isolation or quarantine, and 5 known staff members were diagnosed with COVID-19.

It is incredibly important to remember that COVID-19 remains prevalent in our community. COVID-19 vaccinations have begun for Unity staff and other frontline healthcare workers around the District, but we’re just beginning our long journey to recovery. Please continue to diligently follow Infection Control Guidance and take safety precautions inside and outside of the workplace.

E&M Coding Changes: Beginning in 2021, changes to E&M coding will make the basis for code selection either the level of medical decision-making performed OR the total time spent performing the service on the day of the encounter. Time will be defined as total time spent, including non-face-to-face work done on that day, and will no longer require time to be dominated by counseling. Please review the links below for more information.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2020

COVID-19 Vaccine: Unity Designated as Vaccine Distribution Site


Over the weekend, the FDA authorized the emergency use of the Moderna vaccine for people ages 18 and up to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We are thrilled to have Unity designated as a COVID-19 vaccine distribution site as we continue to play a pivotal role in the fight against COVID-19. Upper Cardozo Health Center and Brentwood Health Center have been identified by the District as the Unity sites to receive the initial shipments of 700 doses each later this week. We are working to stand up vaccine clinics at these sites and will follow the DC Government prioritization framework to vaccinate healthcare workers in our region to include Unity staff.

We know you may have many questions about plans to distribute the vaccine. A COVID-19 vaccine task force has been convened and is working diligently to create workflows, guidance, documentation, and more to prepare for the vaccine clinics' rollout. Over the next few weeks, you will see increased communication regarding this effort as it becomes available.

In the meantime, please take a moment to review guidance shared by the CDC on the critical importance of the COVID-19 vaccine and what it means for you, our patients, and community.

Click here to view a short video on the COVID-19 vaccine produced by PBS on how the vaccines work and more.

COMING SOON: Text Notifications of COVID-19 PCR Test Results


Coming soon, patients who have a cell phone number listed in eCW will receive a text notification with their COVID-19 PCR test results. The goal of this initiative is to leverage technology to communicate test results in a timely fashion, at a time in the pandemic when testing volume is high and staffing shortages have precluded staff at the health centers from being able to promptly notify patients of their lab results. Furthermore, using the SMS or text messaging feature enables test result delivery to patients even if they are not web-enabled, thereby increasing the breadth of patients we are able to reach through this method.

Overview:

Each morning at 8 am, a report will be generated with the results that have returned in the past 24 hours. The patients on this report will receive a text message delivered to their cell phone number around 9 am. Patients whose results returned between Friday at 8 am and Monday at 8 am will receive the text message on Monday around 9 am.

  • Patients with a negative test result will receive the message: “COVID test result for [first name] was NEGATIVE. Please contact 202-469-4699 if you have questions or are experiencing symptoms such as cough, fever, or shortness of breath.”
  • Patients with a positive or inconclusive test result will receive the message: “COVID test results for [first name] now available. You will receive a call from a member of our team soon, or please contact 202-469-4699 for more information.”

The message will be sent automatically, whether the lab is reviewed or not. Messages will be sent in Spanish for patients who have Spanish selected as their preferred language. All other patients will receive the message in English.

For staff working in the tents, please let patients know they will receive a text once their result is available, and anyone who is symptomatic and needs follow up or has a positive test result should expect to receive a phone call from a member of the Unity team in addition to the text message.

When patients are connected to the health center by phone, and state they are inquiring about a COVID test result, it is likely that they have received a text message instructing them to follow-up. Please make every effort to work within the care teams at your site to connect them to a provider to deliver the test result.

Providers should close (or lock) all COVID-19 PCR test results for asymptomatic patients with negative test results who have a cell phone listed in eCW within 24 hours of the result becoming available, as the text message serves as notification of the test result.

IMPORTANT UPDATES


Public Emergency Extension and Implementation of a Holiday Pause

The Mayor has imposed an extension of the Public Emergency and Implementation of a Holiday Pause on various activities to flatten the curve of increasing COVID-19 cases. Consequently, employees are required to telework with the exception of in-person staff needed to support minimum business operations. The District of Columbia, like the rest of the country, is currently confronting a surge of COVID-19 cases that has worsened dramatically in the past month and will worsen still more, without intervention, as a result of activities over the Christmas and New Year's holidays.

The Mayor’s order will be effective 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 and shall continue to be in effect until 5 a.m. on Friday, January 15, 2021. If you have essential staff workers, please remind them to keep the essential employee letter with them at all times.

New Scheduling Policy

Based on strategic priority to improve the patient experience, patient needs to improve access, and staff feedback to improve scheduling and increase scheduling efficiencies, the new scheduling template and policy will become effective January 1, 2021. Click here to read policy.

With the new scheduling procedures in place, we are looking forward to maximizing patient access, reducing patient wait times to an appointment, and decreasing unfilled patient appointment slots on the schedule to increase staff productivity with the new scheduling templates. The scheduling procedure described within this policy has been established to allow patients to have their needs more fully addressed by their care team while onsite within an hour of the patient’s scheduled appointment time and account for potential no-shows. The new scheduling templates for 2021 are now available in eCW.

For more information on using the new scheduling templates:

Click here for a comprehensive listing of all available visit codes.

Click here for general requirements, things to avoid, and a listing of visit types across specialties.

employees exposure 12-29-20Infection Control Update

Last week, we had 15 staff members placed on isolation or quarantine, and 4 known diagnosed with COVID-19. While we are experiencing a slight uptick in exposures, we want to remind all staff to continue following Infection Control guidance by self-attesting to your health daily and staying home if you are experiencing symptoms and contact the IC Team at InfectionControlTeam@UnityHealthCare.org or call 202-715-6592.

Flu Immunizations

Flu season is upon us, and this year it is more important than ever for our patients to get the flu vaccine to protect themselves and their families, reduce the number of febrile illnesses in the community, and the strain on the healthcare system we're already feeling due to COVID-19. The annual flu vaccine is recommended for everyone ages 6 months and up. During the month of November, just 29% of patients seen across Unity sites had received the flu vaccine for this current flu season. That's down 12% compared to November in 2019. Every encounter with a patient is a chance to check if they've received the vaccine. Let's all roll up our sleeves to work together to get our patients and their families vaccinated!

Flu Inmunization graph

Self-Care Recipe Book

The Behavioral Health team wants to gift you with recipes for your self-care! As the holidays approach and the stress of living under a pandemic, it's important to take time and care for yourself. Click here to find a compilation of recipes, self-care strategies and resources just for you.

“We hope that you and your family are safe, treasured and hopeful this season. Being part of this community, and contributing to the service we provide to the community, is something for which we are grateful.” 

Yours, the Department of Behavioral Health Staff

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Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Pilot Program: Outlets Dedicated to Delivering COVID-19 Test Results


We are happy to report the launch of a pilot program to support the timely provision of COVID-19 test results to patients. The primary goal of this pilot is to efficiently deliver test results to patients through a variety of methods, outlined below, while relieving burden on employees hastened by high testing volume and staffing shortages. We recognize this adjustment does not cover every task in the COVID-19 evaluation follow-up process, but it will assist with delivering initial test results. Patients who are symptomatic should still receive their COVID-19 follow-up visits at the time of testing.

  • Patient Portals: We are bolstering efforts to encourage patients to become web-enabled and access their test results through the Unity patient portal and/or the LabCorp patient portal. We have developed a patient handout to distribute to those tested in one of the rapid evaluation sites guiding them through the process, step-by-step.
  • One Unity Number: We added a new prompt to the 202-469-4699 phone line for patients calling to request their COVID-19 test results. Patients who choose this option will be connected to a MA who can facilitate test result delivery.
  • Text Message Notifications: In the coming days, we will begin delivering text message notifications to patients with their test results. Patients with symptoms and/or positive results will be directed to call the 202-469-4699 to schedule an appointment.
  • COVID-19 Call-Back Team: We have assembled a multi-disciplinary team of dedicated staff, including a provider, MA, and PRC to deliver test results. This team is supplementing the work done at the sites by being available to patients inquiring about results, relaying negative test results, conducting Telemedicine visits for positive patients, and coordinating follow-up visits for symptomatic patients.

In order to accommodate the bolus of patients we are currently experiencing, there may be times that patients are scheduled across providers and health centers – thank you for continuing to welcome these patients and connecting them to care.

Reminder: New Guidance for Capacity in COVID-19 Evaluation Tents/Clinics


To ensure our ongoing pandemic response is safe and sustainable for both patients and staff, leadership developed new Guidance on Capacity within Unity COVID-19 and Respiratory Evaluation Tents/Clinics.

This guidance establishes appointment capacity for providers staffing Unity Respiratory and COVID-19 Evaluation Tents/Clinics and provides instruction for when and how patients seeking evaluation and testing should be scheduled.

The District has established accessible sites for those specifically seeking COVID-19 testing, and as a primary care practice, we aim to serve our community as more than a testing site. These parameters will help Unity balance our desire to provide accessible COVID-19 care with our goal of safely providing patients with a full spectrum of quality primary and specialty care services. Click here to access the full guidance document.

IMPORTANT UPDATES


Infection Control Update: QR Codes for Self-Attestation

Employees exposure 11-15-20The “post-Thanksgiving bump” in community spread of COVID-19 throughout the District serves as an important reminder to continue following Infection Control guidance by self-attesting to your health daily and staying home if you are experiencing symptoms.

As you heard last week, our Infection Control team developed QR codes that activate each site’s attestation form to make the mandatory process of self-attestation even easier! Employees will be able to scan these QR codes on their smart phones through their cameras or an app (like a “fast pass,” or a mobile concert ticket) when entering their health centers to quickly and smoothly attest to the health. Click here to access the full list of QR codes for Unity health centers. Click here for more information on how to use this technology.
printing QR code

Daily attestation of health is required for all staff entering our health centers, including contractors, leadership, and/or staff that float between locations. Any employees unable to access the attestation form online or through the QR codes provided here, should go through the standard screening process carried out at the front desk. Remember, self-monitoring for symptoms and staying home if you are experiencing symptoms is our first line of defense for preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our health centers.

Inclement Weather in the District: Are You Signed Up for EZ Texting?

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for Wednesday, Dec. 16, for portions of north central and northeast Maryland. Snow or a wintry mix could take place across the rest of the DMV as well. Pre-treating/snow-removal are being assessed for potentially impacted Unity health centers. Access Control and EVS should assess and treat entrances as needed.

If there is a disruption to Unity operations, affected staff will receive a text alert through our EZ Texting system. If you do NOT already receive Unity EZ Text messages, please sign up by visiting https://tapit.us/WRyUw and entering your first and last name and cell phone number. If you previously signed up and are not receiving Unity EZ Texts, you may need to contact your cell phone carrier and request that the block be removed for short code 313131 to receive these messages. If you receive Unity EZ Texts, you do not need to sign up again.

Seeking Provider Feedback on Unity Pharmacies

Provider feedback is an essential aspect of our Community Specialty Pharmacy accreditation. Please click on the links below to complete the survey(s) by Friday, Dec. 18. If you work across multiple sites and/or directly with patients utilizing Unity pharmacy services, please complete surveys for any sites applicable to your work. This year’s pharmacy surveys contain just 3 questions and will only take a moment of your time. Thank you for your contributions!

Quick Links


 

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Patient Handout: Obtaining COVID-19 Test Results


In recent weeks, Unity has experienced a steady increase in the number of patients seeking COVID-19 testing. We created a handout to guide patients through the process of obtaining their COVID-19 test results. This handout provides step-by-step instructions on how patients can access their results directly through LabCorp.com and through the Unity patient portal to help reduce burden on clinical and support staff and ensure our patients get access to their results as quickly and efficiently as possible. Click here to access the handout. (Spanish translation coming soon.)

Infection Control Update: Employee Exposure Trends + Self-Attestation


Employees Exposure Trends 12.8.20With COVID-19 cases on the rise in DC and across the country, it’s as important as it ever has been to follow and enforce the latest Infection Control guidance in our health centers and take appropriate precautions outside of work. Last week, our Infection Control team recorded 11 staff placed in isolation and/or quarantine and were made aware of 5 employees diagnosed with COVID-19.

This “post-Thanksgiving bump” aligns with an increase in community spread following holiday gatherings around the District and serves as an important reminder to continue self-attestation and stay home if you are experiencing symptoms.

Self-monitoring for symptoms and completing the self-attestation form before entering the work place are two of the most effective actions we can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our health centers. Daily attestation of health is also required for all staff entering our health centers, including contractors, leadership, and/or staff that float between locations. Any employees unable to access the attestation form online should go through the standard screening process carried out at the front desk.

IC QR CodeWe heard your feedback, and we're taking steps to make this important and mandatory process even easier! Our Infection Control team has developed QR codes that employees will be able to scan on their smart phones (like a fast pass, or a mobile concert ticket) when entering their health centers to quickly and smoothly attest to the health. Stay tuned for details and click here for more information on how to use this technology.

Remember, it is critical that employees with fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, or other flu-like symptoms (e.g., body aches, fatigue) STAY AT HOME. Sick employees should first notify their direct supervisor, then the Unity Infection Control team at 202-7156592 or InfectionControlTeam@UnityHealthCare.org.

IMPORTANT UPDATES


Seeking Provider Feedback on Unity Pharmacies

Provider feedback is an essential aspect of our Community Specialty Pharmacy accreditation. Please click on the links below to complete the survey(s) by Friday, Dec. 18. If you work across multiple sites and/or directly with patients utilizing Unity pharmacy services, please complete surveys for any sites applicable to your work. This year’s pharmacy surveys contain just 3 questions and will only take a moment of your time. Thank you for your contributions!

Keeping MCO Conversations Compliant

As DC Health Care Finance (DHCF) continues to transition beneficiary care to selected MCOs, please remember that Unity employees are prohibited from engaging in conversations that encourage our patients to switch or transfer from one DC Medicaid Health plan to another.

Communicating about the MCO transition with affected patients is an important part of ensuring continuity of care, but in order to remain compliant with DC Medicaid Health Plan contracts, Unity employees must not engage in communication practices that deceive or mislead the public or disparage a competing DC Medicaid Health Plan contractor (C.5.8.1) or make any comparisons with other DC Medicaid Health Plan contractors (C.5.8.5.1.5.1). Please adhere to these guidelines to ensure we are compliant with the regulations set by DHCF.

Upcoming Deadline: Mandatory Staff Trainings Due Dec. 15

ALL of the courses listed below must be completed by Dec. 15 and should be located in your MyNetLearning profile. Click here to access the MyNetLearning login guide. If the courses do not appear in MyNetLearning, please contact Mia Harper at MHarper@unityhealthcare.org. Please note, employees hired between Apr. 1 – Dec. 31, 2020, are excluded from the trainings listed below as these courses were completed during your onboarding process. However, these employees are still required to complete the Privacy and Security Training by Dec. 15.

Conflict Management v 1.0

Fire Safety

Patient Portal & E-Messaging

UHC Employee Handbook Review

Diversity in Health Care v 1.3

Health Care Safety and Injury Prevention

PPE 2020

Workplace Violence

Emergency Management Planning

Health Care Security

Sexual Harassment Prevention for Employees

 

Quick Links


 

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Holiday Planning During COVID-19 Pandemic


employees Exposure trend 11-17-20Holiday season is around the corner! This year has been full of unexpected challenges, and it’s important that we take time to reflect and connect. However, as flu season approaches and rates of COVID-19 rise across the country, we must do so safely.

Per Unity Infection Control Guidance, gatherings of more than 10 people in a room are not permitted in our Health Centers. Additionally, masks should be worn in all shared spaces and physical distancing of at least 6 feet is encouraged whenever possible. These important restrictions can make traditional office potlucks very difficult. This year, instead of a potluck, try...

Show and Tell: In this twist on a potluck, instead of a food item, everyone “brings” something else to contribute – like a brief toast, favorite staff photo to share virtually or while physically distanced.

Recipe Swap: We may not be able to share food at the workplace, but we can certainly share recipes! Print out copies of your favorite holiday potluck dish, and pass them out to your colleagues during your holiday celebration. They can think of you while they cook it up at home.

Gratitude Bowl: Each team/employee can write something they’re grateful for on a slip of paper and add it to a bowl. During your virtual or physically distanced event, take turns reading slips of gratitude aloud.

Click here to read suggestions for safe celebrations with loved ones outside of the work environment, including virtual toasts, ordering/sending treats, scaled back gatherings, and more.

Reminder: LabCorp Flu + COVID-19 + RSV Swab


LabCorp recently launched the first testing method to simultaneously detect COVID-19, influenza A/B, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). These single-panel tests can help Unity providers efficiently diagnose patients and make decisions about treatment options. Both the COVID-19+Influenza A/B (Test Code: 140147 - CPT: 87636) and COVID-19+Influenza A/B+RSV Virus, NAA (Test Code: 140140 - CPT: 87637) tests can be found in eCW.

IMPORTANT UPDATES


Upcoming Deadline: TB Screening Forms Due Nov. 30

In alignment with the updated recommendations from the CDC, all Unity employees must complete this Annual Tuberculosis (TB) Symptom Screening Form. For 2020, these forms are due by Nov. 30. If an employee screens positive or works in a facility that experiences known exposure or high risk for transmission, employees will undergo testing through other methods. In the years to come, this form will be due annually in June, and communication will be sent out at that time. Click here to view the new policy in full.

Upcoming Deadline: Mandatory Staff Trainings Due Dec. 15

ALL of the courses listed below must be completed by Dec. 15 and should be located in your MyNetLearning profile. Click here to access the MyNetLearning login guide. If the courses do not appear in MyNetLearning, please contact Mia Harper at MHarper@unityhealthcare.org. Please note, employees hired between Apr. 1 – Dec. 31, 2020, are excluded from the trainings listed below as these courses were completed during your onboarding process. However, these employees are still required to complete the Privacy and Security Training by Dec. 15.

Conflict Management v 1.0

Fire Safety

Patient Portal & E-Messaging

UHC Employee Handbook Review

Diversity in Health Care v 1.3

Health Care Safety and Injury Prevention

PPE 2020

Workplace Violence

Emergency Management Planning

Health Care Security

Sexual Harassment Prevention for Employees

 

Quick Links


 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020


Staff
Flu Shots Due THIS WEEK


All Unity employees must receive a documented influenza (flu) vaccine by Saturday, Oct. 31. With only 5 days before the deadline, we're still waiting on a large number of staff to submit documentation for their flu vaccinations. Follow the lead of Upper Cardozo, HIMS, and our School-Based Health Centers whose staff are 83.3%, 100%, and 80%, respectively are already immunized with proper documentation!

Where to Get Vaccinated?

Free vaccines are available for staff at all Unity locations as coordinated by nurse managers. Staff are welcome to receive their vaccine elsewhere, but all employees MUST provide documentation by the Oct. 31 deadline to be compliant with this requirement.

Where to Send Documentation?

Health Center staff should provide documentation of vaccination to their site’s nurse manager. Staff based out of New Jersey Avenue and employees that received their vaccine at a non-Unity location should send documentation to the Infection Control Team at InfectionControlTeam@unityhealthcare.org

In the rare case of specific medical or religious exceptions, a declination form with appropriate documentation from your primary care provider or religious leader must be completed and submitted to the Infection Control Team at InfectionControlTeam@unityhealthcare.org by Oct. 31.

IMPORTANT UPDATES


Keys to Infection Control Success: Freshening Up on the Old, Sharpening Up on the New

Now 7 months into our COVID-19 response, we ’re all familiar with our tenets for Infection Control: self-attestation, hand hygiene, everyone in masks, physical distancing, and wearing appropriate PPE when seeing suspected COVID positive patients. Today, we’re breaking down 3 of these tenets to keep us on our toes.

Workplace Hygiene

workplace hygineWhile diligent hand hygiene continues to be a crucial weapon in our battle against COVID-19, the work doesn’t stop there. Environmental Services plays a primary role in maintaining cleanliness across our sites, but we all share a collective responsibility to keep our workplaces safe and clean throughout the day, especially in personal work spaces and areas where patients receive care. Click here for easy-to-read charts breaking down EVS responsibilities and areas where non-EVS staff are expected to monitor cleanliness independently.

Masks on Everyone

Mask on EveryoneWe increased signage across our health centers to help enforce our “all patients and visitors in masks” policy, but making sure everyone is wearing a face covering correctly can still be tricky. Keep our health centers safe by adopting the “see something, say something” perspective. If you see a patient or visitor without their nose and mouth covered or wearing a non-compliant mask (neck gaiters, t-shirts, sleep masks, etc.), direct them to our signage and offer a surgical mask. Patients are welcome to wear the surgical mask over their own personal mask to be compliant with our mask policy.


PPE + Eye Protection

PPE and Eye protectionIn addition to universal masking, all staff must wear eye protection (face shield or goggles) in all settings where patient care services are provided and where 6 feet of distance cannot be maintained. Guidance for sanitizing and reusing face shields and goggles are located in the in the Optimization of PPE portion of Infection Control Guidance documentation.

SafetyZone Downtime

The SafetyZone®, Unity’s incidence reporting system, will be unavailable Wednesday, Oct. 28, from 11:45 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. EST due to server maintenance. Please ensure all individuals at your site that may be impacted by this downtime are aware. Contact Cindy Campbell at CCCampbell@UnityHealthCare.org with any questions.

 


 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

NEW POLICY: Tuberculosis (TB) Screening for Unity Employees

In alignment with updated recommendations from the CDC, Unity is modifying our employee screening approach for TB. Previously, most Unity employees were required to get a purified protein derivative (PPD) skin test annually. Moving forward, all Unity employees will complete an annual TB symptom screening form. If an employee screens positive or works in a facility that experiences known exposure or high risk for transmission, employees will undergo testing through other methods. Click here to view the new policy in full, and click here to review additional resources in the TB Prevention and Control folder of the Clinical Resource Library. 

Updated Guidance on Scheduling In-Clinic and Telehealth Visits

Unity leadership worked with specialty directors and others to simplify the Guidance on Scheduling In-Clinic and Telehealth visits. Revisions include a change in visit categories to: In-Clinic Only; Telehealth Preferred and In-Person as Indicated; Patient Preference; and Not Currently Scheduling.

Telehealth continues to be preferred when possible; however, as our pandemic response continues, more patients will require and seek in-clinic services, and it is crucial we do all that we can to encourage patients not to delay care. Providers can use their discretion when determining the most appropriate channel for care, but this guidance can help all members of the care team to direct patients to quality services in the safest, most appropriate setting. 

IMPORTANT UPDATES


Take a (Flu) Shot, Do a TikTok

Take a flu ShotAll Unity staff must get their mandatory flu vaccine by Oct. 31! Have you gotten yours? Ishan Arvin, Kent Campbell, and Silifat Mustapha joined Drs. Boyd and Buchholz in the latest Unity Feature Film...a TikTok dance-inspired PSA! (Yes, you read that correctly! Click here to check out their moves.) 





Flu vaccines are available to all staff at Unity locations free of charge as coordinated by nurse managers. Health Center staff should provide documentation to their site’s nurse manager. Staff based out of New Jersey Avenue should send documentation to the Infection Control Team at InfectionControlTeam@unityhealthcare.org. In the rare case of specific medical or religious exceptions, a declination form with appropriate documentation from your primary care provider or religious leader must be completed and submitted by Oct. 31. Click here to see the official memo on this requirement.

Resources for Working Parents

Being a parent isn't easy, and balancing a career during the ongoing pandemic makes it even more challenging. Unity has partnered with Corporate Perks to provide our staff with supplemental educational resources, activities, social circles for kids, discounts on services, and more. Click here to check it out! Additionally, Unity’s INOVA Employee Assistance Program (EAP) has a Child Care Provider Locator and checklists for parents navigating virtual learning.

Resources for Parents

Infection Control Reminder: Eye Protection 

In addition to universal masking, all staff must wear eye protection (face shield or goggles) in all settings where patient care services are provided and where 6 feet of distance cannot be maintained. Guidance for sanitizing and reusing face shields and goggles are located in the in the Optimization of PPE portion of Infection Control Guidance documentation


 

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Updates to Infection Control Guidance

Eye Protection: In addition to universal masking, all staff must wear eye protection (face shield or goggles) in all settings where patient care services are provided and where 6 feet of distance cannot be maintained. Guidance for sanitizing and reusing face shields and goggles are located in the in the Optimization of PPE portion of Infection Control Guidance documentation

Temperature Checks: Effective immediately, Health Centers should actively measure the temperature of patients and visitors entering their sites. A temperature of 100.0F or greater should be considered a fever. Additionally, a “yes” answer to the fever question on the patient screening form should be considered a positive screen. To prevent bottlenecks at the start of shifts, Unity staff continue to self-attest to their health daily and self-monitor their temperatures rather than active temperature measurement when entering the health centers. 

It is critical that employees with fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, or other flu-like symptoms (e.g., body aches, fatigue) STAY AT HOME. Sick employees should notify their direct supervisor and Infection Control at 202-7156592 or InfectionControlTeam@UnityHealthCare.org. If employees get sick at work, they should isolate themselves immediately, notify their direct supervisor and Infection Control, and go home. Employees who report to work while sick or do not self-attest will be sent home.  

Employees Exposure Trent 10-6-20Update on Employee Exposure: Last week, our Infection Control team recorded 2 staff placed in isolation and/or quarantine and no employees diagnosed with COVID-19. Please review the latest revisions to the Infection Control Guidance in full and continue to closely adhere to this guidance to protect yourself and others. 



IMPORTANT UPDATES


Wonderful Wizards of WCCs: FINAL LEADERBOARDS  

Congratulations to our category winners! On our journey down the yellow brick road, we reached and delivered essential care to thousands of pediatric patients across the District. Our competition has come to a close, but our work continues! Keep pushing towards our organizational goal of providing 80% of our child and adolescent patients with well-child checks. There's no place like a Patient-Centered Medical Home!  

Well Child Check Winners 10-6-20

Well Child Big Improvement

Completed Vaccines 10-6-20

Preventative Dental

Hours of Operation
Clarification

Below are updated hours of operation across Unity locations. Please note, Columbia Road’s Saturday hours are currently 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. but will eventually shift to an 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. Saturday schedule. Additionally, rapid COVID-19 evaluation tents at Anacostia, Minnesota Ave., and Upper Cardozo Health Centers will remain open after 5 p.m. Monday through Friday

Health Centers Hours 10.06.20


 

 

 

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

DC Situation Update: On Monday, Sept. 28, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser provided a situation update on the District’s current COVID-19 data, a new application to aide in contact tracing efforts, a pilot program for in-person learning and more. We’ve summarized the highlights below. Click here to access the full presentation. 

Virtual Assistant COVIDLink: The new Virtual Assistant, DC CovidLINK, is an optional service that allows positive cases and notified close contacts to share information about their symptoms and health status with the DC Contact Trace Force via text messages and phone calls. This tool is being utilized in addition to regular public health screening.

COVIDLink


full-schools-inpersonIn-Person Learning:
Starting this week and throughout the month of October, select DCPS schools will begin opening for Student Support Center and Career and Technical Education programming. DCPS leaders and partners have designed specialized in-person programming opportunities for small groups of students to supplement at-home learning.
Programming is customized at each site and activities will vary from tutoring and social emotional support to physical education and outdoor learning experiences. Bowser said there would be a more comprehensive announcement about next steps for DCPS next week. 



Grocery Distribution:
New schedule for grocery distribution sites listed below. Recipients are encouraged to bring a cart and/or tote bag to transport their groceries. Find a full list of community grocery distribution sites, student meal sites, and other food-related resources at coronavirus.dc.gov/food.

Grocery distribution

Staying Active: On Tuesday, Oct. 13, 29 recreation centers and 6 indoor aquatic centers will reopen to host fall programming and other limited services through a new reservation system. If you interact with patients seeking ways to stay active, direct them to dpr.dc.gov to learn more.

Recreation centers reopening


IMPORTANT UPDATES



Wonderful Wizards of WCCs: Week 7 Leaderboards 

Our competition concludes tomorrow and we STILL have ties! Keep pushing through the finish line and beyond, so we can meet our organizational goal of providing 80% of our child and adolescent patients with well-child checks. Need a little pick-me-up to keep the energy going? Check out Drs. Amira El-Sharif, Jessica Boyd, Andy Robie, Ryan Buchholz, and James Huang on the Unity Silver Screen! Click here to give it a watch.

Week 7 leaderboard


Update on Employee Exposure

Employees Exposure trend 9.29.20Last week, our Infection Control team recorded 3 staff placed in isolation and/or quarantine and 1 employee diagnosed with COVID-19. The previous week (Sept. 13 – 19), we had zero employees placed in isolation and/or quarantine and no new staff diagnosed with COVID-19. Make sure you're doing all you can to get us back to double zeros by continuing to adhere to our tenets for Infection Control below. 

COVID trend process




Tuesday, September 22, 2020

ALL THINGS FLU: Flu season is around the corner! As we continue to battle COVID-19, it is important for us to reduce the spread of all viral infections that cause fever. One of the most important things we can do to protect Unity staff, patients, and the community at large is to immunize ourselves and our patients against the flu. The updates below have been implemented to keep our workforce healthy and streamline vaccine delivery for patients. 

Influenza (Flu) Vaccination Required for Unity Employees

All Unity staff are required to receive the flu vaccine by Oct. 31, 2020. Click here to see the full memo on this requirement developed by VP of Employee Experience and Engagement, Jeronica Goodwin and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jessica Boyd. Flu vaccines are available to all Unity staff at Unity locations free of charge, coordinated by nurse managers. Staff are welcome to receive the vaccine elsewhere, but documentation must be submitted to their site nurse manager or the Infection Control Team by the Oct. 31 deadline. 

A declination form with appropriate documentation from your primary care provider or religious leader must be completed and submitted by Oct. 31 in the rare case of specific medical or religious exceptions. Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about seasonal flu vaccination for Unity employees can be found here. The full policy and other supporting documents can be found through this link in the Clinical Resource Library. 

For Clinical Teams: Supporting Documentation for Flu Administration for Patients & Staff The updated version of CL4012, Seasonal Influenza Vaccination is available here. Access accompanying documentation through the links below. 

Which Flu Vaccine to Order 

  • Unity employees should be immunized with vaccines from the Unity private stock. Paper records will be collected by nursing leadership.
  • Adults with public insurance (e.g., Medicaid or Alliance or Medicare): Influenza (IIV4) Adult Stock DOH (preferred), or Influenza (IIV4) Unity Private if no DOH influenza vaccine is available
  • Adult with private insurance: Influenza (IIV4) Unity Private (6 mo and older) 
  • Child with public insurance (e.g., Medicaid) or uninsured: Influenza (IIV4) 6 mo and older (VFC) (single or multi-dose)
  • Child with public insurance (e.g., Medicaid) 2-18yo without contraindications: FluMist Quadrivalent 
  • Child with private insurance: Influenza (IIV4) Unity Private (6 mo and older)  
Flu

IMPORTANT UPDATES


 

Wonderful WizardWonderful Wizards of WCCs: Week 6 Leaderboards
We’re in the final stretch! With 8 days left, the  competition is still tight. To encourage you through that final push, we’re sharing another Unity Film featuring debut performances from Drs. Amira El-Sharif and James Huang! We just missed the cut for the 2020 Emmy Awards, but trust us, Vince’s interpretation of the Wizard would have swept in all categories. Click here to give it a watch! 

Well child check 9.22.20Well Child Checks: Percentage of children ages 0 – 21 at each health center who have had well child check visits between 10/1/19 and 9/30/20, and have had at least one primary medical visit onsite in the past year. Measured by using billing codes 99381-99395 and/or ICD-10 Z00.129 ICD-10 or code Z00.121.

Vaccines percentage 9.22.20Vaccines: Combined percentage of children that have received vaccines at these ages: Children who turn 1 between 10/1/19 and 9/30/20 with 3 Hep B, 3 Rotavirus, 3 Dtap, 3 HIB, 3 IPV, 1 Hep A, 4 PCV 13, 1 MMR, 1 Varicella; ages 4 – 6 between 10/1/19 and 9/30/20 with 2 MMR, 2 Varicella, 5 Dtap, 4 IPV; ages 11 – 13 between 10/1/19 and 9/30/20 with 1 Tdap, 1 Meningococcal vaccine, 1 HPV vaccine. 

Dental Percentage 9.22.20Dental: Percentage of children ages 0 – 18 with at least one dental visit at Unity during the reporting period who have had a preventive dental visit between 10/1/19 and 9/30/20. Measured using the billing codes D0145 (new exam for patients under age 3); D0150 (new patient exam); D0120 (periodic exam); D1120 (child cleaning (under age 13); D1208 (fluoride placement); D1351 (dental sealant placement); D0190 (school exam assessment). 


Frequent Flyers and

Clinical Resources

Infection Control and PPE Optimization Guidance (7/7/20)

Rapid Evaluation Tent Registration Form (7/7/20)

DC PEP-V DHS Referral Form

COVID-19 Testing Prioritization Guidance (6/8/20)

COVID-19 Rapid Test Data Tracking Form

Patient Discharge Forms

COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unity Operations and Employee Resources

Holiday Pay Policy Memo (6/18/20)

Application for Leave Form (6/18/20)

Employee Leave FAQ (5/13/20)

Free Therapy for Health Care Personnel

Employee Contributions Helping Others (ECHO) Universal Leave Donation Policy

Donate Leave | Request Leave

Total Rewards Daily Detox site

COVID-19 Daily Digest Archive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Resources

WIC Hours of Operation and Contact Info

SNAP Online Purchasing Program

Basic Needs Assessment and Referral Hotline Flyer

DC COVID-19 Food Resources

Meal Delivery for Seniors

Meal Sites for DC Students

Community Testing Sites

DC Gov. Heat Emergency Resources: DHS and HSEMA

 

Find additional resources in the Clinical Resource Library

 

 

 

 


Friday, September 18, 2020

Hours of Operation Reminder: As everyone continues to shore up staffing for our hours of operation, please remember that staff arrival should be scheduled prior to the site opening, as patients are instructed to arrive 15 minutes prior to the start of their appointment to check-in/register. This means staff should not be walking in with patients, but rather be ready to assist them upon arrival so patients may be seen at their scheduled appointment time. Consequently, doors should be unlocked at least 15 minutes prior to the site’s first appointment time, and doors should remain unlocked prior to posted closing time with staff scheduled at least 15 minutes beyond that time to finalize tasks and prep for the next day. Thank you for your ongoing work in this regard. 

Important Updates


Parkside Update: Electricity has been fully restored at Parkside Health Center. The building is open for Pharmacy, WIC services, and to meet patient needs. Normal operations with onsite patient care will resume on Monday, Sept. 21. Special thanks to everyone that had a hand in solving this issue and adapting to maintain operations throughout the repairs. Thank you to members of the Facilities and Access Control Teams – Kieran Jean-Francois, Aaron Moye, Slade Smith, Tyrone Thomas, and Shaun Kelly – for working diligently to assess the damage. Thank you to James Dover for ensuring the building was monitored around the clock for two days, and thank you to the Parkside providers and support staff for their flexibility in being redeployed to Minnesota Avenue and East of the River Health Centers to meet the needs of Parkside patients seeking in-person care. 

Update on Employee Exposure: Last week, there were two Unity employees placed in isolation and/or quarantine, and we were made aware of no new staff diagnosed with COVID-19. Thank you for your continued adherence to our Infection Control guidance. Your diligence is the key to maintaining low rates of employee exposure! Below is the latest Employee Exposure Trends data from our Infection Control team.
Employees trent exposure 9-18-20

2020 Census Deadline Approaching2020 Census Deadline

Completing the 2020 Census online only takes a few minutes, but the impact of your response lasts much longer. Make sure our communities are accurately represented by completing the 2020 Census for your household before the Sept. 30 deadline and reminding others (patients, friends, and family) to do the same. Click here to complete the census online.

If someone you know is concerned about completing the census, remind them that, by law, the Census Bureau cannot release any identifiable information to landlords, businesses, or other law enforcement agencies, including ICE. Learn more about 2020 Census privacy policies here.

If you have not yet responded to the census, you may be visited by a Census Taker. Census Takers work between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., including weekends, to retrieve census responses. If someone visits your home this year to collect information for the 2020 Census, check to make sure they have a valid ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date. Census workers may also carry Census Bureau bags and other equipment with the Census Bureau logo. 

35 Years of Achievement1997 - Unity History

To celebrate 35 years of providing compassionate care in the District, we're highlighting milestones and gathering stories from Unity staff, patients, friends, and family. Stay tuned to future eNewsletters to check out more important dates in Unity history. If you have a story, memory, or reflection that you would like to share, please send it to communications@unityhealthcare.org. 


Frequent Flyers and

Clinical Resources

Infection Control and PPE Optimization Guidance (7/7/20)

Rapid Evaluation Tent Registration Form (7/7/20)

DC PEP-V DHS Referral Form

COVID-19 Testing Prioritization Guidance (6/8/20)

COVID-19 Rapid Test Data Tracking Form

Patient Discharge Forms

COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unity Operations and Employee Resources

Holiday Pay Policy Memo (6/18/20)

Application for Leave Form (6/18/20)

Employee Leave FAQ (5/13/20)

Free Therapy for Health Care Personnel

Employee Contributions Helping Others (ECHO) Universal Leave Donation Policy

Donate Leave | Request Leave

Total Rewards Daily Detox site

COVID-19 Daily Digest Archive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Resources

WIC Hours of Operation and Contact Info

SNAP Online Purchasing Program

Basic Needs Assessment and Referral Hotline Flyer

DC COVID-19 Food Resources

Meal Delivery for Seniors

Meal Sites for DC Students

Community Testing Sites

DC Gov. Heat Emergency Resources: DHS and HSEMA

 

Find additional resources in the Clinical Resource Library

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Telework Policy Highlights

In an effort to practice social distancing and reduce unnecessary spread of COVID-19, some eligible Unity employees have been utilizing telework - the use of telecommunication or computer technologies to allow employees to work at home or outside of the Unity office environment. Earlier this week, our Employee Experience and Engagement team released a Telework policy addressing many factors associated with working from home or an alternative location. Below are a few key highlights from the documentation. Click here to access the full policy. If you are currently teleworking and have not completed the mandatory Telework Agreement form through MyNetLearning, please do so immediately. If you have recently been assigned to telework, you should be able to locate the agreement under your “Courses-To Do” list in MyNetLearning. If you do not see the agreement, contact Dr. Mia Harper at mharper@unityhealthcare.org. Click here to access the MyNetLearning login guide.

Please note, a telehealth-specific policy is being finalized. Providers and employees performing telehealth should refer to the telehealth-specific policy for guidance when it becomes available. 

Policy 

Telework implementation for employees is viable based on the following conditions: Standard business practices and operations are maintained. Consistent criteria for participant selection is applied to all employees in a specific department. There is a consistent and measurable way to evaluate employee productivity and quality of work. Employee complies with all applicable IT, Security, Privacy, and Confidentiality policies and procedures. 

Eligibility

Employee must have at least 90 days’ employment and have successfully passed their introductory period. Employee must have documented history of job performance that meets or exceeds their supervisor’s expectations.

Duration

Any telework agreement may be on a trial basis for the first three months as determined by an employee’s manager, and may be discontinued, at will, at any time at the request of either the teleworker or Unity. Telework could be limited to a particular period due to emergency or other organizational needs.  

IMPORTANT UPDATES


Dr. Blanca Toso, COVID-19 Hero

Congratulations to Dr. Blanca Toso for being selected as one of El Tiempo Latino’s COVID-19 Heroes! Throughout Hispanic Heritage Month, El Tiempo Latino will be recognizing Dr. Toso and 9 other individuals for their heroic contributions to the Washington Metropolitan area during the ongoing public health crisis. 

Wonderful Wizards of WCCs: Week 5 Leaderboards

With less than two weeks left in our competition, things are still neck and neck. Keep up the excellent work, and tune in next week to see whether your health center could be one of our award recipients on Sept. 30! 

well check 9-15-20Well Child Checks: Percentage of children ages 0 – 21 at each health center who have had well child check visits between 10/1/19 and 9/30/20, and have had at least one primary medical visit onsite in the past year. Measured by using billing codes 99381-99395 and/or ICD-10 Z00.129 ICD-10 or code Z00.121.

Vaccine 9-15-20Vaccines: Combined percentage of children that have received vaccines at these ages: Children who turn 1 between 10/1/19 and 9/30/20 with 3 Hep B, 3 Rotavirus, 3 Dtap, 3 HIB, 3 IPV, 1 Hep A, 4 PCV 13, 1 MMR, 1 Varicella; ages 4 – 6 between 10/1/19 and 9/30/20 with 2 MMR, 2 Varicella, 5 Dtap, 4 IPV; ages 11 – 13 between 10/1/19 and 9/30/20 with 1 Tdap, 1 Meningococcal vaccine, 1 HPV vaccine.

Dental 9-15-20Dental: Percentage of children ages 0 – 18 with at least one dental visit at Unity during the reporting period who have had a preventive dental visit between 10/1/19 and 9/30/20. Measured using the billing codes D0145 (new exam for patients under age 3); D0150 (new patient exam); D0120 (periodic exam); D1120 (child cleaning (under age 13); D1208 (fluoride placement); D1351 (dental sealant placement); D0190 (school exam assessment). 

No Camera? No Problem!

Fun day 901520Want to join our upcoming Virtual Fun Day, but don’t have a webcam on your computer? Don’t let that keep you from the fun! Click here to download the Zoom application on your smart phone, and tune in on Sept. 25, from Noon – 2:00 p.m. 







Frequent Flyers and

Clinical Resources

Infection Control and PPE Optimization Guidance (7/7/20)

Rapid Evaluation Tent Registration Form (7/7/20)

DC PEP-V DHS Referral Form

COVID-19 Testing Prioritization Guidance (6/8/20)

COVID-19 Rapid Test Data Tracking Form

Patient Discharge Forms

COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unity Operations and Employee Resources

Holiday Pay Policy Memo (6/18/20)

Application for Leave Form (6/18/20)

Employee Leave FAQ (5/13/20)

Free Therapy for Health Care Personnel

Employee Contributions Helping Others (ECHO) Universal Leave Donation Policy

Donate Leave | Request Leave

Total Rewards Daily Detox site

COVID-19 Daily Digest Archive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Resources

WIC Hours of Operation and Contact Info

SNAP Online Purchasing Program

Basic Needs Assessment and Referral Hotline Flyer

DC COVID-19 Food Resources

Meal Delivery for Seniors

Meal Sites for DC Students

Community Testing Sites

DC Gov. Heat Emergency Resources: DHS and HSEMA

 

Find additional resources in the Clinical Resource Library

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Mark Your Calendar for Virtual Fun Day!

Virtual Fun DayLast year, over 1500 members of our extended Unity family gathered at Six Flags to enjoy food, games, and music. Six Flags may not be in the cards this year, but that won’t stop us from getting together! Join us on Zoom for a virtual Family Gathering on Sept. 25, from Noon – 2:00 p.m. We’ve got a fun-filled agenda including a DJ to get us moving, recognition of Ella Robertson-Strother as The Healthcare Council’s Employee of the Year, virtual games of Bingo and Jeopardy, and more!

Feel free to enter and exit the Zoom as your schedule allows. Bring your lunch, turn on your cameras, and get ready for some virtual fun! 

Unity in the News

  • Unity patient, Cecil Brown, was featured on the PBS Newshour in a segment discussing the pandemic’s disproportionate economic impact on Black and Latinx Americans. Click here to watch the full segment.
  • Dr. Jose Chavez participated in a Facebook Live discussion with El Tiempo Latino on the importance of flu vaccinations during the ongoing pandemic. Click here to view the discussion.
  •  Angela Diop and Dr. Andrew Robie were interviewed about finding the right approach to telemedicine during a pandemic on 3M Health Information Systems’ Inside Angle podcast. Click here to listen to the full interview.

Trent Exposure 9-10-20Update on Employee Exposure: Last week, we were notified of two employees placed on isolation or quarantine and there were no new known cases of COVID-19 among staff. Please continue to monitor your symptoms, self-attest to your health daily, and take proper precautions if you begin to experience symptoms of any kind to maintain low numbers of staff exposure.

If you suspect you have COVID-19 and/or begin experiencing symptoms, do not come into work. Contact your supervisor so they can make necessary arrangements, then contact Unity’s Infection Control team at InfectionControlTeam@unityhealthcare.org or (202) 715-6592. 

Unity history 198535 Years of Achievements 

To celebrate 35 years of providing compassionate care in the District, we're highlighting milestones and gathering stories from Unity staff, patients, friends, and family. Stay tuned to future eNewsletters to check out more important dates in Unity history. If you have a story, memory, or reflection that you would like to share, please send it to communications@unityhealthcare.org. 




Frequent Flyers and

Clinical Resources

Infection Control and PPE Optimization Guidance (7/7/20)

Rapid Evaluation Tent Registration Form (7/7/20)

DC PEP-V DHS Referral Form

COVID-19 Testing Prioritization Guidance (6/8/20)

COVID-19 Rapid Test Data Tracking Form

Patient Discharge Forms

COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unity Operations and Employee Resources

Holiday Pay Policy Memo (6/18/20)

Application for Leave Form (6/18/20)

Employee Leave FAQ (5/13/20)

Free Therapy for Health Care Personnel

Employee Contributions Helping Others (ECHO) Universal Leave Donation Policy

Donate Leave | Request Leave

Total Rewards Daily Detox site

COVID-19 Daily Digest Archive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Resources

WIC Hours of Operation and Contact Info

SNAP Online Purchasing Program

Basic Needs Assessment and Referral Hotline Flyer

DC COVID-19 Food Resources

Meal Delivery for Seniors

Meal Sites for DC Students

Community Testing Sites

DC Gov. Heat Emergency Resources: DHS and HSEMA

 

Find additional resources in the Clinical Resource Library

 

 

 

 


September 8, 2020

HealthMobile 2020Rolling into Fall: New Healthmobile! After months of hard work across multiple departments, we’re happy to announce that our new Healthmobile is here! This new and improved care site will be equipped with all the bells and whistles, including three laptops, a printer/scanner/copier, a retractable awning, a back-up camera system, and a vaccine cooler just in time for flu shot season. The van will be located at the Anacostia health center garage until further notice to provide additional care space while their HVAC undergoes repairs.

IMPORTANT UPDATES


Wonderful Wizards of WCCs: Week 4 Leaderboards

Another week down, and the competition is neck and neck! We'll continue posting weekly updates and sharing raw data with site leadership through the end of the competition on Sept. 30. Keep up the great work providing for children and families in our community in need of appropriate screenings, vaccinations, referrals, and more. Tune in next week to see where your health center stands! 

Well Child Checks - Percentage 9-8-20Well Child Checks: Percentage of children ages 0 – 21 at each health center who have had well child check visits between 10/1/19 and 9/30/20, and have had at least one primary medical visit onsite in the past year. Measured by using billing codes 99381-99395 and/or ICD-10 Z00.129 ICD-10 or code Z00.121.

Vaccines Combined percentageVaccines: Combined percentage of children that have received vaccines at these ages: Children who turn 1 between 10/1/19 and 9/30/20 with 3 Hep B, 3 Rotavirus, 3 Dtap, 3 HIB, 3 IPV, 1 Hep A, 4 PCV 13, 1 MMR, 1 Varicella; ages 4 – 6 between 10/1/19 and 9/30/20 with 2 MMR, 2 Varicella, 5 Dtap, 4 IPV; ages 11 – 13 between 10/1/19 and 9/30/20 with 1 Tdap, 1 Meningococcal vaccine, 1 HPV vaccine. 

Dental Percentage 9-8-20Dental: Percentage of children ages 0 – 18 with at least one dental visit at Unity during the reporting period who have had a preventive dental visit between 10/1/19 and 9/30/20. Measured using the billing codes D0145 (new exam for patients under age 3); D0150 (new patient exam); D0120 (periodic exam); D1120 (child cleaning (under age 13); D1208 (fluoride placement); D1351 (dental sealant placement); D0190 (school exam assessment). 

New Discharge Instructions for Adult COVID-19 Patients: Click here to access revised versions of discharge instructions and provider scripts (in English and Spanish) reflecting the latest CDC guidance on when adults with COVID-19 should discontinue home isolation.

Sweetgreen Delivery 9-08-20Unity + Sweetgreen

Unity has teamed up with Sweetgreen Outpost to provide free delivery on orders purchased at our Anacostia, Brentwood, East of the River, Minnesota Ave., Parkside, and Upper Cardozo locations. All employees can redeem a $10 credit for a delicious salad or bowl, but don’t wait! This credit expires Wednesday, Sept. 9

Sweetgreen is working hard to make this service available at more Unity locations in the future, but in the meantime, all Unity staff are welcome to place an order for pick up at one of the site locations listed above. Click here to download the Sweetgreen app or place your order online at https://order.sweetgreen.com/. If you do not receive your order or there is an issue with your order, contact Sweetgreen directly. Delivery fees have been waved, but Unity employees are responsible for all other costs associated with their orders. 

Updated List of Care Coordinator Assignments: As you continue to engage patients through comprehensive telemedicine visits, make sure you’re facilitating and scheduling referrals as efficiently as possible. Click here to access the latest contact information for Care Coordinators assigned to referrals and scheduling for various departments and programs across the organization.  

Kindercare Reminder: Unity employees can save 10% percent on tuition for children 6 weeks to 12 years old at any KinderCare Learning Center. To receive your discount, present proof of employment at Unity to the Center Director. The Department of Employee Experience and Engagement can confirm your employment for your preferred center. KinderCare can contact EEE directly at 202-299-1500. Click here to find a center in your neighborhood and learn more about your childcare benefits. 


Frequent Flyers and

Clinical Resources

Infection Control and PPE Optimization Guidance (7/7/20)

Rapid Evaluation Tent Registration Form (7/7/20)

DC PEP-V DHS Referral Form

COVID-19 Testing Prioritization Guidance (6/8/20)

COVID-19 Rapid Test Data Tracking Form

Patient Discharge Forms

COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unity Operations and Employee Resources

Holiday Pay Policy Memo (6/18/20)

Application for Leave Form (6/18/20)

Employee Leave FAQ (5/13/20)

Free Therapy for Health Care Personnel

Employee Contributions Helping Others (ECHO) Universal Leave Donation Policy

Donate Leave | Request Leave

Total Rewards Daily Detox site

COVID-19 Daily Digest Archive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Resources

WIC Hours of Operation and Contact Info

SNAP Online Purchasing Program

Basic Needs Assessment and Referral Hotline Flyer

DC COVID-19 Food Resources

Meal Delivery for Seniors

Meal Sites for DC Students

Community Testing Sites

DC Gov. Heat Emergency Resources: DHS and HSEMA

 

Find additional resources in the Clinical Resource Library

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Virtual Learning and Child Care: This week marked the beginning of virtual learning for DC Public Schools and first days are right around the corner for school districts in the surrounding area. Technological demands and challenges have been a constant of the ongoing pandemic, and virtual learning is no exception. We want to take time to commend all of the parents and guardians taking on new roles as teachers, tech support, school counselors, and more. We recognize the impact and potential disruptions these adjustments may be causing in the lives of our employees and their families, and we want to offer our continued support however possible. Below are several available resources we hope will help maintain work/life balance during this challenging time. 

Discounted Childcare for All Unity Employees: Unity has partnered with KinderCare to provide working parents access to affordable childcare with safe, nurturing classrooms and experienced teachers. Unity employees can save 10% percent on tuition for children 6 weeks to 12 years old at any KinderCare Learning Center. Visit https://www.kindercare.com/employee-benefits/unity-health-care to find a center in your neighborhood. To receive your discount, present proof of employment at Unity to the Center Director. The Department of Employee Experience and Engagement can confirm your employment for your preferred center. KinderCare can contact EEE directly at 202-299-1500. Discover more about your childcare benefits here or call a Customer Care Specialist at 888-525-2780. 

EAP Resources for Working Parents: Unity’s INOVA Employee Assistance Program (EAP) has a Child Care Provider Locator, checklists, educational resources and more for parents navigating virtual learning. Visit inova.org/eap to access these resources and more. 

Mental Health Hotline: This 24/7 hotline staffed by licensed clinicians can provide counseling and support to residents experiencing increased anxiety and stress due to COVID-19 and/or family stressors. Operators can also link parents to school-based clinicians and early childhood specialists for individualized support. Parents can get real-time help or learn more about available services by calling 1-888-793-4357. 

Wellness Wednesdays: DC Gov. launched an online support network this week focused on resilience, relationships, knowledge, support, and communication. Click here to sign up for the next session taking place Sept. 9 from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. 

IMPORTANT UPDATES


Submit Your Timecards! Please remember, due to the upcoming holiday Payroll will post on Tuesday, Sept. 8 for the Sept. 11 pay date. All employee’ timecards must be submitted and approved by the employee AND manager by 12 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 6. All late submissions will be processed on the following pay date, Sept. 25. No exceptions! 

Employees Exposure Trends 9-3-20Update on Employee Exposure: Last week, we were notified of two employees placed on isolation or quarantine and there were no new known cases of COVID-19 among staff. Please continue to monitor your symptoms, self-attest to your health daily, and take proper precautions if you begin to experience symptoms of any kind to maintain low numbers of staff exposure.

If you suspect you have COVID-19 and/or begin experiencing symptoms, do not come into work. Contact your supervisor so they can make necessary arrangements, then contact Unity’s Infection Control team at InfectionControlTeam@unityhealthcare.org or (202) 715-6592. 

Modified DC Gov. Services for Labor Day: On Monday, Sept. 7, DC Government will observe Labor Day. While some services will be affected, many District employees will continue serving to maintain essential District operations. Below are a few highlights that could impact our patients. Click here to view a full list of what will be open and what will be closed. 

  • Low-barrier shelters will remain open on Monday, Sept. 7. Transportation to emergency shelter will also remain available. Families and individuals seeking access or transportation to homeless services should call the DC Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m., Monday - Sunday, or call 311 at any time of the day or night.
  • DC Gov.’s COVID-19 testing sites and call center will be closed on Monday, Sept. 7. The District’s School Meal Sites and Grocery Distribution Sites will be closed on Monday, Sept. 7, but will reopen on Tuesday, Sept. 8. Additionally, all DMV locations and DC Public Libraries will be closed on Monday, Sept. 7

 

Frequent Flyers and

Clinical Resources

Infection Control and PPE Optimization Guidance (7/7/20)

Rapid Evaluation Tent Registration Form (7/7/20)

DC PEP-V DHS Referral Form

COVID-19 Testing Prioritization Guidance (6/8/20)

COVID-19 Rapid Test Data Tracking Form

Patient Discharge Forms

COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unity Operations and Employee Resources

Holiday Pay Policy Memo (6/18/20)

Application for Leave Form (6/18/20)

Employee Leave FAQ (5/13/20)

Free Therapy for Health Care Personnel

Employee Contributions Helping Others (ECHO) Universal Leave Donation Policy

Donate Leave | Request Leave

Total Rewards Daily Detox site

COVID-19 Daily Digest Archive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Resources

WIC Hours of Operation and Contact Info

SNAP Online Purchasing Program

Basic Needs Assessment and Referral Hotline Flyer

DC COVID-19 Food Resources

Meal Delivery for Seniors

Meal Sites for DC Students

Community Testing Sites

DC Gov. Heat Emergency Resources: DHS and HSEMA

 

Find additional resources in the Clinical Resource Library

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Wonderful Wizards of WCCs: Week 3 Leaderboards

Another week, another set of leaderboards! We'll continue posting weekly updates and sharing raw data with site leadership through the end of the competition on Sept. 30. After Sept. 30, we’ll give out prizes to each site with the highest scores in each category and a most improved prize to the health center with the largest improvement in the well child checks category. 

Keep up the great work identifying and reaching out to children and families in our community in need of appropriate screenings, anticipatory guidance, vaccinations, evaluation of growth and development, and referrals when indicated. Tune in next week to see where your health center stands!

Well Child 9-1Well Child Checks:
Percentage of children ages 0 – 21 at each health center who have had well child check visits between Oct. 1, 2019, and Sept. 30, 2020, and have had at least one primary medical visit onsite in the past year. Measured by using billing codes 99381-99395 and/or ICD-10 Z00.129 ICD-10 or code Z00.121.

Vaccines all categories 9-1Vaccines: Combined percentage of children that have received vaccines at these targeted ages: Children who turn 1 between Oct. 1, 2019, and Sept. 30, 2020, and have received 3 Hep B, 3 Rotavirus, 3 Dtap, 3 HIB, 3 IPV, 1 Hep A, 4 PCV 13, 1 MMR, 1 Varicella; children ages 4 – 6 between Oct. 1, 2019, and Sep. 30, 2020 and have received 2 MMR, 2 Varicella, 5 Dtap, 4 IPV; children ages 11 – 13 between Oct. 1, 2019 and Sept. 30, 2020 and have received 1 Tdap, 1 Meningococcal vaccine, 1 HPV vaccine. 

Dental 9-1Dental: Percentage of children ages 0 – 18 with at least one dental visit at Unity during the reporting period who have had a preventive dental visit between Oct. 1, 2019, and Sept. 30, 2020. Measured using the billing codes D0145 (new exam for patients under age 3); D0150 (new patient exam); D0120 (periodic exam); D1120 (child cleaning (under age 13); D1208 (fluoride placement); D1351 (dental sealant placement); D0190 (school exam assessment). 

IMPORTANT UPDATES


Update on Flu Vaccinations: With flu season around the corner, we continue to prepare to distribute and administer vaccines across Unity locations for staff and patients. As of this week, Unity can begin administering flu vaccines from our Vaccines for Children (VFC) stock to pediatric patients as appropriate. Flu vaccines for adults and privately insured children should be arriving the week of Sept. 14, with regular shipments to follow. Health center leadership tripods continue to explore plans and workflows to immunize many patients efficiently and administer the vaccine to staff. 

Contacting IT supportHow to Contact IT Support

Our IT Support team can provide assistance on issues related to PC Repair/Technical Support/Setup, Email, Printers, Wired/Wireless Networks, Software Upgrades/Installation, Operating System Updates, Anti-virus Installation/Removal, and Network Storage/Security.

To ensure your request is addressed as quickly and appropriately as possible, contact IT Support through the email address ITSupport@unityhealthcare.org or call the IT Support hotline at (202) 299-1700.

Helping Our Patients Be Heard: The 2020 Census will help determine the next decade of funding for programs like SNAP, WIC, and others that many of our patients rely on to keep themselves and their families healthy. During today’s health center meetings, providers and PRCs received special training on how to communicate with patients about the importance and purpose of the census, but we can all take part in supporting our communities by:  

Completing the 2020 Census for our households. Click here to complete it online. It only takes a few minutes!

Reminding others that the census is safe. By law, the Census Bureau cannot release any identifiable information to landlords, businesses, or other law enforcement agencies. Click here for more information on 2020 Census privacy policies.

Spreading the word about why the census matters. Click here for resources to share with your family, friends, and followers.

Unity in the News: In a recent interview with PEW Charitable Trusts, Unity President and CEO, Vincent Keane, discussed the impact of funding uncertainties on community health centers. Click here to read more.


Frequent Flyers and

Clinical Resources

Infection Control and PPE Optimization Guidance (7/7/20)

Rapid Evaluation Tent Registration Form (7/7/20)

DC PEP-V DHS Referral Form

COVID-19 Testing Prioritization Guidance (6/8/20)

COVID-19 Rapid Test Data Tracking Form

Patient Discharge Forms

COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unity Operations and Employee Resources

Holiday Pay Policy Memo (6/18/20)

Application for Leave Form (6/18/20)

Employee Leave FAQ (5/13/20)

Free Therapy for Health Care Personnel

Employee Contributions Helping Others (ECHO) Universal Leave Donation Policy

Donate Leave | Request Leave

Total Rewards Daily Detox site

COVID-19 Daily Digest Archive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Resources

WIC Hours of Operation and Contact Info

SNAP Online Purchasing Program

Basic Needs Assessment and Referral Hotline Flyer

DC COVID-19 Food Resources

Meal Delivery for Seniors

Meal Sites for DC Students

Community Testing Sites

DC Gov. Heat Emergency Resources: DHS and HSEMA

 

Find additional resources in the Clinical Resource Library

 

 

 

 





Thursday, August 27, 2020

Street Closures for March on Washington: Tomorrow, August 28, folks from across the country are expected to enter the District for a rally and march organized by the Rev. Al Sharpton to protest police brutality. DC Police expect extensive impacts to traffic due to street closures and surrounding events. 

March on WashingtonUnity health centers in the impacted area will remain open and continue to see patients. As mentioned previously, sites impacted should work with PRCs to reach out to patients, confirm their appointments, and remind them of telemedicine availability if appropriate. 

Beginning around 6 a.m., D.C. Police will shut down roads generally south of K Street NW between 12th and 19th streets, down to Constitution Avenue.

Constitution Avenue will be closed from 12th to 23rd streets, and all streets around the Lincoln Memorial will be blocked off. Independence Avenue will be closed from the Arlington Memorial Bridge to 12th Street SW. Click here for a full list of road closures and traffic announcements.

IMPORTANT UPDATES


Update on Employee Exposure: Last week, we were notified of 3 staff members placed on isolation or quarantine and 2 known employees that tested positive for COVID-19. As we continue to monitor employee exposure data, keep monitoring your symptoms, self-attesting to your health daily, and taking proper precautions if you begin to experience symptoms of any kind. If you suspect you have COVID-19 and/or begin experiencing symptoms, do not come into work. Contact your supervisor immediately, so they can make necessary arrangements, then contact Unity’s Infection Control team at InfectionControlTeam@unityhealthcare.org or (202) 715-6592. 

Employees Exposure 8-27-20

Guidance on Flu Vaccinations: As flu season approaches, we are preparing to distribute and administer vaccines across Unity locations for staff and patients. Vaccine administration is set to begin in early September. Please expect an announcement from Unity clinical leadership when vaccine administration is officially live. Additionally, health center leadership tripods are in the process of developing plans and workflows to allow us to immunize many patients efficiently and to administer the vaccine to staff. 

Be Seen.BeCounted 2020 Census2020 Census: Help Our Patients Voices Be Heard
The Census is confidential, secure, AND helps direct billions of dollars in federal funds to local communities for schools, roads, and other public services. Though responding to the Census is critically important to supporting healthy communities, misinformation leads some of DMV’s most vulnerable residents to go uncounted. Providers and health center employees are trusted sources of information. On Sept. 1, Unity providers and select support staff will receive training on how to communicate with patients about the importance and purpose of the census. 

Have you completed the Census for your household? It’s not too late! Click here to learn more

DC Mental Health Resources: In yesterday’s Situation Update, Mayor Bowser announced the following wellness-related resources geared toward DC families: 

Mental Health Hotline: This 24/7 hotline staffed by licensed clinicians can provide counseling and support to residents experiencing increased anxiety and stress due to COVID-19 and/or family stressors. Operators can also link parents to school-based clinicians and early childhood specialists for individualized support. Parents can get real-time help or learn more about available services by calling 1-888-793-4357

Coming Soon: Wellness Wednesdays DC Gov. is creating an online support network, launching Sept. 2, focused on resilience, relationships, knowledge, support, and communication. The first Wellness Wednesday will cover self-care for parents.  


Frequent Flyers and

Clinical Resources

Infection Control and PPE Optimization Guidance (7/7/20)

Rapid Evaluation Tent Registration Form (7/7/20)

DC PEP-V DHS Referral Form

COVID-19 Testing Prioritization Guidance (6/8/20)

COVID-19 Rapid Test Data Tracking Form

Patient Discharge Forms

COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unity Operations and Employee Resources

Holiday Pay Policy Memo (6/18/20)

Application for Leave Form (6/18/20)

Employee Leave FAQ (5/13/20)

Free Therapy for Health Care Personnel

Employee Contributions Helping Others (ECHO) Universal Leave Donation Policy

Donate Leave | Request Leave

Total Rewards Daily Detox site

COVID-19 Daily Digest Archive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Resources

WIC Hours of Operation and Contact Info

SNAP Online Purchasing Program

Basic Needs Assessment and Referral Hotline Flyer

DC COVID-19 Food Resources

Meal Delivery for Seniors

Meal Sites for DC Students

Community Testing Sites

DC Gov. Heat Emergency Resources: DHS and HSEMA

 

Find additional resources in the Clinical Resource Library

 

 

 

 



Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Wonderful Wizards of WCCs: Week 2 Leaderboards

We've wrapped up week two of our pediatric services competition! This week, we’re making a few slight adjustments to our leaderboards. Moving forward, we’re rolling our vaccine reports into one category instead of three. Starting next week, we’ll only be sharing the top three health centers in all categories. Make sure you tune in to see where you stand! 

Well Child Checks

Well Child Checks 8-25-20Percentage of children ages 0 – 21 at each health center who have had well child check visits between Oct. 1, 2019, and Sept. 30, 2020, and have had at least one primary medical visit onsite in the past year. Measured by using billing codes 99381-99395 and/or ICD-10 Z00.129 ICD-10 or code Z00.121.




Vaccines all categories 8-25-20
Vaccines:
Combined percentage of children that have received vaccines at these targeted ages: Children who turn 1 between Oct. 1, 2019, and Sept. 30, 2020, and have received 3 Hep B, 3 Rotavirus, 3 Dtap, 3 HIB, 3 IPV, 1 Hep A, 4 PCV 13, 1 MMR, 1 Varicella; children ages 4 – 6 between Oct. 1, 2019, and Sep. 30, 2020 and have received 2 MMR, 2 Varicella, 5 Dtap, 4 IPV; children ages 11 – 13 between Oct. 1, 2019 and Sept. 30, 2020 and have received 1 Tdap, 1 Meningococcal vaccine, 1 HPV vaccine. 


Dental

Dental 8-25-20Percentage of children ages 0 – 18 with at least one dental visit at Unity during the reporting period who have had a preventive dental visit between Oct. 1, 2019, and Sept. 30, 2020. Measured using the billing codes D0145 (new exam for patients under age 3); D0150 (new patient exam); D0120 (periodic exam); D1120 (child cleaning (under age 13); D1208 (fluoride placement); D1351 (dental sealant placement); D0190 (school exam assessment). 

IMPORTANT UPDATES


School Start Dates + Work/Life Balance Resources

DC, Maryland, and Virginia public school districts are all gearing up for their fall reopenings. Below are links to the latest resources from surrounding school districts.

Our Employee Experience and Engagement (EEE) leadership shared the following resources related to housing, eldercare, and back-to-school activities to support staff and their families during this transitional time. Additionally, you can always contact INOVA Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for free, confidential support.

Interim Hours of Operation Beginning in September: In late July, we announced adjusted hours of operation as a part of our ongoing strategic effort to expand access to all modes of patient care and our effort to increase flexibility for staff challenged by virtual schooling in the fall. Beginning mid-September, alternating Sunday hours will operate as follows: Upper Cardozo will be open the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month. Minnesota Avenue will be open the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month. Both sites will be closed on 5th Sundays of months in which they occur. 

Register for 2020 Poster Day: Do you have a quality improvement project, special program at your center, or research initiative that you want to share? Register for our virtual Quality and Research Poster Day taking place October 6. Presenters will have the opportunity to share a five-minute slide presentation followed by 5 minutes of Q&A about your work for a different audience two or three times throughout the afternoon. Click here to register before 5 p.m. on August 31. 


Frequent Flyers and

Clinical Resources

Infection Control and PPE Optimization Guidance (7/7/20)

Rapid Evaluation Tent Registration Form (7/7/20)

DC PEP-V DHS Referral Form

COVID-19 Testing Prioritization Guidance (6/8/20)

COVID-19 Rapid Test Data Tracking Form

Patient Discharge Forms

COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unity Operations and Employee Resources

Holiday Pay Policy Memo (6/18/20)

Application for Leave Form (6/18/20)

Employee Leave FAQ (5/13/20)

Free Therapy for Health Care Personnel

Employee Contributions Helping Others (ECHO) Universal Leave Donation Policy

Donate Leave | Request Leave

Total Rewards Daily Detox site

COVID-19 Daily Digest Archive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Resources

WIC Hours of Operation and Contact Info

SNAP Online Purchasing Program

Basic Needs Assessment and Referral Hotline Flyer

DC COVID-19 Food Resources

Meal Delivery for Seniors

Meal Sites for DC Students

Community Testing Sites

DC Gov. Heat Emergency Resources: DHS and HSEMA

 

Find additional resources in the Clinical Resource Library

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, August 20, 2020

IMPORTANT UPDATES


Update on Employee Exposure

Employee Exposure Trends 8-21-20The latest numbers of Unity staff placed in isolation and/or confirmed positive for COVID-19 are depicted in this graph. In order to maintain these low numbers, employees must continue to monitor their own symptoms, self-attest to their health daily, and take proper precautions if they begin to experience symptoms of any kind. 

If you have reason to believe you have COVID-19 and/or are experiencing symptoms of any kind, do not come into work. Contact your supervisor immediately, so they can make necessary arrangements, then contact Unity’s Infection Control team. As part of our close partnership with DC Health, we are reporting our numbers of confirmed employee positives. To ensure we’re sharing accurate information, it’s crucial that you contact our Infection Control team at InfectionControlTeam@unityhealthcare.org or (202) 715-6592 if you have been exposed to or suspect you have COVID-19, and keep them up-to-date on your status.

Staff Highlight: New Jersey Avenue 

They may not always be based out of a health center, but as our final nod to 2020 National Health Center Week, we want to shine a light on our New Jersey Avenue staff! Staff based out of the New Jersey Avenue office span across several departments and share many responsibilities that keep our lights on and our health centers running smoothly. Thank you for all that you do! 
New jersey Avenue Staff

Health Center Hours of Operation: Below is the latest list of our current hours of operations across health centers. As we continue to make adjustments to meet the evolving needs of our patients and staff, we will share additional updates. 
Health Center Operating hours updates 8-20-20 Virtual quality and research psoter day

Register for 2020 Poster Day: Do you have a quality improvement project, special program at your center, or research initiative that you want to share? Register for our virtual Quality and Research Poster Day taking place October 6. Presenters will have the opportunity to share a five-minute slide presentation followed by 5 minutes of Q&A about your work for a different audience two or three times throughout the afternoon. Click here to register before 5 p.m. on August 31.

Mental Health Moment

Mental health moment 8-20-20During this time of shared stress, we are all survivors, but we are also being called upon to help others in our personal and professional lives. John's Hopkins School of Public Health is offering a free online Psychological First Aid training course focused on the RAPID model: Reflective listening, Assessment of needs, Prioritization, Intervention, and Disposition.

This approach, commonly used in the aftermath of acute disasters like tornadoes or typhoons, aims to reduce immediate distress and improve adaptive functioning in the face of a traumatic event. Click here to enroll.


Frequent Flyers and

Clinical Resources

Infection Control and PPE Optimization Guidance (7/7/20)

Rapid Evaluation Tent Registration Form (7/7/20)

DC PEP-V DHS Referral Form

COVID-19 Testing Prioritization Guidance (6/8/20)

COVID-19 Rapid Test Data Tracking Form

Patient Discharge Forms

COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unity Operations and Employee Resources

Holiday Pay Policy Memo (6/18/20)

Application for Leave Form (6/18/20)

Employee Leave FAQ (5/13/20)

Free Therapy for Health Care Personnel

Employee Contributions Helping Others (ECHO) Universal Leave Donation Policy

Donate Leave | Request Leave

Total Rewards Daily Detox site

COVID-19 Daily Digest Archive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Resources

WIC Hours of Operation and Contact Info

SNAP Online Purchasing Program

Basic Needs Assessment and Referral Hotline Flyer

DC COVID-19 Food Resources

Meal Delivery for Seniors

Meal Sites for DC Students

Community Testing Sites

DC Gov. Heat Emergency Resources: DHS and HSEMA

 

Find additional resources in the Clinical Resource Library

 

 

 

 


Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Wonderful Wizards of WCCs: There’s No Place Like a Patient-Centered Medical Home!

The first week of our pediatric services contest is in the books! We'll be posting weekly leaderboard updates and sharing raw data with site leadership through the end of the competition on Sept. 30. After Sept. 30, we’ll give out SIX prizes in total – one to each site with the highest scores in each category and a most improved prize to the health center with the largest improvement in the well child checks category. 

Let’s all work together to identify and reach out to the children and families in our community so they can receive the appropriate screenings, anticipatory guidance, vaccinations, evaluation of growth and development, and referrals when indicated to help them achieve optimal health. Check out our first round of leaderboards below, and keep up the good work! 

Well Child Checks: Percentage of children ages 0 – 21 at each health center who have had well child check visits between Oct. 1, 2019, and Sept. 30, 2020, and have had at least one primary medical visit onsite in the past year. Measured by using billing codes 99381-99395 and/or ICD-10 Z00.129 

Well Child Checks

Vaccines: Percentage of children at each health center who have received vaccines at the following targeted ages. 

Vaccines 1

Vaccines 2
Vaccines 3

Dental: Percentage of children ages 0 – 18 at each health center with at least one dental visit at Unity during the reporting period who have had a preventive dental visit between Oct. 1, 2019, and Sept. 30, 2020. Measured using the billing codes D0145 (new exam for patients under age 3); D0150 (new patient exam); D0120 (periodic exam); D1120 (child cleaning (under age 13); D1208 (fluoride placement); D1351 (dental sealant placement); D0190 (school exam assessment)

Dental

IMPORTANT UPDATES


Childcare Resources: Executive leadership continues to seek out opportunities to assist staff in maintaining work-life balance during the upcoming semester of virtual schooling. Below are several resources available throughout the District:  

DC Child Care Connections: DC Child Care Connections can help connect families with licensed child care providers that remain open during the public health emergency. Call (202) 829-2500 or email osse.dcchildcareconnections@dc.gov to find out more. 

Emergency Child Care Initiative: As part of DC Government’s response to COVID-19, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education is partnering with licensed child care providers to offer emergency care for the children of DC’s health care workers and essential government employees and contractors. Individuals working in health care and essential government employees or contractors in federal and District of Columbia Government who are in search of child care in DC are asked to complete a short interest form by clicking here

Inova EAPEAP Resources for Working Parents: Unity’s INOVA Employee Assistance Program (EAP) has a Child Care Provider Locator, checklists, educational resources and more for parents navigating virtual learning. Visit inova.org/eap and use the login information shown here to access these resources and more.




Election Day Closure:
In the words of late voting rights activist, John Lewis, exercising our right to vote is “the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society.” In recognition of this civic duty, Unity community health centers will be closed on Nov. 3 to make it easier for staff and their families to vote or serve as poll workers, if so desired. More will be shared about the logistics of these health center closures in the coming weeks. 


Frequent Flyers and

Clinical Resources

Infection Control and PPE Optimization Guidance (7/7/20)

Rapid Evaluation Tent Registration Form (7/7/20)

DC PEP-V DHS Referral Form

COVID-19 Testing Prioritization Guidance (6/8/20)

COVID-19 Rapid Test Data Tracking Form

Patient Discharge Forms

COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unity Operations and Employee Resources

Holiday Pay Policy Memo (6/18/20)

Application for Leave Form (6/18/20)

Employee Leave FAQ (5/13/20)

Free Therapy for Health Care Personnel

Employee Contributions Helping Others (ECHO) Universal Leave Donation Policy

Donate Leave | Request Leave

Total Rewards Daily Detox site

COVID-19 Daily Digest Archive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Resources

WIC Hours of Operation and Contact Info

SNAP Online Purchasing Program

Basic Needs Assessment and Referral Hotline Flyer

DC COVID-19 Food Resources

Meal Delivery for Seniors

Meal Sites for DC Students

Community Testing Sites

DC Gov. Heat Emergency Resources: DHS and HSEMA

 

Find additional resources in the Clinical Resource Library

 

 

 

 


Thursday, August 13, 2020

Infection Control and NHCW Treats: At this point in our National Health Center Week celebration, you’ve either already received or are about to receive your Unity Health Care branded cloth mask! Remember, these stylish masks are perfect to rock around town, but at the health centers, all staff are still required to wear a medical-grade mask to meet the CDC-recommended level of protection. If you want to double up and wear your Unity cloth mask over your surgical mask, make sure you’re sanitizing your cloth mask properly.

While we’re on the topic of mask hygiene, remember, surgical masks should be replaced daily; KN95 masks should be changed out no more than twice a week; however, both KN95 and N95 masks should be changed whenever they are in disrepair.  

IMPORTANT UPDATES


Terminal Cleaning + Working Together to Keep Our Health Centers Clean

Our Environmental Services (EVS) team works diligently to ensure the health and safety of our staff and patients by regularly cleaning and disinfecting our facilities. Their work includes terminal cleanings which take place upon request following the discharge or removal of a potentially infectious patient from the room where they were evaluated or treated. Click here to access a brief outline of EVS terms you should know, frequently asked questions about our current cleaning processes, and more.

While our EVS team plays a primary role in maintaining cleanliness across our sites, all staff share a collective responsibility to maintain a hygienic environment, especially in their personal work spaces and the spaces in which patients receive care. Click here to access a series of easy-to-read charts breaking down EVS' responsibilities in specific areas, as well as areas where non-EVS staff are expected to monitor cleanliness independently. 

Employee Testing Reminder: DC Health’s District-wide seroprevalence survey for frontline workers will come to a close in August. Anyone interested in participating in this effort should try to get tested in the coming week, if they haven’t been tested already. We are continuing to offer COVID-19 testing for all Unity employees, including those experiencing no symptoms and staff based out of New Jersey Avenue. Contact a Nurse Manager to be placed on the testing schedule: Verena McKenzie (Brentwood); Latasha Brodie (Minnesota Avenue); Krystal Taylor, CC: Nurse Beletech (Parkside); Bonnie Lancaster, CC: Sam Delelegn (Upper Cardozo); Remmington Walker (Anacostia). 

Unity in the News

Catherine Crosland, Medical Director of Unity’s Homeless Outreach, was interviewed for a Washington Post article on sheltering those experiencing homelessness during the pandemic. “It’s a public health victory that, early on, we were able to pull some of the oldest and most medically vulnerable folks out of the shelters and into these hotels,” she said. “Decreasing the risk of infection benefits not only individuals, but the entire community.” Click here to read more.

Unity provider, Dr. James Huang, was featured in Arnold Ventures discussing barriers to accessing contraception due to COVID-19. “People are scared,” he said, “and don’t want to add stress on top of an already stressful situation.” Click here to read more.

Mental Health Moment: Getting Your Worry Out – Art Therapy Isn’t Just For Kids!

We all have an inner critic, that voice that worries and says negative things about yourself or the world, triggering depressed or anxious feelings. Externalizing is a term in therapy that refers to taking what’s inside – our thoughts and feelings – and putting them into a tangible form. Doing this can help us have more control over the voice of our inner critic.

Art Therapy isnt just for kidsThis exercise can benefit adults or children – try it as a family! Start by creating a picture or physical representation of your inner critic. This might be a silly worry monster, a confused dragon, a shapeless form. What does yours look like and what kinds of things does it say? You can do a quick pencil drawing, or get more creative with color, collage, or even clay.

Once you have an image, try to picture your externalized inner critic when you are having negative thoughts and feelings. Ask it questions or reassure it – you get to control when and how much it talks! For example: “Could you please stop saying that so much?” “What do you need to feel safe?” “Things are going to get better, take a break!” “I’m not sure that’s true.” Having visual representation of our internal worries and thoughts can help to feel in control when they start becoming overwhelming.


Frequent Flyers and

Clinical Resources

Infection Control and PPE Optimization Guidance (7/7/20)

Rapid Evaluation Tent Registration Form (7/7/20)

DC PEP-V DHS Referral Form

COVID-19 Testing Prioritization Guidance (6/8/20)

COVID-19 Rapid Test Data Tracking Form

Patient Discharge Forms

COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unity Operations and Employee Resources

Holiday Pay Policy Memo (6/18/20)

Application for Leave Form (6/18/20)

Employee Leave FAQ (5/13/20)

Free Therapy for Health Care Personnel

Employee Contributions Helping Others (ECHO) Universal Leave Donation Policy

Donate Leave | Request Leave

Total Rewards Daily Detox site

COVID-19 Daily Digest Archive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Resources

WIC Hours of Operation and Contact Info

SNAP Online Purchasing Program

Basic Needs Assessment and Referral Hotline Flyer

DC COVID-19 Food Resources

Meal Delivery for Seniors

Meal Sites for DC Students

Community Testing Sites

DC Gov. Heat Emergency Resources: DHS and HSEMA

 

Find additional resources in the Clinical Resource Library

 

 

 

 


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Promoting Telehealth and Preventing Congestion

We have seen more patients in-person for care over the last several weeks and have observed an uptick in positive screens for COVID-19. While we continue to encourage patients not to delay care for routine or acute care issues, telehealth continues to be our preferred care delivery channel to maintain good infection control practices in the health centers, particularly physical distancing.

Review the latest version of our Guidance Chart for Appropriate Telehealth Visits to identify patients who might be suited for a telehealth visit. We need all staff to work with patients to enable their ability to benefit from telehealth services. Patients may still choose to seek care in person, a provider may determine they need to be seen in person, or they may be scheduled for in-person care as per our guidance chart. Maintaining a balance between in-person and telehealth appointments will help position us to serve patients throughout the shifting course of the pandemic. Continued implementation of the Lab-Only Visits Workflow will also help to decrease patient risk of contracting/transmitting COVID-19 in our health centers.

IMPORTANT UPDATES


National Health Center Week + Spin Scooter Demos 

We’re maintaining physical distance, but we can still celebrate National Health Center Week! Keep an eye out for daily emails and social media posts highlighting 2019 statistics for each of our sites and staff photos of our lovely employees.

Sprin ScootersThroughout the week, you’ll also be getting special treats and perks, including free 30-minute scooter rides from Spin scooter company. Spin partners with cities, campuses, community groups, and businesses to provide dockless services to get you where you need to go. As part of their Everyday Heroes program, Spin will be offering demos for Unity staff at these health center locations over the next four days. Click here for tips on your first ride.

Poster Day Information: Do you have a quality improvement project, special program at your center, or research initiative that you want to share? Register for our virtual Quality and Research Poster Day taking place October 6. Presenters will have the opportunity to share a five-minute slide presentation followed by 5 minutes of Q&A about your work for a different audience two or three times throughout the afternoon. Click here to register before 5 p.m. on August 31. 

Free/Discounted Transportation for WIC Recipients

The following services are available to help transport WIC participants from their homes to the farmers’ market, grocery store, metro station, pharmacy, or medical appointments.

Free Taxi Ride in DCTransport DC: Customers must participate in the MetroAccess program, but fees are reduced to $5 per way.

Taxi2Rail: The first $20 of the meter fare is free for the customer, and per-person caps on the number of trips have been eliminated. To request a ride, participants can call (202) 727-3827 or book online at taxi2rail.com. Participants can get a sense of how much the fare will be from one location to the next by going to the website.

 

Heat Emergency Activation + Severe Weather

The ongoing pandemic can create obstacles for folks seeking temporary shelter from severe weather patterns. When interacting with patients, make sure they are aware of available resources in the community.

When the temperature or heat index in the District reaches 92 degrees, DC Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA) activate cooling centers for residents to seek relief. Check out the HSEMA Heat Emergency Plan website for more information and this interactive map for locations of cooling centers within the District.

Additionally, the CDC has launched a new website, Natural Disasters, Severe Weather, and COVID-19, that includes information on preparedness and recovery during the COVID-19 response and what the general public can do to keep themselves safe. The new website includes resources for preparing for hurricanes and going to a public disaster shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic.


 

Frequent Flyers and

Clinical Resources

Infection Control and PPE Optimization Guidance (7/7/20)

Rapid Evaluation Tent Registration Form (7/7/20)

DC PEP-V DHS Referral Form

COVID-19 Testing Prioritization Guidance (6/8/20)

COVID-19 Rapid Test Data Tracking Form

Patient Discharge Forms

COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unity Operations and Employee Resources

Holiday Pay Policy Memo (6/18/20)

Application for Leave Form (6/18/20)

Employee Leave FAQ (5/13/20)

Free Therapy for Health Care Personnel

Employee Contributions Helping Others (ECHO) Universal Leave Donation Policy

Donate Leave | Request Leave

Total Rewards Daily Detox site

COVID-19 Daily Digest Archive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Resources

WIC Hours of Operation and Contact Info

SNAP Online Purchasing Program

Basic Needs Assessment and Referral Hotline Flyer

DC COVID-19 Food Resources

Meal Delivery for Seniors

Meal Sites for DC Students

Community Testing Sites

DC Gov. Heat Emergency Resources: DHS and HSEMA

 

Find additional resources in the Clinical Resource Library

 

 

 

 


Thursday, August 6, 2020

REMINDER: Feedback on Alternative Work Schedules Due August 10

Last week, we released the adjusted hours of operation shown below as a part of our ongoing strategic effort to expand access to all modes of patient care. These adjustments also allow for alternative work schedules to increase flexibility for staff challenged by virtual schooling in the fall. Potential alternative work schedules include options to:

  • Reduce hours to part-time  New Hours of Operations  8-6-20
  • Take longer shifts (10-/12-hour) to work on fewer days
  • Work different shifts than usual (starting and ending at a later time) and/or work weekend shifts as part of your regular schedule

If you feel that an alternative work schedule would work best for you, please provide your requests and feedback to your health center leadership teams by Monday, August 10. This feedback will be evaluated by the leadership team at each site to determine which requests can be granted while maintaining clinic coverage.

IMPORTANT UPDATES


Unity Situation Update: While the number of total visits across all Unity sites has been fairly consistent, this week we’ve observed an uptick in the number of patients screened positive for COVID-19 symptoms and the number of COVID-19 PCR tests being ordered and sent out from our health centers. The daily count of new COVID-19 cases detected over the past few weeks has remained in the single digits, but we are maintaining a close watch on these developments. The LabCorp turnaround time for test results has decreased to 2-3 days, which is an encouraging shift as we continue to test broadly in an effort to control community spread. Keep up the good work, continue to closely follow infection control measures inside and away from your workplace, and stay safe and healthy!  

Positive Peak COVID 8-6-20


COVID test 30-days 8-6-20

PCR Test 8-6-20


Update to Howard Specialty Services:
Howard University has made adjustments to the availability of services at their location in our East of the River Health Center. At this time, radiology appointments (mammograms, ultrasounds for pregnant patients, and X-rays) are only available Monday through Wednesday. Sonograms and mammograms are available by appointment only. COVID-19 testing will be available on Fridays by appointment only. While all other services are not being offered through the East of the River location at this time, these and other specialty services are available at Howard’s main hospital location.   

School-Based Health Centers + National Immunization Month

Though stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders have led many caregivers to forgo scheduled wellness visits for their children, District-wide efforts to increase immunization rates remain. Our school-based health centers (SBHCs) have reopened to provide well-child checks and immunizations to children ages 4 – 19 that live in DC, even if they are not enrolled at Cardozo Learning Center or H.D. Woodson High School. Staff and patients can contact PRCs at our SBHCs using the information below to schedule an appointment for immunizations and/or to complete part 2 of the well child check. These efforts appropriately coincide with Immunization Awareness Month recognized in August. ImmunizeDC collaborated with DC Mayor Muriel Bowser to develop a proclamation commemorating the importance of vaccinations for people of all ages. 

SBHCs image

First Tuesday Team Training: Thank you to the 400+ individuals who joined us on Tuesday for a virtual discussion about the different roles on “Team Jelly Bean.” We appreciate your patience with technical difficulties and want to reassure all of our participants that Tuesday was just the beginning of this dialogue. Keep brainstorming appropriate roles for effective team-based care independently and with your team, and work with your site leadership to submit feedback by Aug. 28. We look forward to continuing this conversation in the coming weeks! 

INOVA EAP LoginEAP Resources for Working Parents

Our INOVA Employee Assistance Program (EAP) has a Child Care Provider Locator, checklists, educational resources and more for parents navigating virtual learning. Visit inova.org/eap and use the login information shown here to access these resources and more.



Frequent Flyers and

Clinical Resources

Infection Control and PPE Optimization Guidance (7/7/20)

Rapid Evaluation Tent Registration Form (7/7/20)

DC PEP-V DHS Referral Form

COVID-19 Testing Prioritization Guidance (6/8/20)

COVID-19 Rapid Test Data Tracking Form

Patient Discharge Forms

COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unity Operations and Employee Resources

Holiday Pay Policy Memo (6/18/20)

Application for Leave Form (6/18/20)

Employee Leave FAQ (5/13/20)

Free Therapy for Health Care Personnel

Employee Contributions Helping Others (ECHO) Universal Leave Donation Policy

Donate Leave | Request Leave

Total Rewards Daily Detox site

COVID-19 Daily Digest Archive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Resources

WIC Hours of Operation and Contact Info

SNAP Online Purchasing Program

Basic Needs Assessment and Referral Hotline Flyer

DC COVID-19 Food Resources

Meal Delivery for Seniors

Meal Sites for DC Students

Community Testing Sites

DC Gov. Heat Emergency Resources: DHS and HSEMA

 

Find additional resources in the Clinical Resource Library

 

 

 

 


Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Wonderful Wizards of Well-Child Checks: New Contest!

Though most children and adolescents will be participating in virtual learning this fall, it’s crucial that we get our patients the preventative care they need. To help meet our goal of having 80% of our child and adolescent patients receive well-child checks (WCCs) by Sept. 30, we’re introducing a new health center-based (Wizard of Oz-themed) contest! Which health center will move on down the yellow brick road fastest? Check out the contest metrics below.

Metrics 1-2-3

When conducting WCCs, remember, health certificates can be given after WCC part 1 or part 2. If WCC part 2 is scheduled too far out, then you may provide the health certificate after WCC part 1, with the comment, "physical exam deferred/scheduled for [insert date]." Additionally, keep in mind that patients seeking sports clearance must have had a recent normal cardiovascular exam to be cleared for sports after part 2 of their WCC examination. Stay tuned for more information and another Unity short film coming next week! 

IMPORTANT UPDATES


Update on Employee Exposure

Employees Exposure Trend 8-4To maintain low numbers of staff placed in isolation and/or confirmed positive for COVID-19, it is essential that all employees continue to monitor their own symptoms, self-attest to their health daily, and take proper precautions if they begin to experience symptoms of any kind. 

If you have reason to believe you have COVID-19 and/or are experiencing symptoms of any kind, do not come into work. Contact your supervisor immediately, so they can make necessary arrangements, then contact Unity’s Infection Control team at InfectionControlTeam@unityhealthcare.org or (202) 715-6592.

Workflow for Lab-Only Visits: As we continue offering telemedicine visits to decrease patient risk of contracting/transmitting COVID-19 in our health centers, we are also seeking ways to meet the needs of patients overdue for labs that are essential to their health.

On August 10, we will begin phase one of a pilot workflow for lab-only, in-person visits. Patients will still be able to walk-in for a lab visit and obtain labs after an in-person visit with a provider, but by scheduling lab-only visits outside of peak hours, we can reach patients in need of lab services without creating congestion in our health centers. If phase one is effective, we will pilot more proactive ways to ensure patients are receiving necessary labs so we can monitor their health. Click here to review the proposed workflow in full. Throughout August, we will continue evaluating the efficacy of this workflow. Please work with your site leadership team and lab staff to provide feedback and coordinate what will work best for staff and patients.


Frequent Flyers and

Clinical Resources

Infection Control and PPE Optimization Guidance (7/7/20)

Rapid Evaluation Tent Registration Form (7/7/20)

DC PEP-V DHS Referral Form

COVID-19 Testing Prioritization Guidance (6/8/20)

COVID-19 Rapid Test Data Tracking Form

Patient Discharge Forms

COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unity Operations and Employee Resources

Holiday Pay Policy Memo (6/18/20)

Application for Leave Form (6/18/20)

Employee Leave FAQ (5/13/20)

Free Therapy for Health Care Personnel

Employee Contributions Helping Others (ECHO) Universal Leave Donation Policy

Donate Leave | Request Leave

Total Rewards Daily Detox site

COVID-19 Daily Digest Archive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Resources

WIC Hours of Operation and Contact Info

SNAP Online Purchasing Program

Basic Needs Assessment and Referral Hotline Flyer

DC COVID-19 Food Resources

Meal Delivery for Seniors

Meal Sites for DC Students

Community Testing Sites

DC Gov. Heat Emergency Resources: DHS and HSEMA

 

Find additional resources in the Clinical Resource Library

 

 

 

 


Thursday, July 30, 2020

IMPORTANT UPDATES


Update on Employee Exposure

Employee Exposure TrendsThough our internal exposure numbers have remained relatively low in comparison with our peak, we continue to see a slight uptick in the numbers of staff placed in isolation and quarantine and confirmed positive for COVID-19. To prevent an increase in these numbers, it is essential that all employees monitor their own symptoms, self-attest to their health daily, and take proper precautions if they begin to experience symptoms of any kind.

If you have reason to believe you have COVID-19 and/or are experiencing symptoms of any kind, do not come into work. Contact your supervisor immediately, so they can make necessary arrangements, facilitate terminal cleanings, etc. Once you have contacted your supervisor, contact Unity’s Infection Control team at InfectionControlTeam@unityhealthcare.org or (202) 715-6592. Check out the flowchart below for a step-by-step walk through. 

Feeling under the weather -2

COVID-19 Contact Tracing: In addition to conducting nearly 9,000 COVID-19 tests and counting throughout our community, Unity will also support the District’s ongoing pandemic response by assisting with DC Health’s Contact Tracing efforts. In our supportive role in this effort, Unity will provide a warm hand-off between our patients and DC Health to increase the likelihood that patients will be willing to talk with a Contact Tracer. When a positive COVID-19 test result is reported, Unity staff will reach out to the patient to assess their ability to isolate or quarantine, encourage them to talk to a Contact Tracer, share what they can expect when talking with a Contact Tracer, and reinforce that everything discussed will remain confidential and be used only to help control the virus. If you have any questions about this effort, please contact Vernetta Miller, Director of Population Health and HIMS, at VRMiller@unityhealthcare.org

Care Coordinator Assignments: As you continue to engage patients through comprehensive telemedicine visits, make sure you’re facilitating and scheduling referrals as efficiently as possible. Click here to access the latest list of Care Coordinators assigned to referrals and scheduling for various departments and programs across the organization.  


Frequent Flyers and

Clinical Resources

Infection Control and PPE Optimization Guidance (7/7/20)

Rapid Evaluation Tent Registration Form (7/7/20)

DC PEP-V DHS Referral Form

COVID-19 Testing Prioritization Guidance (6/8/20)

COVID-19 Rapid Test Data Tracking Form

Patient Discharge Forms

COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unity Operations and Employee Resources

Holiday Pay Policy Memo (6/18/20)

Application for Leave Form (6/18/20)

Employee Leave FAQ (5/13/20)

Free Therapy for Health Care Personnel

Employee Contributions Helping Others (ECHO) Universal Leave Donation Policy

Donate Leave | Request Leave

Total Rewards Daily Detox site

COVID-19 Daily Digest Archive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Resources

WIC Hours of Operation and Contact Info

SNAP Online Purchasing Program

Basic Needs Assessment and Referral Hotline Flyer

DC COVID-19 Food Resources

Meal Delivery for Seniors

Meal Sites for DC Students

Community Testing Sites

DC Gov. Heat Emergency Resources: DHS and HSEMA

 

Find additional resources in the Clinical Resource Library

 

 

 

 


Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Travel Reminders: Last week, Mayor Bowser issued an order requiring all people traveling into Washington, DC, from high-risk states to self-quarantine for 14 days. States considered high-risk are those where the seven-day moving average of daily new COVID-19 cases is 10 or more per 100,000 persons. Please continue following the guidelines below to optimize compliance with the Mayor’s order and ensure the health and safety of our staff and patients:

  • All staff applying for leave must continue to complete the “Travel Information Required” portion of the Application for Leave form when applicable.
  • All staff working at any Unity location must self-attest to their health daily. If you are worried that you may have a fever but don’t have access to a thermometer, contact a clinical leader at your health center for assistance. Taking steps to ensure sick staff are staying out of our health centers is a critically important part of maintaining a safe working environment.
  • Carry your Essential Healthcare Worker letter with you when crossing state lines traveling to/from work.
  • Practice appropriate infection control measures – wear a mask, honor physical distancing guidance, wash your hands, etc. – both at work and outside of work.

IMPORTANT UPDATES


Employee Testing: DC Health’s District-wide seroprevalence survey for frontline workers will come to a close in August; however, we continue to offer COVID-19 testing for all Unity employees, including those experiencing no symptoms and staff based out of the New Jersey Avenue. We encourage everyone to take advantage of this voluntary opportunity for diagnostic and/or antibody testing to prevent wider community spread of the virus. Contact a Nurse Manager to be placed on the testing schedule: Verena McKenzie (Brentwood); Latasha Brodie (Minnesota Avenue); Krystal Taylor, CC: Nurse Beletech (Parkside); Bonnie Lancaster, CC: Sam Delelegn (Upper Cardozo); Remmington Walker (Anacostia). 

SafetyZone Downtime: SafetyZone, Unity’s incidence reporting system, will be unavailable on Wednesday, July 29, from 11:45 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. due to server maintenance. Please ensure all individuals at your site that may be impacted by this downtime are aware.

Transportation Update: At the outset of the COVID-19 emergency, Unity made arrangements for staff to utilize Lyft services at their expense to accommodate for public transit limitations. We will discontinue this service effective Friday, July 31, due to the re-opening of public transportation options. If you continue to face transportation limitations, contact your supervisor to identify possible solutions.

Proper Mask UsageProper Mask Usage: We continue to require all patients and visitors entering Unity locations to wear face coverings, but enforcing this requirement and ensuring that face coverings are being worn correctly can be tricky. We are in the process of creating additional signage to inform patients and visitors of our mask guidance. In the meantime, here are a few reminders and tips based on specific situations that have been brought to our attention:

All patients or visitors entering a health center must wear a face covering that sufficiently covers their nose, mouth, and chin without gaps.
Fask Mask Correct and Incorrect Forms

  • All symptomatic patients should wear a surgical mask.
  • If a patient or visitor enters a health center with a personal face covering that doesn’t sufficiently cover their nose and mouth, staff may give them a surgical mask. 
  • If a patient or visitor prefers to use a personal face covering, but that face covering is insufficient, they can wear a surgical mask over their personal face covering.  

Harm Reduction for Patients Using Opioids: We continue to see an increase in opioid use, relapse, and overdose alongside the ongoing pandemic. Many in the community may not have access to resources or safe spaces that they were utilizing before the COVID-19 outbreak, so it’s important that we connect patients with available resources whenever possible. Patients seeking fentanyl testing strips and clean needles can access them at these community locations. Encourage those using opioids to keep Narcan on hand and not to use alone. If you suspect a patient is experiencing an overdose, contact 911 and administer Narcan.


Frequent Flyers and

Clinical Resources

Infection Control and PPE Optimization Guidance (7/7/20)

Rapid Evaluation Tent Registration Form (7/7/20)

DC PEP-V DHS Referral Form

COVID-19 Testing Prioritization Guidance (6/8/20)

COVID-19 Rapid Test Data Tracking Form

Patient Discharge Forms

COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unity Operations and Employee Resources

Holiday Pay Policy Memo (6/18/20)

Application for Leave Form (6/18/20)

Employee Leave FAQ (5/13/20)

Free Therapy for Health Care Personnel

Employee Contributions Helping Others (ECHO) Universal Leave Donation Policy

Donate Leave | Request Leave

Total Rewards Daily Detox site

COVID-19 Daily Digest Archive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Resources

WIC Hours of Operation and Contact Info

SNAP Online Purchasing Program

Basic Needs Assessment and Referral Hotline Flyer

DC COVID-19 Food Resources

Meal Delivery for Seniors

Meal Sites for DC Students

Community Testing Sites

DC Gov. Heat Emergency Resources: DHS and HSEMA

 

Find additional resources in the Clinical Resource Library

 

 

 

 

.


Thursday, July 23, 2020

The Results Are In! Patient Satisfaction Survey

We recently received the results of our widely distributed Patient Satisfaction Survey, and we want to take time to celebrate the scores and recognize the excellent work of our staff. A few key successes include an Overall Satisfaction Rate of 88.7% and a Satisfaction Rate for Clinical Staff Courtesy and Helpfulness of 88.9%. Thank you for your diligence, flexibility, and collaboration which enables us to consistently and compassionately provide care to our patients despite difficult circumstances and obstacles. In the coming months, we hope to build on these results by continuing to improve the ways patients connect with our multi-disciplinary care teams to get the care they need. Below are a few direct quotes from our patients that reflect their gratitude for your dedication.

Patient Satisfaction Survey Result

IMPORTANT UPDATES


DC Situation Update: Mayor Bowser’s July 22 COVID-19 Situational Update included updates related to testing, trends, and resident requirements. We’ve gathered the highlights below:

COVID-19 Community Testing: Yesterday evening DC resumed public testing at its firehouse locations after modifying operations due to the heat emergency. We will continue to share relevant information on community testing availability and operations as it becomes available.

COVID-19 Trends: Between July 1 and July 20, 66% of COVID cases in DC were individuals under 40 years of age. Prior to July 1, individuals under 40 made up only 41% of cases. Since July 1, the percent of hospitalized cases for people under 40 nearly doubled (from 16% to 29%) compared to hospitalizations for this age group prior to July 1. As we continue to serve patients and move about our communities outside of work, it's important to take proper precautions and acknowledge that this virus and its spread is not just impacting elderly, high-risk groups.

Masks Mandatory: Mayor Bowser issued a new order to clarify and extend requirements related to wearing masks indoors and outdoors in the District, effectively immediately. Under this order, people must wear a mask when they leave their homes if they are likely to come into contact with another person for more than a “fleeting moment.” Common exceptions include children under age three; a person who is in an enclosed office that no one else is allowed to enter; a person who is actively eating or drinking; and a person who is engaged in vigorous outdoor exercise and is maintaining social distance of at least six feet from other people. 

Stay Home When Feeling Sick: We want to remind everyone of the extreme importance of staying home if you are feeling sick. This not only applies if you feel too sick to work, but also includes mild symptoms like body aches, sore throat, or a cough. By closely monitoring our own symptoms and taking proper action if we feel unwell, we can keep exposure risk in our health centers as low as possible. If you wake up experiencing even mild symptoms related to COVID-19, notify your supervisor and Infection Control at InfectionControlTeam@unityhealthcare.org or (202) 715-6592 immediately and stay home.

Supply Update: Glove Shortage

Due to a nation-wide shortage of gloves and growing concerns about the future of the supply chain, we are requesting that gloves be used only during direct patient care at this time. Nursing leadership has worked diligently to secure more gloves, and will continue to work to shore up our supply. As always, make every effort to practice excellent hand hygiene. Washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or using an appropriate hand sanitizer is a great way to reduce the spread of germs.

Leave Buyout, Use or Lose, Employee FAQ: This week, our EEE team released modifications to our Leave Buyout/Payout and Use or Lose benefit programs, as well as updated Employee Leave FAQ documentation. Below are links to and key highlights from these documents.

Leave Buyout/Payout Modifications: Employees may request a one-time payout without having used leave in the last 12 months. One-time payout requests cannot exceed 2 weeks (75/80 hours dependent on FTE status). The deadline to request a payout is Oct. 31.

Use or Lose Modifications: Leadership is aware that response to the ongoing pandemic has significantly interrupted our routines, including typical requests for leave. As a result, there will be no maximum carryover for 37.5/40 hour per week employees for 2020. This means your balance of personal leave at the end of 2020 will rollover to 2021, and your balance of vacation leave at the end of 2020 will rollover to 2021. Please note, all unused leave hours over the maximum carryover balance will reset to the maximum balances on April 1, 2021.

Use or Lose Modifications: Leadership is aware that response to the ongoing pandemic has significantly interrupted our routines, including typical requests for leave. As a result, there will be no maximum carryover for 37.5/40 hour per week employees for 2020. This means your balance of personal leave at the end of 2020 will rollover to 2021, and your balance of vacation leave at the end of 2020 will rollover to 2021. Please note, all unused leave hours over the maximum carryover balance will reset to the maximum balances on April 1, 2021.

Revised Patient Screening Form: Earlier this month, we revised the first question on our COVID-19 Patient Screening Form to enable our Access Control staff and others to more effectively direct patients entering our health centers. There have been no changes to the symptom screening questions. Click here to access the latest version in the Clinical Resource Library. 

Narcan Availability for Opioid Overdose: Opioid Overdose deaths are on the rise in D.C. The isolation and anxiety that people are experiencing during this pandemic and the increase of synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, in the drug supply may be contributing to these deaths. Narcan (or naloxone) is a medication that can reverse opioid overdose and save a life! Let's get Narcan into the hands of those who need it during this high-risk time.

All Unity sites have nasal Narcan kits available, and any staff who have completed the DC Health Training on Narcan can distribute kits for free to patients at risk or in close contact with someone at risk of overdose. Providers can offer to send a Narcan prescription to the pharmacies of patients being seen through telemedicine. For more on how to document Narcan distribution or to access training links, click here.

Mental Health Moment: Headspace for Healthcare Workers

As we continue to care for others, remember to create time and space to care for yourself. The Headspace meditation app is still offering all US healthcare professionals free access to Headspace Plus through 2020. Click here to redeem your subscription with your National Provider Identifier (NPI) and email address.  



Frequent Flyers and

Clinical Resources

Infection Control and PPE Optimization Guidance (7/7/20)

Rapid Evaluation Tent Registration Form (7/7/20)

DC PEP-V DHS Referral Form

COVID-19 Testing Prioritization Guidance (6/8/20)

COVID-19 Rapid Test Data Tracking Form

Patient Discharge Forms

COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unity Operations and Employee Resources

Holiday Pay Policy Memo (6/18/20)

Application for Leave Form (6/18/20)

Employee Leave FAQ (5/13/20)

Free Therapy for Health Care Personnel

Employee Contributions Helping Others (ECHO) Universal Leave Donation Policy

Donate Leave | Request Leave

Total Rewards Daily Detox site

COVID-19 Daily Digest Archive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Resources

WIC Hours of Operation and Contact Info

SNAP Online Purchasing Program

Basic Needs Assessment and Referral Hotline Flyer

DC COVID-19 Food Resources

Meal Delivery for Seniors

Meal Sites for DC Students

Community Testing Sites

DC Gov. Heat Emergency Resources: DHS and HSEMA

 

Find additional resources in the Clinical Resource Library

 

 

 

 

.


Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Schools Reopening: As many of you know, DC, Maryland, and Virginia school districts are in the final planning stages for fall reopening. Most jurisdictions have decided on delivering classes to students online full-time or in a hybrid format. We recognize the impact and potential disruptions these decisions may cause in the lives of our employees and their families. The Executive Management Team, the Department of Employee Experience and Engagement (EEE), and leadership are working closely to identify ways to support staff, including the possibility of alternative scheduling options for consideration to allow for more flexibility without impacting employment status or benefits. EEE is developing and distributing a Reopening Survey to get your feedback on the current working environment and how we can make improvements during a phased reopening process. Your opinions matter, and all employees are encouraged to complete the confidential survey next week. Thank you for all that you do for Unity and our patients!

We have gathered links to the latest announcements from surrounding school districts below. Keep an eye on your inbox for the Reopening Survey and additional information. 

Maryland

Prince Georges County

Montgomery County:

Draft Guide

Virginia

Arlington County

Fairfax County

Loudon County

DC

DCPS will announce a decision about the '20-'21 school year on July 31.


IMPORTANT UPDATES


Extreme Heat and COVID Testing: Due to extreme temperatures across the District, DC’s public COVID-19 testing sites are operating on a modified schedule through Wednesday, July 22. As a result, we may see increased demand for testing at our health centers.

Site leadership teams will be making day-to-day decisions on the optimal location for the rapid evaluation clinics (in the tents or indoors); in either location, please continue to use appropriate Infection Control measures.

Cooling Centers: As hot and humid days continue over the next few weeks, make sure you’re connecting patients in need to available resources. When the temperature or heat index reaches 92 degrees, DC Government implements a Heat Emergency Plan to help residents seeking relief. Click here and scroll down to view a full list of available cooling centers, low-barrier shelters, and more. If you interact with someone in need of transportation to a cooling center, call the hyperthermia hotline at (202) 399-7093.


Employe exposure trents 7-21-20Update on Employee Exposure: Last week, we experienced a slight bump in both the number of staff placed on isolation or quarantine and the number of staff confirmed positive for COVID-19. As we continue to monitor increased community spread of the virus, it’s critically important that we closely adhere to our 5 points of infection control to maintain safe environments for our staff and patients and take proper precautions outside of work to prevent further spread.

Remember, if you are experiencing symptoms, do not come into work - contact your primary care provider, contact your supervisor, and notify the Infection Control Team. If you are concerned about a potential COVID-19 exposure, contact the Infection Control Team by phone at (202) 715-6592 or email at InfectionControlTeam@UnityHealthCare.org.

Infectios control 7-21-20

Working Together to Keep Our Health Centers Clean 
In addition to the 5 points of infection control listed above, maintaining a clean, hygienic work environment is essential to ensuring the safety of our staff and patients. While our Environmental Services (EVS) team works diligently to maintain cleanliness across all of our sites, all staff share a collective responsibility to maintain a hygienic environment, especially in their personal work spaces and the spaces in which patients receive care. James Dover and Marcel Newman worked with operational leadership to create a series of easy-to-read charts breaking down EVS' responsibilities in specific areas, as well as areas where non-EVS staff are expected to monitor cleanliness independently. Click here to access the breakdown.

School-Based Health Centers + Well-Child Checks

The District and payers have placed a high priority on ensuring patients receive preventive services. Specifically, preventive health services for children including well-child checks and immunizations. Our goal is to have 80% of our child and adolescent patients receive well-child checks by Sept. 30. Effective this week, our School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs) have re-opened to provide well-child checks via telemedicine for children ages 4 – 19 that live in DC, and are preparing to provide immunization services starting next week. To meet community needs, children that live in DC will be able to access care at our SBHCs, even if they are not enrolled at Cardozo or H.D. Woodson High Schools.

In addition to our SBHCs, other Unity locations are looking at ways to increase capacity for well-child care. Please continue to seek out opportunities to schedule well-child checks and optimize pediatric appointments by checking for needed immunizations at each visit. The District is allowing providers to complete the health certificate based on a well-child check part 1. While we want to ensure children get complete preventive care, providers can use their clinical judgment and complete the health certificate after part 1 if appropriate.  

All-Staff Webinar Questions and Answers: Thank you to everyone that submitted questions prior to and during our July all-staff webinar! We value your contributions. Click here to read answers to your questions from our Executive Management Team.

BikeshareUnity + Capital Bikeshare: Last week, goDCgo announced that Unity won the 2020 Capital Bikeshare Community Partners Award for Highest Ridership! Since joining the program in 2017, we have been able to provide our patients with a low-cost, active, eco-friendly way to commute and get around the city. This past year, Unity patients that utilized this service took an average of 123 trips each! Huge thanks to Dr. James Huang and Viviana Chieme for their work securing this partnership and enrolling patients in this accessible and healthy program! 

Raisin MeditationMental Health Moment: The Raisin Meditation 
Many of us spend our lives rehashing the past or rushing into the future without pausing to experience the present. Mindfulness helps us pay more careful attention to our present thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations, without judging them as good or bad. Click here to try a quick, simple, and proven meditation from Greater Good in Action. All you need is a raisin (or another small snack of your choosing)! For more information about mindful eating and other activities check out PositivePsychology.com.


Frequent Flyers and

Clinical Resources

Infection Control and PPE Optimization Guidance (7/7/20)

Rapid Evaluation Tent Registration Form (7/7/20)

DC PEP-V DHS Referral Form

COVID-19 Testing Prioritization Guidance (6/8/20)

COVID-19 Rapid Test Data Tracking Form

Patient Discharge Forms

COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unity Operations and Employee Resources

Holiday Pay Policy Memo (6/18/20)

Application for Leave Form (6/18/20)

Employee Leave FAQ (5/13/20)

Free Therapy for Health Care Personnel

Employee Contributions Helping Others (ECHO) Universal Leave Donation Policy

Donate Leave | Request Leave

Total Rewards Daily Detox site

COVID-19 Daily Digest Archive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Resources

WIC Hours of Operation and Contact Info

SNAP Online Purchasing Program

Basic Needs Assessment and Referral Hotline Flyer

DC COVID-19 Food Resources

Meal Delivery for Seniors

Meal Sites for DC Students

Community Testing Sites

DC Gov. Heat Emergency Resources: DHS and HSEMA

 

Find additional resources in the Clinical Resource Library

 

 

 

 

.



Thursday, July 16, 2020

Connectors to Care: In recent days DC has reported an uptick in positive COVID-19 cases. While we maintain a close watch on COVID-19 developments throughout the District, it’s critical that we not lose sight of the importance of preventative services. In addition to providing ongoing COVID care, as a patient centered medical home, we must also find opportunities to ramp up preventative care and offer robust services for chronic disease management through telemedicine, referrals, and in-person visits as appropriate. Please continue to reassure patients that we are taking precautions to create a safe environment in our health centers and make sure they’re aware of their available options for care.

Several months into this pandemic, and with more months of pandemic response ahead of us, patients may continue to delay medical treatment that could worsen chronic conditions or ignore important warning signs of acute conditions contributing to disparities in health and mortality. The DC Hospital Association has launched a District-wide Don’t Delay Care campaign urging DC residents to be proactive about their health needs and seek out treatment in DC hospitals whenever necessary. If you interact with patients in need of immediate and/or critical care, encourage them to seek care at the nearest hospital.

IMPORTANT UPDATES



Care Coordinator Assignments: As we continue engaging with patients through comprehensive telemedicine visits, we want to make sure we’re facilitating and scheduling referrals as efficiently as possible. Click here to access a list of Care Coordinators assigned to referrals and scheduling for various departments and programs across Unity.

Revised Link: PCR Test Result & Follow-up Evaluation Guideline

We received feedback that folks have been having trouble opening the link to our recently updated COVID-19 PCR Test Result and Follow-up Evaluation Clinical Practice Guideline document. We apologize for any inconvenience! Click here to access the adjusted link. When opening links to documents housed in OneDrive, make sure you are on a device that is logged into Office365. Please contact Communications@unityhealthcare.org if you experience future trouble with links received in all-staff email communication. 

Updated EEE Directory: Need to contact a member of the Employee Experience and Engagement team? Click here to access the latest version of the EEE Directory.  



Frequent Flyers and

Clinical Resources

Infection Control and PPE Optimization Guidance (7/7/20)

Rapid Evaluation Tent Registration Form (7/7/20)

DC PEP-V DHS Referral Form

COVID-19 Testing Prioritization Guidance (6/8/20)

COVID-19 Rapid Test Data Tracking Form

Patient Discharge Forms

COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios

 

 

Unity Operations and Employee Resources

Holiday Pay Policy Memo (6/18/20)

Application for Leave Form (6/18/20)

Employee Leave FAQ (5/13/20)

Free Therapy for Health Care Personnel

Employee Contributions Helping Others (ECHO) Universal Leave Donation Policy

Donate Leave | Request Leave

Total Rewards Daily Detox site

COVID-19 Daily Digest Archive

 

Community Resources

WIC Hours of Operation and Contact Info

SNAP Online Purchasing Program

Basic Needs Assessment and Referral Hotline Flyer

DC COVID-19 Food Resources

Meal Delivery for Seniors

Meal Sites for DC Students

Community Testing Sites

DC Gov. Heat Emergency Resources: DHS and HSEMA

 

Find additional resources in the Clinical Resource Library


Tuesday, July 14, 2020

School-Based Health Centers + Well-Child Checks: Due to the ongoing pandemic and other contributing factors, DC has seen a significant decline in the number of children receiving routine well-child care and needed vaccines. To assist with DC Health’s District-wide campaign to increase immunization rates and access to care, Unity is opening our School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs) beginning Monday, July 20. DCPS currently anticipates a return to school on Aug. 31. Though some details about how the school environment will look are still being ironed out, DCPS is moving forward with its No Shots, No School policy, meaning all students must have up to date immunization certification on file with the school within the first 20 school days or they will not be allowed to attend school in-person.

No School No ShotsTo meet community needs, children ages 4 – 19 that live in DC will be able to access immunizations at our SBHC sites, even if they are not enrolled at Cardozo or H.D. Woodson High Schools. More details about scheduling immunization appointments will follow.

While immunizations are critical, they are not enough to ensure comprehensive health, wellness, and development for our pediatric patients. The District and payers have placed a high priority on preventive services, specifically well-child checks. Our goal is to have 80% of Unity child and adolescent patients receive well-child checks by Sept. 30. Please continue to seek out opportunities to schedule well-child checks and optimize pediatric appointments by checking for needed immunizations at each visit. As a reminder, we are now offering in-person well-child checks for newborns through age 5, for 11 – 12-year olds, and for 16-year olds. Well-child checks will continue in two parts for children outside of these age ranges, part 1 via telemedicine and part 2 in person.

We will continue thinking through ways to increase capacity for well-child checks across all Unity sites throughout the summer months. Thank you for your continued dedication to children and their families during these difficult times.

IMPORTANT UPDATES


Clinical Practice Workflow Updates
Clinical Workflow UpdatesLast week, we launched a new workflow for COVID-19 PCR Test Result and Follow-Up. A huge thank you to the eCW help desk for adding COVID-19 options to the Notes field in the Lab section. Providers can now save a few keystrokes by choosing “Browse” (eCW 11) or the 3 dots (11e) to access pre-populated COVID-19 options when ordering the COVID-19 PCR test. We’ve also created a quick-reference flow chart to streamline the workflow.

Click here for a PDF of the flow chart or access it through the Clinical Resource Library here.

Update on Employee Exposure 
Employees Exposure Trends
We continue to see low numbers of Unity employees being placed in isolation or testing positively for COVID-19. Since May 10, we have been made aware of only 3 employees that have been positively diagnosed with COVID-19 – a significant and sustained decrease since we began tracking this data in mid-March.

Keep up the good work! Continue maintaining safe environments for our staff and patients by closely following the latest Infection Control Guidance. The graph above depicts the incidence of employees placed in isolation and the known number of employees positively diagnosed with COVID-19 each week.



Frequent Flyers and

Clinical Resources

Infection Control and PPE Optimization Guidance (7/7/20)

Rapid Evaluation Tent Registration Form (7/7/20)

DC PEP-V DHS Referral Form

COVID-19 Testing Prioritization Guidance (6/8/20)

COVID-19 Rapid Test Data Tracking Form

Patient Discharge Forms

COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unity Operations and Employee Resources

Holiday Pay Policy Memo (6/18/20)

Application for Leave Form (6/18/20)

Employee Leave FAQ (5/13/20)

Free Therapy for Health Care Personnel

Employee Contributions Helping Others (ECHO) Universal Leave Donation Policy

Donate Leave | Request Leave

Total Rewards Daily Detox site

COVID-19 Daily Digest Archive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Resources

WIC Hours of Operation and Contact Info

SNAP Online Purchasing Program

Basic Needs Assessment and Referral Hotline Flyer

DC COVID-19 Food Resources

Meal Delivery for Seniors

Meal Sites for DC Students

Community Testing Sites

DC Gov. Heat Emergency Resources: DHS and HSEMA

 

Find additional resources in the Clinical Resource Library

 

 

 

 

.



Thursday, July 9, 2020

Employee Testing Reminder: COVID-19 testing for all Unity employees is still available! As the rest of the country experiences increased rates of new COVID-19 cases, the DC area will likely also face some increase as establishments open and people travel outside of the area. We encourage all employees, including those based out of New Jersey Avenue, to take advantage of this voluntary opportunity for diagnostic and/or antibody testing to prevent wider community spread of the virus. If you are healthcare personnel that interacts with patients and would like serology testing, make sure to complete the first page of the DC Seroprevalence Survey and all other required forms and notify your Nurse Manager to be placed on the testing schedule. Staff based out of the New Jersey Avenue office may contact any of the following nurse managers, but please note, we have the most testing capacity at Parkside, Brentwood, and Anacostia: Verena McKenzie (Brentwood); Latasha Brodie (Minnesota Avenue); Krystal Taylor, CC: Nurse Beletech (Parkside); Bonnie Lancaster, CC: Sam Delelegn (Upper Cardozo); Remmington Walker (Anacostia).

IMPORTANT UPDATES


Properly Preparing for Leave: As we head into our peak weeks of summer vacation, it’s important to refresh ourselves on pre-vacation steps we should take to ensure we’re setting our colleagues up for success. Walk-through the checklist below before embarking on your much-deserved time away! And remember, all patients are Unity patients. If a patient presents to another health center or provider while their PCP is away, make sure they feel welcome.

Pre-Vacation Check List



Employees Trent Exposure 7-9-20Update on Employee Exposure:
We continue to see a low number of Unity employees placed in isolation or quarantine across the organization. Please continue to maintaining a safe environment for our staff and patients by closely following Infection Control Guidance. This graph depicts the incidence of employees placed in isolation and the known number of employees positively diagnosed with COVID-19.

 

Southwest Health Center Timeline: As mentioned in Tuesday’s Pulse Live Webinar, our Southwest Health Center will remain in its current location through Dec. 31, 2020. Architectural planning for the new location is currently in progress, with the goal of permanently moving into our new Ward 6 space by January 2021. More info will be shared as it becomes available.

Thank You Visits: Last week, Unity staff surprised health center employees with clap lines, signs, and e-cards to show appreciation for their hard work. Enjoy these photos of our Unity family cheering each other on while staying safe by wearing masks, fist-bumping, and trying out other innovative ways to show support without physically touching. We also want to share a special Thank You e-Card to our employees at the DOC, Homeless Sites, and our contractors for all that they do. Shout out to our Employee Experience and Engagement Team for coordinating this effort, and to ALL Unity employees across the organization…THANK YOU!

Thank you Visits 7-8-20


COVID and Homeless ServicesCOVID and Homeless Services


Shout out to our Homeless Services team for their outstanding work to create a proactive, healing environment for vulnerable patients throughout each phase of this pandemic.

These photos depict the first day of COVID symptom screening at a men’s shelter on March 27 (left) and a COVID testing day for all residents in one of our PEP-V sites on June 24 (right). So much progress has been made! Thank you all for your continued dedication.

Telehealth, In-Clinic Visits, and Preventative Services

As we continue to combat COVID in our communities and provide service in our rapid evaluation clinics, it's critical that we not lose sight of the importance of preventative services, particularly for children, adolescents, and patients with chronic illnesses. This week, to meet demand, we expanded our in-clinic pediatric services to offer in-person Well Child Checks for newborns through age 5, for 11-12-year olds, and for 16-year olds. Well Child Checks for children outside of these age ranges will continue in two parts, part 1 via telemedicine and part 2 in person. Review the latest version of our Guidance Chart for Appropriate Telehealth Visits to identify additional scenarios in which patients may be appropriately scheduled for in-clinic visits. 

COVID-19 Testing: Turnaround Times and CORE Sites 

LabCorp recently announced that they’re experiencing turnaround time delays due to the resurgence of COVID cases nationwide. They are currently estimating a 5 – 8 days window for COVID-19 PCR tests and are actively working to decrease the impact of these delays.

In addition to firehouses and select locations across D.C, the District has partnered with CORE to offer free testing for DC residents ages 6 and up. CORE sites are open from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., no appointment necessary and walk-up only. DC residents seeking testing at a CORE site can save time in line by visiting securelink.dc.gov to create a profile from their smartphone, tablet, or computer. 



Frequent Flyers and

Clinical Resources

COVID-19 Testing Prioritization Guidance (6/8/20)

COVID-19 Patient Screening Form (5/29/20)

COVID-19 Rapid Test Data Tracking Form

Infection Control and PPE Optimization Guidance (5/8/20)

Guidance Chart for Telehealth Visits (5/8/20)

Patient Discharge Forms

COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios

Unity Operations and Employee Resources

Application for Leave Form (6/18/20)

Employee Leave FAQ (5/13/20)

Free Therapy for Health Care Personnel

Employee Contributions Helping Others (ECHO) Universal Leave Donation Policy

Donate Leave | Request Leave

Total Rewards Daily Detox site

COVID-19 Daily Digest Archive

Community Resources

WIC Hours of Operation and Contact Info

SNAP Online Purchasing Program

Basic Needs Assessment and Referral Hotline Flyer

DC COVID-19 Food Resources

Meal Delivery for Seniors

Community Testing Sites

 

Meal Sites for DC Students

 

Find additional resources in the Clinical Resource Library.


Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Revised Infection Control and PPE Optimization Guidance: As our response to COVID-19 continues to evolve, we are revising our Infection Control and PPE Optimization Guidance as appropriate. Click here to access the latest version of this guidance, highlighting new clarifications about PPE usage, through the Clinical Resource Library.

Updated Guidance on Scheduling In-Clinic and Telemedicine Visits: Click here to access the latest version of our chart in the Clinical Resources Library, indicating which patient issues are recommended to be scheduled as in-clinic visits. This guidance is intended to help meet our patients' needs for in-person care while maintaining a safe environment for patients and staff. Telehealth continues to be our preferred care delivery model, but we intend to provide more in-person services while Coronavirus transmission remains low in the District to effectively meet patient demand and desire for services.

IMPORTANT UPDATES


 

Rapid Evaluation Tents: New Materials and Weather Preparedness

We have revised our Rapid Evaluation Tent Registration Form to gather information from patients seeking COVID-19 testing in a way that aligns with our updated test results and follow-up workflow. Use of this revised form should begin immediately. Click here to access the revised form in the Clinical Resource Library. Click here to access the new COVID-19 PCR Test Result and Follow-up Evaluation Clinical Practice Guideline.

We are expecting hot and humid days for the next few weeks. Click here to refresh yourself on DC Department of Human Services’ hyperthermia resources – cooling centers, low barrier shelters, etc. – for patients in need. Additionally, please remember, if the temperature or weather ever becomes too extreme, site health center leadership can decide to move evaluations inside of the health center using appropriate Infection Control measures. 
Testing Materials

Webinar Recording: Thanks to everyone who was able to join us during today’s Unity Pulse Live Webinar. Weren’t able to watch it live? No problem! Click here to access a full recording. Special thanks to everyone who submitted questions. We greatly value your engagement, and we hope you found this webinar informative. Documentation of the questions and answers submitted before and during the webinar will be shared in an upcoming Digest.

Water Filtration: Water service has now been restored in Unity buildings that were without water filtration. We’re expecting a warm couple of weeks, so make sure you’re hydrating, dressing coolly, and taking breaks as needed to stay safe and healthy in your working environment.

COVID-19 Testing for Anacostia Patients: While we continue to repair the HVAC system at our Anacostia Health Center, the primary service being offered onsite is COVID-19 testing through our rapid evaluation tent. Please make your best effort to internally direct patients seeking other services to telehealth or another Unity site. If the weather becomes too extreme and the rapid evaluation tent at Anacostia closes temporarily, please refer patients to another Unity site with a rapid evaluation tent. If that is not a workable option, reference this updated list of community testing locations

Check Your Junk: Missed Emails

IT was recently made aware that some legitimate emails are being redirected into Unity staff’s “junk” email folders. IT is working with Office 365 support staff to address this issue. Check your "junk” folder, and if you find that you have missed legitimate emails, drag the email into your inbox and report the error to ITSupport@UnityHealthCare.org. You can also add known email addresses to a “Safe Senders” list following these steps to prevent emails from that address being missed in the future.


Frequent Flyers and

Clinical Resources

COVID-19 Testing Prioritization Guidance (6/8/20)

COVID-19 Patient Screening Form (5/29/20)

COVID-19 Rapid Test Data Tracking Form

Infection Control and PPE Optimization Guidance (5/8/20)

Guidance Chart for Telehealth Visits (5/8/20)

Patient Discharge Forms

COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios

Unity Operations and Employee Resources

Application for Leave Form (5/18/20)

Employee Leave FAQ (5/13/20)

Free Therapy for Health Care Personnel

Employee Contributions Helping Others (ECHO) Universal Leave Donation Policy

Donate Leave | Request Leave

Total Rewards Daily Detox site

COVID-19 Daily Digest Archive

Community Resources

WIC Hours of Operation and Contact Info

SNAP Online Purchasing Program

Basic Needs Assessment and Referral Hotline Flyer

DC COVID-19 Food Resources

Meal Delivery for Seniors

Community Testing Sites

 

Meal Sites for DC Students

 

Find additional resources in the Clinical Resource Library.


Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Did You Miss Us? You may have noticed that there was no Daily Digest email yesterday. Don’t worry! We haven’t left; we’re just adjusting our send schedule. Starting next week, you will receive Coronavirus Digest emails on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We will continue to assess Digest frequency as our COVID-19 response continues.

Employees Exposures 7-1-20Update on Employee Exposure

We continue to see a low number of Unity employees placed in isolation or quarantine across the organization. As the District opens up around us, it’s key that we continue to maintain safe environments for our staff and patients by closely following Infection Control Guidance. This graph depicts our updated cumulative numbers of employees placed in isolation and the known number of employees positively diagnosed with COVID-19. 


Employee Testing Extension:
The testing timeline for employees has been extended! We are encouraging all employees, including those based out of New Jersey Avenue, to take advantage of this voluntary opportunity for diagnostic and/or antibody testing. By identifying as many cases of COVID-19 as possible, both current and past, we can prevent wider community spread of the virus. Don’t wait! If you are healthcare personnel that interacts with patients and would like serology testing, make sure to complete the first page of the DC Seroprevalence Survey and all other required forms and notify your Nurse Manager to be placed on the testing schedule. Staff based out of the New Jersey Avenue office may contact any of the following nurse managers, but please note, we have the most testing capacity at Parkside, Brentwood, and Anacostia: Verena McKenzie (Brentwood); Latasha Brodie (Minnesota Avenue); Krystal Taylor, CC: Nurse Beletech (Parkside); Bonnie Lancaster, CC: Sam Delelegn (Upper Cardozo); Remmington Walker (Anacostia.

IMPORTANT UPDATES


Facilities Listed in Provider Template: In order to meet our patients’ needs, providers are working in new places and in new ways! When scheduling appointments, please pay special attention to the facility location in your provider template to ensure it is listed correctly. When scheduling in-clinic appointments, list the facility in which the provider will physically see the patient. When scheduling telemedicine appointments, you can list the provider’s usual site.  

Rapid Evaluation Tents: Temperature

As the weather heats up, we continue to look for effective ways to keep the patients and staff in our Rapid Evaluation Tents as cool as possible. Please remember, if the temperature becomes too extreme, you can move evaluations inside of your health center using appropriate Infection Control measures. If you move indoors, comply with our existing Infection Control Guidance: separate sick and well patients to the best of your ability; rooms holding patients that screen positive for COVID-19 should be terminally cleaned following the patient encounter (standard cleanings are appropriate for patients that screen negative for COVID-19); suspected COVID-19 positive patients should be seen in full PPE. If you continue to evaluate patients outdoors, do whatever you can to make the environment workable for you and your colleagues! Hydrate, rotate providers, dress coolly, and be sure you’re staying healthy and safe.

Welcome New Residents!

It's our pleasure to introduce the Unity Resident Class of 2023! Our resident trainees are an integral part of the Unity family, and we can’t wait to see the contributions they will make in the lives of our patients throughout the duration of their training. If you see any of the smiling faces below in our health centers, be sure to give them a warm (physically distanced) welcome!
New Residents 2020-2021

Infection Control Reminder: Staying Safe Through the Holiday Weekend

Staying Safe during the Holiday WeekendWhile the numbers of Unity staff on isolation and quarantine or testing positive for COVID-19 remain low, it’s crucial that we acknowledge the continued presence of the virus in our communities. As we head into the holiday weekend, PLEASE continue to take infection control precautions, especially if you’re planning to travel. As a reminder, we've included our hours of operation through this weekend below.
Holiday Weekend Schedule 7-2-20

Reminder: Well Child Checks

When we return from the holiday weekend, our expanded in-clinic protocol for Well Child Checks will be in action. Starting July 6, Unity will increase our in-clinic pediatric services to offer in-person Well Child Checks for newborns through age 5, for 11-12-year olds, and for 16-year olds. Well Child Checks will continue in two parts for children outside of these age ranges, part 1 via telemedicine and part 2 in person. Part 2 can now be scheduled as the next available appointment.

Unity Pulse Live 7-2-20Last Call for Webinar Questions: Don’t miss your chance to be heard! Email questions you would like addressed during the all-staff webinar to communications@unityhealthcare.org by 5 p.m. today. Because this webinar will take place during working hours, all staff should attend. Click here to register.



 

Frequent Flyers and

Clinical Resources

COVID-19 Testing Prioritization Guidance (6/8/20)

COVID-19 Patient Screening Form (5/29/20)

COVID-19 Rapid Test Data Tracking Form

Infection Control and PPE Optimization Guidance (5/8/20)

Guidance Chart for Telehealth Visits (5/8/20)

Patient Discharge Forms

COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios

Unity Operations and Employee Resources

Application for Leave Form (5/18/20)

Employee Leave FAQ (5/13/20)

Free Therapy for Health Care Personnel

Employee Contributions Helping Others (ECHO) Universal Leave Donation Policy

Donate Leave | Request Leave

Total Rewards Daily Detox site

COVID-19 Daily Digest Archive

Community Resources

WIC Hours of Operation and Contact Info

SNAP Online Purchasing Program

Basic Needs Assessment and Referral Hotline Flyer

DC COVID-19 Food Resources

Meal Delivery for Seniors

Community Testing Sites

 

Meal Sites for DC Students

 

Find additional resources in the Clinical Resource Library.


Monday, June 29, 2020

T-Con Tune Up Winners & Tips: Thank you to everyone who participated in the T-Con Tune-Up Contest! The judges have submitted their scores, and we are excited to announce our four winning submissions. Congratulations, T-Con Tune-Up champs! Keep an eye out for prizes coming through inter-office mail. 

T-Cons Winners

Below are our winners’ top tips that we can all adopt to efficiently meet patient needs:

  1. Verify the patient’s name, DOB, contact information, and preferred pharmacy, and then update the information in the chart.
  2. Be as precise as possible with the information that the patient is requesting before sending it on to the next team member. For example, if the patient wants a lab result, specify which lab. If they are requesting a note, indicate which kind of note. If it’s a medication refill, specify the name of the medication(s) to avoid errors.
  3. Consider which team member might be able to most efficiently meet the patients’ needs. It’s not always a provider – it may even be you! By approaching each telephone encounter with the mindset of resolving as much as possible within your scope before sending the message directly to the most appropriate team member, we can put team-based care into practice.
  4. For patients with chronic conditions, if more than six months have passed since their last visit, look for opportunities to re-connect patients to care. Check the most recent progress notes for follow-up recommendations about when the next visit could be scheduled.  

IMPORTANT UPDATES


No Show Documentation: When changing the status of a telemedicine visit to No-Show, please remember to document your attempts to contact the patient in the General Notes section of the appointment scheduling window. Documenting these attempts allows the Patient Scheduling Center to view the information if the patient calls back and informs next steps for addressing the patient’s needs.

No Show DocumentationEach telemedicine patient should be contacted at least 3 times during the “grace period” (15 minutes after a visit’s scheduled start time). If you are unable to reach the patient after three attempts, change the visit status to No-Show and document your attempts in the General Notes section of the appointment window. If you are not able to document in the General Notes section shown here, work with a team member who has access to this section. Team members may consider reaching the patient at a later time to conduct the visit, if possible.

Reminder: Coding Holiday Timecards

When coding timecards to reflect the upcoming holiday on July 3, Exempt Employees must manually add the holiday to their timecards IF they were scheduled to work on that date. “Holiday” can be found under the “Earnings Code,” the same way you would find “Sick” or “Personal” leave. Managers must manually code Non-Exempt (hourly) Employees’ timecards for the holiday. Click here to review the Holiday Pay Policy Memo from EEE. As a reminder, below are the operational hours for July 3 – 4 broken down by location.
HCs Holiday Schedule

Unity Pulse remider 7-7Submit Your Questions! Members of the Executive Management Team will hold an all-staff Pulse Live Webinar on Tuesday, July 7, from 2:15 – 3 p.m. focused on the current state of Unity Health Care. Don’t miss your chance to be heard! Email any questions you would like addressed during this webinar to communications@unityhealthcare.org by Wednesday, July 1. Because this webinar will take place during working hours, all staff should attend. Click here to register.


 

Frequent Flyers and

Clinical Resources

COVID-19 Testing Prioritization Guidance (6/8/20)

COVID-19 Patient Screening Form (5/29/20)

COVID-19 Rapid Test Data Tracking Form

Infection Control and PPE Optimization Guidance (5/8/20)

Guidance Chart for Telehealth Visits (5/8/20)

Patient Discharge Forms

COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios

Unity Operations and Employee Resources

Application for Leave Form (5/18/20)

Employee Leave FAQ (5/13/20)

Free Therapy for Health Care Personnel

Employee Contributions Helping Others (ECHO) Universal Leave Donation Policy

Donate Leave | Request Leave

Total Rewards Daily Detox site

COVID-19 Daily Digest Archive

Community Resources

WIC Hours of Operation and Contact Info

SNAP Online Purchasing Program

Basic Needs Assessment and Referral Hotline Flyer

DC COVID-19 Food Resources

Meal Delivery for Seniors

Community Testing Sites

 

Meal Sites for DC Students

 

Find additional resources in the Clinical Resource Library.


Friday, June 26, 2020

Infection Control Refresher: Masks and Greetings 
Mask - DoWith summer in full swing, covering our faces can get a little steamy, but as communities open up and we begin seeing more people outside of their residences, properly using masks is as important as ever. REMEMBER, wear your mask so it comes all the way up over the bridge of your nose and all the way down under your chin.

When a single-use mask becomes damp, dispose of it safely. Click here to review CDC guidance for cleaning reusable cloth face coverings.
Masks - Dont

Practicing physical distancing to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 can make greeting people a little bit tricky, but it’s nothing that a little innovation can’t solve! The next time you’re in a scenario that would usually call for a handshake or a hug, try one of the options below instead, or you can always fall back on Drs. Boyd and Buchholz’ trusty bow, bow, bump. Got a suggestion for another alternative greeting? We’d love to see it! Email a picture, video, or description to communications@unityhealthcare.org.

Bow, Bow, Bump

IMPORTANT UPDATES


Submit Your Timecards! Please remember, due to the upcoming holiday Payroll will be submitted early. Managers must have ALL of their employees’ leave submitted and timecards approved by 12 p.m. on Sunday, June 28. Any submissions after this date will be paid on the following pay date, July 17. No exceptions!

Office 365 Tools: OneNote

We are always looking for ways to leverage our technologic tools to help manage work and maintain productivity as we continue our response to COVID-19. Microsoft Office 365 has a robust suite of tools, including the OneNote application, to help users make the most of their tech. Think of OneNote as a tabbed ring binder where you can create “notebooks” for different topics or meetings, take and organize notes, copy and paste from other apps, and more. You can click anywhere on the canvas to create notes that include text, pictures, tables, or drawings, and your data is saved automatically as you make edits to the file. Search your Office365 apps to use the web version or click here to sign in and download the desktop version.

Want to learn more about what Office 365 has to offer? Click the following links to register for an upcoming Unity University virtual micro-learning course covering Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint.
Microsoft OneNote


Frequent Flyers and

Clinical Resources

COVID-19 Testing Prioritization Guidance (6/8/20)

COVID-19 Patient Screening Form (5/29/20)

COVID-19 Rapid Test Data Tracking Form

Infection Control and PPE Optimization Guidance (5/8/20)

Guidance Chart for Telehealth Visits (5/8/20)

Patient Discharge Forms

COVID-19 Exposure Scenarios

Unity Operations and Employee Resources

Application for Leave Form (5/18/20)

Employee Leave FAQ (5/13/20)

Free Therapy for Health Care Personnel

Employee Contributions Helping Others (ECHO) Universal Leave Donation Policy

Donate Leave | Request Leave

Total Rewards Daily Detox site

COVID-19 Daily Digest Archive

Community Resources

WIC Hours of Operation and Contact Info

SNAP Online Purchasing Program

Basic Needs Assessment and Referral Hotline Flyer

DC COVID-19 Food Resources

Meal Delivery for Seniors

Community Testing Sites

 

Meal Sites for DC Students

 

Find additional resources in the Clinical Resource Library.



Thursday, June 25, 2020

Homeless Outreach Update: In mid-April, Unity began a partnership DC Dept. of Human Services to provide medical assessments and outpatient care to individuals experiencing homelessness through ISAQ (Isolation and Quarantine) and PEP-V (Pandemic Emergency Program for Highly Vulnerable Individuals) sites. Throughout May, these sites grew to meet the needs of our community. Due to lower rates of COVID-19 in the community and the dedication of the multi-disciplinary teams working in these sites, we have been able to transition down to 2 total ISAQ and 2 PEP-V sites. Providers that would like to refer Unity patients to one of our PEP-V sites can do so through this DC DHS Referral Form.
ISAQ and PEPV Sites 6-25-20

Kieran Jean FrancoisWe will continue to keep you informed about additional transitions at these sites as information becomes available. In the meantime, we want to again share our immense gratitude for everyone that played (and continues to play) a role in the functionality of these sites. Your contributions to this vulnerable patient population are deeply valued by your Unity family. Today, we’re giving a special shout out to Kieran Jean Francois for his help delivering medications, PPE, and other supplies to all PEP-V and ISAQ sites, Monday through Saturday.



IMPORTANT UPDATES


Operational Info for Upcoming Holiday: Independence Day is right around the corner. This holiday is being federally observed on Friday, July 3; however, to ensure that Unity patients go no more than two days without access to care, we’re adjusting operational hours at our sites that are typically open on Saturdays. Below is a breakdown of which sites will be open and at what times on July 3 – 4. Click here to review the Holiday Pay Policy Memo from EEE.
Operational info for Upcoming Holiday

Make the Most of Your Leave! Peak vacation season is upon us, and many of us are in need of a good break more than ever before. After months of hard work, we encourage everyone to take advantage of their banked vacation time to plan time to rest and recover. With traditional vacation plans being curtailed by travel obstacles and physical distancing practices, postponing vacation time can seem tempting, but it’s important to utilize and make the most of your leave. Check out the tips below for creating a refreshing stay-cation, and