Keeping the community safe and healthy – Wind River Cares through Covid

    The Covid-19 pandemic has affected our lives in unprecedented ways and the Native community was hit hard. Wind River Family & Community Health Care (WRFCHC) worked hard toward creating a safer community in the face of the pandemic.

    When the Covid-19 pandemic swept across the world, Wind River Family & Community Health Care didn’t back down. Instead, they dove headfirst into research, data analytics, and forecasting to stay ahead of the curve. But they didn’t stop there – this community-minded healthcare organization also ramped up its advocacy efforts, ensuring that the needs of vulnerable populations were heard and addressed. Education and training initiatives helped to keep staff and community members informed and prepared, while community support and partnerships showed the true spirit of collaboration in a time of crisis. It’s no wonder that Wind River Family & Community Health Care has become a trusted resource and beacon of hope for those seeking guidance during these uncertain times.

    Research, data analytics, and forecasting played a vital role in responding to the pandemic. WRFCHC utilized various data sources and tools to predict the spread of the virus and keep their community safe. They conducted studies on the risk factors and created models for the spread of the virus. These findings helped them create effective policies for public safety.

    Advocacy, education and training initiatives helped in promoting awareness and safety measures in the community. WRFCHC used social media platforms to educate the community on the importance of physical distancing, wearing masks, and washing hands. They also conducted training programs and workshops to equip their employees with the necessary skills to respond to the pandemic.

    WRFCHC set a precedent by implementing employee protocols that were effective and safe. They made sure their staff was equipped with the necessary PPE and guidelines to keep themselves and their patients safe. References to related studies and reports on employee protocols used in other healthcare institutions have helped them stay up-to-date and adapt to changing situations.

    Community support and partnership played a crucial role in their efforts. WRFCHC provided testing, contact tracing, and other forms of assistance to the community. They fostered partnerships with Eastern Shoshone Tribal Health, Fort Washakie Indian Health Services, tribal leaders, and the Wyoming Department of Health. This helped them in providing an effective response to the pandemic.

    “Very early in the pandemic, WRFCHC, Eastern Shoshone Tribal Health, Fort Washakie Indian Health Services, tribal leaders, and the Wyoming Department of Health formed a Covid Coalition that met frequently to discuss the ever-changing needs, recommendations, vaccinations and treatments as they became available,” stated Arletta Burk, RN with WRFCHC Population Health Department. “All of the agencies listed above have worked together to get patients tested, contact trace all of the positive cases and implement the appropriate mitigation strategies. This united approach to the Covid pandemic allowed for the Wind River Reservation to have the highest quality of care possible.”

    Community buy-in has been essential in their efforts. “I believe the strong community support was due to the impact of personal losses due to Covid 19, leadership support, and being able to provide the necessary tools to be successful,” said Arletta.

    WRFCHC provided care packages, food deliveries, isolation or quarantine lodging when required, testing, rapid vaccine implementation, and other assistance programs to the community. Evaluations have shown that these assistance programs have been effective in providing relief and aid to people affected by the pandemic.

    It’s been a tough few years for everyone, but especially for those in the healthcare industry. Despite facing significant losses due to the virus, the team at WRFCHC remained focused on preventing further loss by providing testing, contact tracing and guidance to patients. It’s incredible to see their dedication to helping their community stay safe and healthy. In these uncertain times, it’s reassuring to know that there are healthcare professionals like the staff at WRFCHC who are there to support us every step of the way.

    “Covid continues to be of concern, especially for those at high risk, but with the knowledge we have obtained, vaccination, and treatment availability I believe we are learning how to move forward,” stated Arletta. 

    WRFCHC encourages people to know their risks and use effective tools for prevention. Whether that means wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, or getting vaccinated, we all have a role to play in protecting ourselves and our communities.

    They are working towards post-covid plans, and evaluating the challenges and opportunities that come with it. Their efforts have helped create a safer community, and they will continue working towards providing effective healthcare services to their patients while adapting to changing circumstances. We should all appreciate and encourage their efforts in creating a safer and healthier society.

    Let’s stay informed, stay vigilant, and keep moving forward together!

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