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Caring for Our Community During COVID-19
In times of social distancing and self-quarantining, it is more important than ever to stay connected to our community. The Healthy Community Partnership (HCP) and Medicine for the Greater Good (MGG) are doing just that with their twice-weekly phone conference calls with community leaders, religious congregations and faith-based organizations.
“New information is coming out daily about COVID-19 and it can be quite confusing for a lot of our community members,” says Panagis Galiatsatos, M.D., M.H.S., co-director, Medicine for the Greater Good. “We felt it was important to touch base with them to provide up-to-date information, ease any anxiety, and offer tips on preventing infection and reducing risk.”
The inaugural phone call had more than 100 participants, with each subsequent call increasing significantly. As of March 27, more than 600 people have participated.
Connecting with the Community
According to Dr. Galiatsatos, the calls are effective because people are given the opportunity to voice their concerns and ask specific questions about what Johns Hopkins Bayview is doing to prepare for and handle an influx of patients. “We are able to provide them with honest answers that hopefully calm any fears they may have,” he says.
The calls typically last an hour and feature a guest speaker who addresses any challenges the community may face in the coming weeks. Neda Gould, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in the Johns Hopkins Department of Psychiatry, recently spoke about the psychological impact of a pandemic, as well as the importance of mindfulness and self-care. Upcoming topics include advance care planning and food resources for seniors.
Many participants have reached out to HCP and MGG with positive feedback and sincere appreciation for the calls. One participant said, “It makes such a difference to know that you are thinking of us and that we are supported. Please don’t underestimate the power of that for caregivers, both personal and communal.”
Other notes have echoed the sentiment, thanking HCP and MGG for making sure the community is well-informed and healthy during this time.
Calls are open to the public and held every Monday at 3 p.m. and every Friday at 11 a.m.
For more information or to be added to the invite list, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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