Providing Community Health Care During a Pandemic
Melissa DiSipio, MSA, FAAIDD
Philadelphia Coordinated Health Care (PCHC), SE Region Health Care Quality Unit (HCQU)
The change came fast and furious…working from home, previously only an option for a select few became mandatory for the masses. As I helped my staff at PCHC transition, we initially struggled with how we were going to continue to provide quality community health care for people with IDD.
We were forced to “make lemonade out of lemons” and quickly changed the way we provide services. We saw some immediate positive results, for example we discovered that assessments and comprehensive reviews were easier to schedule remotely via zoom. We also saw the reach of our on-line and webinar-style trainings skyrocket. Some of the positive outcomes that have come out of this tumultuous time are the development of greater and easier access to both physical and behavioral telehealth care for people with IDD.
While I no longer feel like we are working underwater, we are still in the weeds. Obtaining vaccines for individuals with IDD, direct support professionals, and family caregivers is our new priority, while we continue to struggle to figure out what the new normal will look like. I’m grateful for the continued collaboration and support, even remotely, of my AAIDD colleagues, and am hopeful for more positive change in the near future.