While the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is being felt worldwide, Neighborhood Family Practice is focusing on what can be done locally. Following guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to limit exposure and slow the spread of the virus, NFP leaders worked diligently to establish new protocols and procedures that would allow the federally qualified health center to continue to provide much needed physical and mental health services to those in need in the community.

Telemedicine appointments – where a patient meets with an NFP provider by video or phone when video is not possible – are now available to both new patients and existing patients of NFP.

“NFP is known for providing affordable, quality health care to all who need it, regardless of ability to pay,” says Jean Polster, RN, MS, NFP’s president and chief executive officer. “With so many out of work, and possibly without health insurance, due to the shutdown of area businesses both large and small, I’m incredibly grateful to our providers and team members who worked diligently to get telemedicine up and running at NFP.”

Once the telemedicine process was in place, NFP patient service representatives began contacting existing NFP patients to reschedule needed appointments.

“We’re now seeing existing patients and new patients via telemedicine, and on a very limited basis by appointment only in-person at our community health center locations,” says Melanie Golembiewski, MD, MPH, NFP’s assistant medical director. “With the health and safety of our patients and staff at the forefront of what we are doing, we take pride in the fact that for every patient we triage, care for by phone or video or provide counseling to, we are helping reduce the strain on area hospitals and emergency room workers by keeping these patients in an outpatient setting.”

Dr. Golembiewski and Chad Garven, MD, MPH are physicians and public health specialists who provide care to patients at NFP community health centers. The two of them were instrumental in the effort to make telemedicine visits available, allowing NFP to continue to provide quality affordable care to all who need it, regardless of ability to pay during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To schedule a telemedicine appointment with an NFP provider today, please call 216.281.0872.

IMPORTANT: NFP is not conducting COVID-19 testing. Individuals experiencing fever, cough or shortness of breath should NOT go to an NFP community health center, please call us at 216.281.0872 for information on how to obtain care.