The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the importance of healthcare providers, networks, and collaborations in our local communities. In particular, the Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) and Rural Health Clinics (RHC) are providing essential services to help keep our local populations healthy.
At the Kentucky Primary Care Association (KPCA) our mission is to promote access to comprehensive, community-oriented primary health care services for the under-served. As part of our work, we are proud to partner with the FQHC and RHC facilities to provide resources, technical and operating assistance, and support for their innovative care delivery models.
They are an essential component of a healthcare system that serves all people, in every corner or our great state. These facilities provide access to high-quality care, improve health outcomes, and reduce health disparities. They also have a tremendous economic impact by creating direct jobs in more than 300 Kentucky communities.
Our FQHC and RHC partners are helping lead the way in the COVID-19 pandemic response. They are collaborating with other local healthcare professionals, the Kentucky Department for Public Health, local health departments, federal experts, and other healthcare entities working to develop strategies to defeat COVID-19.
They are vital partners who can reach vulnerable populations in both urban and rural settings. Time and again these clinics and health centers, which operate in nearly 100 counties, step up to deliver front line care to our citizens who need it most.
Our data indicates the majority of FQHC and RHC facilities in Kentucky are involved in drive-thru testing and/or are planning their role in antibody testing. Around 60% of those sites are open to the general public. Anyone who wants a test can get a test. Increasing our testing capacity is paramount to gathering the data we need to make well informed decisions.
Experts are also able to use the testing experience from these facilities to generate data that can be used to make future decisions about personal protective equipment (PPE) distribution, supplies, packaging, and other elements involved in the testing process.
All frontline healthcare workers are to be applauded for their selfless, heroic actions “on the front lines” during this pandemic. We know many heroes work at hospitals, doctors’ offices, nursing homes, with the state department for public health, at local health departments, and at other healthcare facilities.
We also want to highlight the many dedicated providers, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who go to work every day at a FQHC or RHC to keep Kentuckians safe and healthy. THANK YOU!
To find the FQHC &/or RHC in your community go to: https://kpca.net/map/ql/health-care and search the category map.
David Bolt is CEO of the Kentucky Primary Care Association