COVID-19 Outreach and Pediatric Care
Hi, everyone! My name is Evelyn De Arcos, and I’m from Santa Monica, CA. This past May, I graduated from San José State University with a bachelor’s degree in Public Health. I am currently serving as a COVID-19 Responder/Pediatric Coordinator with the Population Health Division of the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH). In addition, I serve on NHC San Francisco’s Service and Corps Support Committees. In this blog, I share my service activities and experiences.
I’ve always had a passion for working with children and adolescents. As a Pediatric Coordinator, I’ve been able to assist many pediatric patients. Back in November, I had the opportunity to shadow at ZSFG Pediatric Urgent Care where I experienced a “typical” day in the middle of a the pandemic. Typically, when children have an injury or illness that needs immediate attention, urgent care helps bridge the gap until they can follow up with their primary doctor. However, due to the pandemic, most of the rooms were empty, and most of the providers including myself were calling patients.
These past few months, I’ve served and continue to serve remotely. As SARS-CoV-2 positive cases decrease, I spend less time disclosing results for individuals who have tested positive, and I spend more time doing project work and COVID-19 vaccine outreach. As San Francisco moves from the purple tier and into Phase 1c of COVID-19 vaccinations, it’s been exciting to see the positive caseload go down and the number of San Francisco Health Network (SFHN) patients scheduled and already vaccinated increase.
Although these conversations have not been easy, having access to Epic, the medical record system that SFHN uses, has made it easy to schedule patients for COVID-19 vaccines, Well Child Care (WCC), and upcoming immunizations appointments before children turn two or thirteen years old. Scheduling patients improves the health of children and the population overall. As San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) plans for in-person learning where many young students will return to the classrooms, I will be helping with Kindergarten Clearance physicals and COVID-19 vaccine outreach for teens and young adults with consent from their parents.
After these initial months, I am grateful for the opportunity to assist COVID-19 positive and pediatric patients, especially for Latinx families/households. Listening to their life stories, I can help them find resources and solutions during these difficult moments. I am thankful for the motivational interviewing skills I have gained because they teach me how to be culturally responsible. I am grateful for my opportunity with NHC AmeriCorps, which allows me to fight for those who need health care access the most.