During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have kept our courses humming, and we continue to partner with organizations serving the community to help ensure clients and patients can access the care and resources they need.
We have noticed a rise in basic needs among our community clients, and our staff has responded in kind, providing case management support for existing clients in the Resource Navigator Program. Despite the suspension of in-clinic volunteers at UW Health, our Resource Navigator team continues to provide telephonic support to already engaged patients. The Navigator team (staff and 2 AmeriCorps members) is focused on helping patients manage the Safer at Home order and economic impacts of COVID – e.g. re: basic needs like access to food, diapers, & medical supplies and getting stimulus payments & unemployment benefits.
Our Patient Advocacy Clinic continues to operate uninterrupted. In addition to our usual services, we are helping patients manage interruptions in care due to COVID and disruptions to insurance from layoffs. We are preparing an anticipated surge in housing instability when eviction moratoriums are lifted, and insurance coverage disputes as bills for COVID-19 testing and services are processed.
Our core MPH course, Medical Care and Public Health Systems 785, went entirely online in mid-March, and 53 students from a variety of health professional programs and the MPH program completed wildly successful systems analysis projects to wind up the semester.
In May, responding to suspended community rotations for UW medical students, we taught our course Advocating for Patients: Getting the Right Care at the Right Time, adapting the curriculum so students could think critically about their role as physician advocates during a public health crisis.
We also adapted to online teaching due to our existing blended format and distant learning certificate offering, increasing our already high student-contact model. While we provided supplementary content on the pandemic, we intentionally kept our core coursework consistent to provide sanctuary and continuity.
In the community, CPP has partnered with community organizations (Residential Support agencies and Meadowood Health Partnership) to acquire PPE and apply for emergency grants. We also worked with a coalition of grassroots organizations and university partners to apply for funding to support Community Health Workers across Dane County who are providing direct support to the most marginalized in our community.