BRH COVID RESPONSE For 57 years, BRH has remained a steadfast safety-net resource for individuals across Western North Carolina. Over the years, we responded swiftly to the various healthcare challenges that have arisen to ensure the communities we serve continue to receive the medical care they need, when and where they need it. The COVID-19 public health crisis is no different. In a time span of 3 days, we redesigned our 57 years of operational strategies so we could continue to provide safe, quality healthcare to our patients. All of this was done while maintaining our staffing team and ensuring a safe work environment for the heroes within our organization. While we were beginning to explore the notion of telehealth virtual visits within our School Based Health Center programs, COVID-19 turned that exploration into a full-tilt transformation. The processes and procedures within our medical and behavioral health departments were transformed to telehealth. Dental services were restricted to emergency procedures only, as elective and preventative care visits were suspended. The pandemic has affected every person and organization, and BRH is no different. We experienced a roughly 40% reduction in patient visits overnight. Though that number continues to fluctuate, we realize that a complete recovery will not be attainable until a proven vaccine is readily available. The administration of COVID-19 tests has become a daily norm for our medical and outreach staff, as tests are offered at all of our medical sites and during other testing events throughout the communities we serve. Since the onset of the pandemic, BRH has conducted over 16,000 tests and conveyed the results of the tests to each patient personally. We also established a COVID Hotline, so patients can speak with a nurse to triage their symptoms or simply ask questions. This resource has served to help alleviate patient concerns during a time that is fraught with uncertainty. For an organization of our size, we have impressed ourselves with our ability to remain agile and flexible as we face new challenges every day. It is through this agility and the commitment and perseverance of our staff that BRH will continue fulfilling our mission β€œTo provide quality healthcare that is accessible and affordable for ALL.”

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