Valuable Lessons in Quarantine and Isolation Motel Work
Community Health Worker Brandi Williams knew she’d be encountering unique challenges when she began work on SWACH’s behalf at the Quarantine and Isolation (Q & I) Motel. But she didn’t expect the experience to lay the foundation for an even larger collaboration in the interest of public health and management of the pandemic.
In conjunction with Clark County Public Health and Council for the Homeless, the Quarantine and Isolation Motel used CARES funding to house people who needed to isolate or quarantine after exposure to or diagnosis of COVID-19. Community Health Workers (CHWs) field calls from the hotel daily and connect guests to supports and services ranging from food boxes and PPE, to medical transportation, health insurance enrollment, coordination with schools for families with children, resources on rental assistance, employment and others.
“It was rewarding to see that clients at the Q & I were getting help and having needs met. I was able to help them get birth certificates and social security cards and other things that can be barriers to success,” says Williams. “But my biggest success in my work was that I began with 14 clients at the Q & I in March. Since then and before leaving on December 7, six of those clients were referred to Pathways, six moved in with family, and two went to shelters. All of the data, successes, and challenges of their barriers were documented during the Q & I stay, and will be in the HealthConnect Community Health Record (CHR) as a true document of my work.”
The HealthConnect Hub is a common platform that provides consistent participant onboarding and assessment. Participant needs are captured in Community Health Record (CHR) that all health and service providers share to better deliver services, including the longer-term supports referred to as Pathways.
Eric McNair Scott, Director of Community and Clinical Linkages says, “What Brandi did was show up and be there for those people who needed help right now. She built trust. And in that process of helping with immediate needs, she was able to have longer conversations with them about accessing longer term supports such as Pathways.”
The Q & I Motel project proved beneficial not just to community members, but to community workers.
“One thing that was reinforced is the importance of connecting people to immediate supports as a first step. These immediate supports come first, but should be integrated into a structure of whole person care and longer-term services,” says Scott. “When people are in crisis or managing intense challenges, they have needs right now, like getting a food kit, or hygiene items, dealing with kid issues, and connection to resources and so on. Meet needs, develop trust, and then work with people on longer term planning.”
It also proved to SWACH and community partners just how much impact can be made in a short time, even during a pandemic, when collaboration and sharing of information happens.
While providing direct CHW support to Q & I guests, HealthConnect Hub built and strengthened its network of referral agencies and worked with partners to improve system efficiencies include streamlining consent and ROI processes that expedite connection to community care coordination. Q & I partner agencies referring to HealthConnect HUB include:
|PeaceHealth SW Medical Center||Rainier Springs|
|Providence Health Clinics in Clark County||St. Paul Shelter (Outsider’s Inn)|
|Clark County Jail||X-Change Recovery|
|Share Shelters and Outreach||Council for the Homeless Motel Vouchers|
|YWCA SafeChoice Shelter||Clark County Public Health|
|Family Promise of Clark County||Kaiser Permanente facilities in Clark County|
|Janus Youth Shelter, Perch, Outreach||Sea Mar Community Health Center – Vancouver|
|Lifeline Connections (inpatient & outpatient)||CSNW Outreach Programs|
|Homeless Outreach & Sobering Center||The Vancouver Clinic (all locations in Clark County)|
|Vancouver VA Hospital||City of Vancouver HART Team|
|Safe Park Programs within Clark County||Open House Ministries|
|City of Vancouver Safe Park Zone|
To date, community health workers working with HealthConnect HUB have provided care coordination outreach and engagement, support, and services to 100+ Q & I Motel guests.
Scott says, “The Q & I Motel experience shaped and prepared us for understanding and preparing for the current partnership with the Washington Department of Health in the development of CareConnect Washington. Ensuring access to immediate COVID support services didn’t happen in a vacuum. We didn’t know it at the time, but the Q & I Motel was effectively a pilot for connecting COVID impacted community members to immediate and long-term supports through connection to a trusted community health workforce.”