УWith everything that has happened in the last few years, it is difficult to keep up with the latest medical news or which sources publish safe, reliable and scientific information. Now imagine that you are a doctor, nurse or other health care provider. They are flooded daily with facts, figures, statistics, test results and updates at the local, state and federal levels. Thurston County Public Health and Social Services recently hosted a provider summit to answer questions and answer life with COVID-19.
The May 16 summit was a way for “Thurston County Health Officer Dr Dimyana Abdelmalek and Public Health to reach out to local health providers to discuss public health priorities as we move from setting up the pandemic. of COVID-19 in the foreground to live with that in the background “, explains the public information specialist Meredith Mathis.
Nearly 900 providers in Thurston County were invited to the session, including primary care physicians, pediatricians and orthopedic specialists. “It was a special meeting of the health council, and the community was also able to attend,” Mathis said.
The agenda included the roles and responsibilities of our health care provider in Thurston County, Thurston County’s experience with COVID-19 and next steps, feedback from the provider on various questions asked, and a question and answer session. Topics for this session ranged from pediatric immunization plans, ongoing COVID-19 services, treatment options for the under-insured and uninsured, county-level prioritization decisions, best practices for reporting notifiable conditions, and emerging diseases. in our region.
When surveyed, health workers were most concerned about several common, fundamental topics in local care. These include maternal, child and family health; prevention of chronic diseases and injuries; access to clinical care; and control of communicable diseases. These same providers report that access to clinical care is one of the main problems for their patients and clients.
Matisse reports that the PHSS team “administered 82,707 vaccines against COVID (out of 533,000 administered nationwide by all providers) in the course of 580 vaccine clinics” as of May 18, 2022. They also distributed 22,320 tests. The distribution was done through partnerships with 32 sites across the county in the distribution of rapid antigen tests as well as their testing sites.
Although many of Washington’s previous restrictions have been eased, COVID-19 will remain with us for a long time. “During our transition to a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, we expect to continue to ensure that our responsibilities to the Thurston County community regarding outbreaks, high-risk conditions and individuals at high risk of serious illness , and work to ensure access to testing, isolation and quarantine, and vaccinations have been implemented, ”said Kurt Hardin, interim director of PHSS.
Studies also show that many of us have postponed or missed routine care during earlier blockades. “Routine vaccination rates have declined during the COVID-19 pandemic and are an area we continue to focus on in our county,” said Thurston County Health Officer Dr. Dimiana Abdelmale. “In addition, there are other infectious diseases, including sexually transmitted infections, tuberculosis and emerging infectious diseases such as H5N1 – bird flu – currently circulating in herds in the state, and monkeypox, which are the focus.
There are also long-standing problems that have not disappeared simply because we were distracted by the pandemic. “Opioid overdoses have increased and are an area of interest as well as preparation for the next emergency,” Abdelmale said. “Our vision for public health is shared and this summit was the first of, hopefully, many conversations with suppliers, stakeholders and community members.
Want to learn more about the county’s response to the coronavirus, find a test site, or see a board with local statistics? Visit the PHSS COVID-19 homepage for information, helplines, blog posts, and the latest letter to the community from Thurston County Health Officer Dr. Dimyana Abdelmalek.
You can also follow the team’s work through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates, including coronavirus testing and vaccination schedules, health reports and up-to-date information such as tackling persistent infant shortages. Contact the team directly with questions or requests for assistance.
Knowing where to find reliable information can be difficult, but thanks to events such as the Thurston County Health and Social Services Providers’ Summit, health teams can stay up to date and share what they’ve learned with families across the county. The more we know, the safer, healthier and happier we will all be with the onset of summer.