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COVID-19

General Information for Patients being seen by an Frontier Health and Wellness Provider

With COVID-19 in Alaska many adjustments are being made and many events are being cancelled. Current patients of an FHW provider should come here for updates on how this may affect the health care they are receiving at FHW.

FOR THE TIME BEING FHW PROVIDERS WILL CONTINUE TO PROVIDE SERVICES FOR ITS CLIENTS

How can I protect myself from Covid-19?


  • Wash hands regularly
  • Practice social distancing
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Avoid public gatherings
  • Avoid long term care facilities
  • Click HERE for more detailed information from the CDC.




What should I NOT do?


  • Do not panic: There is genuine risk, but the actual risk is low and is often made to appear worse by the media.
  • If you are elderly, immunocompromised or have a chronic heart or respiratory condition then check with your primary care provider for additional recommendations.
  • Do not cancel or avoid needed medical and/or mental health treatments.




What should I do if I have flu-like symptoms?


  • Call you primary care provider to determine the best course. There are many symptoms that are not associated with COVID-19. It is best to have accurate information before you decide - your primary care provider can help with this.
  • If your primary care provider advises you not to come in for an appointment, then please inform us as soon as you can so that others in the community may be seen.
  • If you discover you have contracted COVID-19 please inform us immediately so that we may:
    • Determine what risk (if any) there may be to the other patients and staff at FHW.
    • Relay information to other patients in a timely and appropriately manner.
    • Adjust future appointments so that your care will not suffer significant interruption.




What does a Psychiatric Treatment Plan include?


This varies with every client. A client’s history, diagnoses, symptom severity, practical limitations and personal preferences all become relevant when deciding on a Treatment Plan. These plans are often layered and can involve many types of services in different categories. Some recommendations are straight forward (exercise, sleep hygiene) and some are more involved (medication, therapy). The goal is to piece together a Treatment Plan that is sensitive to all the issues outlined above (history, diagnoses, symptom severity…), but at the same time maximizes the potential for improvement over the shortest time possible.

When a medication is included in a Treatment Plan that medication is reviewed at that time. When this happens, a specific medication is typically decided upon in the office. The profile of that medication is reviewed with questions asked and answered before a consent is signed. This consent is required before a medication can be included in treatment. When this occurs a multiweek plan is outlined that identifies when dosing changes would be expected to occur. This discussion includes details about why that timeline exists, when improvements are to be expected and what additional things can be done to improve the likelihood of success.




What else should I know?


  • It is extremely unlikely we will stop the spread of COVID-19 as respiratory infections like the seasonal flue are difficult to stop from spreading.
  • The current goal is to slow the progress of COVID-19.
  • If we can slow down the rate at which people get sick (by washing our hands, practicing social distancing and avoiding the urge to touch our faces) then our medical infrastructure will be able to provide care for all those who are infected. This will give us more time to establish effective treatments and lower the mortality rate.
  • One of the reasons why the seasonal flu has a dramatically lower mortality rate than COVID-19 is because we have had a long time to learn about this virus, how to manage it and how to keep people safe from it. In time we will develop this knowledge with COVID and the mortality rate will be expected to drop. Until then our job is to slow its progress so we can maximize the effectiveness of our healthcare system.




What is FHW doing to prevent Covid-19 in their offices?


Screening: All patients and visitors are being screened for symptoms of acute respiratory illness (e.g., fever, cough, difficulty breathing) before entering our healthcare facility. Training: We are vigilantly staying up to date on the recommendations for preventing the spread of COVID-19 using provider directed resources such as those from the CDC, the World Health Organization and the Alaska Department of Health. Staff are receiving updated training on how to identify those with at risk symptoms so appropriate measures can be taken where necessary. Safety: Ensuring proper use of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). Staff are receiving updated training on the use of PPE both for their protection and for yours. Sanitation: Maintaining clinic cleanliness at or above the guidelines from the CDC and OSHA. Vigilance: Reviewing and updating our PPE policies and procedures. We have already enhanced our PPE equipment and policies at FHW. We will continue to update them in accordance with CDC and OSHA standards. Monitoring Our Staff: Encouraging sick employees to stay home. Personnel who develop symptoms of acute respiratory illness (e.g., fever, cough, difficulty breathing) are being instructed not to report to work. Telehealth: Each of our provider has an established agreement with Doxy.me as our Telehealth services contractor. Their secure services are well established, well respected and HIPAA compliant. They specialize in online Telehealth services specifically. Go to Doxy.me/patients for more information. To gain familiarity with the process you can practice walking through the steps to check into your appointment by visiting your providers site (doxy.me/hjellen or doxy.me/hutton) You can visit our Telehealth page for more information on this service and when to use it.




Treatments during COVID-19


For mental health specifically the Municipality of Anchorage is noting the fact that Telehealth can be an option, but they are not recommending it over a more traditional in-office service. Exceptions should occur and future mandates may ask those in need of these services to sacrifice more, but for now the prioritization of the community's mental health needs continues to be a top priority for the Municipality of Anchorage.

For the time being there is no reason to sacrifice your medical or mental health care due to concerns over this virus.




What circumstances might result in a temporary lapse in services at FHW?


An announcement from the CDC or State Health Department that recommends limiting access to mental health clinics and/or services.

  • A confirmed case of COVID-19 at FHW.
If either of these above events occurs, then established patients will receive an announcement from FHW providing a status update. If you do not receive such an announcement, then you can assume that our services are not being interrupted