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Posted: May 5, 2020

Oklahoma City Indian Clinic maintenance staff are some of the unsung heroes throughout this pandemic. Left to right: David Gibson, Shannon Deere, Curtis Berry, TeLisha Fletcher, Liza Hernandez (back right), Ruth Tiger (front right). Photo courtesy Oklahoma City Indian Clinic

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 5, 2020

How Oklahoma City Indian Clinic joined together during a public health crisis 

 

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City Indian Clinic (OKCIC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit clinic providing health and wellness services to American Indians in central Oklahoma, has stepped up to protect the well-being of Oklahomans and reduce the risk of spreading novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.

 

Throughout this ordeal, OKCIC has been and will continue to follow the Oklahoma State Department of Health and CDC recommendations. OKCIC has implemented many changes to daily operations to combat the spread of COVID-19, some of which started the morning Oklahoma got its first confirmed case in Tulsa on March 6, 2020. OKCIC immediately started having nurses screen everyone that came onto the premises. To limit access points and to better detect and direct patients with COVID-19 symptoms (such as fever, cough, difficulty breathing, recent travel, etc.), OKCIC closed the east entrance at its 4913 W. Reno location. Therefore, creating one point to direct and contain patients.

 

To prevent the spread of illness, OKCIC proactively canceled all group activities (including youth after-school programs), meetings and classes, as well as closing the Wellness Center, and canceling non-emergency optional services such as teeth cleanings, yearly wellness exams and eye exams. 

 

Within a week of the first confirmed COVID-19 case, OKCIC had a full pandemic plan in action, which included identifying “non-essential” and “essential” personnel for staff members on-campus. Certain “non-essential” personnel were redirected to other areas of need within OKCIC, like assisting patients with receiving their medications due to OKCIC closing the Pharmacy lobby and only allowing medication pickups through the drive-thru. Other “non-essential” personnel began to work remotely from home.

 

OKCIC’s second building, located at 5208 W. Reno, is closed to patients with “sick” visits and only open for specialty services to patients with urgent appointments, including: Behavioral Health, Physical Therapy, Optometry and Public Health. The majority of OKCIC’s services moved to the 4913 W. Reno location, which includes Medical, Pediatrics, Diabetes services, Podiatry and more. 

 

Lastly, OKCIC has given the option for patients to be seen through a virtual visit with a provider over the phone or computer for qualifying symptoms. Virtual visit services include, medical, pediatric, optometry, personal training, diabetes services, behavioral health, prenatal education, dietitian and dental emergencies.

 

“The situation with the new coronavirus is fluid,” Robyn Sunday-Allen said, CEO of OKCIC. “Because of this, we are constantly adapting in an effort to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus to both our patients and staff. I am very grateful to Oklahoma City Indian Clinic staff and patients. Staff have stepped up to the challenges this virus brings to health care, and our patients have been understanding and flexible to the changes we are making to keep everyone safe and healthy.”

 

As COVID-19 continues to move through the community, OKCIC communicates to patients and staff that the ideal way to combat this virus is through proper hygiene methods; washing your hands with soap under running water for 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer; and limiting close contact with people who are sick.

 

About Oklahoma City Indian Clinic

Oklahoma City Indian Clinic was established in 1974 to provide excellent health care and wellness services to American Indians in central Oklahoma. The clinic staff cares for more than 18,000 patients from more than 200 federally recognized tribes every year. American Indians can receive a range of services, including medical, dental, pediatrics, prenatal, pharmacy, optometry, physical fitness, nutrition, family programs and behavioral health services. For more information, please visit www.okcic.com.

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