Our Response to COVID-19
MHP Salud has continued to provide services through several outbreaks of various kinds throughout the years. Our communities have come to trust us as a source of correct information and to provide a bridge to services. During times such as this when other organizations have withdrawn completely from the community and the local health systems are stretched past capacity, we must examine the situation logically and not abandon our communities in their time of need. We choose to serve our communities to maintain the trust vested in us. Specifically:
- We will serve our community as long as we can preserve our own health and that of our clients by following epidemiological protocols.
- Our staff is well prepared with procedures and processes that have been integrated into their work processes for several years. Many of the things suggested to companies now to ease the pandemic have been integrated into our procedures for several years. These include:
- As questions and concerns are expressed from clients and the community, information and protocols are provided in the appropriate language and structure. A key activity of our staff and organization has always been, and continues to be, providing current, correct, and useful information and resources.
- We have a contagion procedure that addresses proper protocol for interaction in the workplace under various conditions. It addresses conditions for the employee and family in both the long and short term.
- As we work with underserved populations, processes have been in place to address client and community needs for several years. These are updated monthly as new experiences arise, shared in program and job class meetings, and institutionalized in processes. Some programs, such as that serving the elderly, already had strong protocols in place to prevent the spread of any number of contagions that are dangerous to this population.
- Safety kits for staff are replenished monthly with hand sanitizer, wipes, cleaners, tech care (work tools), etc. These have been provided day 1 for several years, replenished routinely, and is built into our cost of doing business.
- Generous sick leave and regular leave that can be taken without question or doctor’s notes prevents the spread of contagion among ourselves and clients. Sick leave can be used for self or family and “family” is self-determined. Regular leave can be used as needed as well.
- CDC guidelines have been distributed, discussed, and emphasized. These are continuously monitored and updated.
- Other processes, such as telecommuting, are already a part of our organization.
All of these components are part of our organizational culture and, therefore, enforcing new procedures in this time is a non-issue for us. We simply emphasize components that already exist.
In terms of specific programmatic community activity, our work centers around three activities:
- Community Events, such as health fairs: we do not host these events but do go if invited and then follow protocol. Almost all events have under 100 people (including organization reps, clients, logistics people, etc.); in fact, many are less than 50. These are small events held in community centers located in colonias.
- Group sessions have 20 people max, with most under 10. These are in homes, community centers, etc. We have moved to smaller groups and notified program officers as such.
- One-on-one: These sessions are done in homes, at doorsteps, or in other one-on-one interactions. Combined with this, we monitor by calls and texts and following standard protocols in approaching and entering homes or places.