Covid Care Helps When
People Most in Need
A new program that Share has taken on during the pandemic is Covid Care. With a grant from the Southwest Washington Accountable Community of Health, we had the opportunity to hire two culturally specific staff: Carol is Chuukese and Susana is Latinx; both are bilingual.
As Community Health Workers, Carol and Susana can provide services to people who test positive for Covid, helping them maintain their quarantine. Those services could include a one-time grocery order, bringing them basic need items (cleaning items, hand sanitizer, masks), connecting them to healthcare and other services, or paying their utility bill, rent or mortgage.
“When I call clients to ask what they need help with, I also make conversation, so they feel comfortable. I’ve come across clients that are scared; they don’t have family or friends in town that can help. That I get to be that person to lend a hand when they need it most, that makes me feel great about my job,” says Susana.
“It’s rewarding to make a fundamental difference in someone’s life by helping them when they can’t find the help that is out there. They are so grateful, like Briania, who shared that the program helped in her down time fighting Covid, she was really grateful for the immediate response in her time of need,” said Carol.
One hope for the program is to transition services into vaccine education. This will help staff to meet the culturally specific needs of some of the most vulnerable members of our community, while ensuring that their medical needs are met.
But as rewarding as the daily work is, it also very personal and emotional.
“The challenging part is when I face someone that I know will not make it, they won’t survive Covid-19. I had a couple of clients that we’re so close to discharging and did not make it. It breaks my heart but I have to move on, as there’s more people out there that need us to be strong for them,” added Carol.
“My job gets hard when I have a client with a loved one who is sick or in the hospital or who lost someone really close to them,” said Susana. “Something a client said has stuck with me. She said she really enjoyed talking to me after losing her husband to Covid and that I gave her comfort when she would hear my voice over the phone or see that I was calling. That really warmed my heart, knowing I could do that for her.”