2020 Wildfire Supports and Resources

The events of the week of September 7th, 2020 have been devastating. Independence Northwest is here as a support for the communities of Clackamas, Washington, and Multnomah counties.

We have just added a new resource page to our website: http://independencenw.org/fires/ This list of resources is by no means comprehensive, but we will continue to add to it as we get more information. If you would like to share resources with us or if you have updates to existing resources, please email larry@independencenw.org. Thank you!

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR PUBLIC ALERTS!

Black Disabled Lives Matter

This July, Starkloff Disability Institute presented an extraordinary two part presentation, Black Disabled Lives Matter.

The two-part series, out of St. Louis, challenges audiences to develop an understanding of how multiple identities – such as disability, race and gender expression – intersect to shape a person’s experience within the structures and systems of our society as well as within each of these communities.

Audience members were offered an opportunity to identify the power they hold in the workplace and community as well as actions they can take to be in solidarity with others. Participants will find resources for developing skills around identifying and challenging their own implicit biases.

The series is divided into two parts:

  • Part One: A National Outlook from Thought Leaders – Dr. Donna Walton and Janet LaBreck, leaders in the Disability Community, discuss the experiences of Black Disabled Americans and the impact multiple prejudices have on their lives.
  • Part Two: An Intimate View from Self-Advocates in Our Community – In part two, members of the Disability community  – including Aaron Owens, Brandon Morris, Rose Gelin, and Sharon Lyons – discuss their experiences as Black Disabled Americans and the impact multiple prejudices have on their lives.

Check out the newly-posted videos below:

 

Personal Protective Equipment for Personal Support Workers

As of April 27th, 2020, the Oregon Department of Human Services announced access to additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Personal Support Workers. Here is the new process for PSWs to obtain gloves and masks:

Personal Support Workers should submit a request to the Oregon Home Care Commission by completing an electronic form via SEIU’s website https://seiu503.tfaforms.net/622 or by emailing OHCC.CustomerRelations@dhsoha.state.or.us.

If you are sending an email request, you must include all of the following:

  • First and Last Name
  • Provider Number
  • Provider Type (Personal Support Worker)
  • Name of Case Management Entity (Independence Northwest Brokerage)
  • Number of customers you support in a week
  • Number of hours worked per pay period per customer (this is what they will use to determine how many gloves or masks they will provide you)
  • Type of PPE requested (masks or gloves)
  • Whether you would prefer to have the PPE mailed or if you would like to pick it up

Once you complete the process, the OHCC will notify you of available pick up times and locations or how the materials will be sent.

Read the full transmittal by clicking here.

From all of us at Independence Northwest, we’d like to thank you for the essential services you are providing our community at this time.

If you have any questions, please contact the Personal Agent(s) you work with at INW by calling 503-546-2950.

If You Get Sick, What Do Nurses and Doctors Need to Know to Communicate Best With You?

By Larry Deal, Executive Director

A little over a week ago, my father was hospitalized and put on a ventilator. Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, medics were unable to honor his choice of hospitals in South Florida and for ten days no outside visitors have been allowed into the hospital to see him.

My family’s story is just one of many playing out across the world as more and more people are hospitalized due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In many areas, hospitals aren’t allowing visitors to stay with adults who are admitted, due to an abundance of caution over the spread of virus. The decision makes good sense from a public health perspective – we all must understand the essential role we play in limiting potential spread – but it’s a pretty difficult experience when a loved one is ill and needs care. While my father’s health situation isn’t related to the virus, his care is being affected significantly by the pandemic.

Nothing is more essential than being able to communicate your needs in the midst of a crisis. If you or someone you care for were to need to communicate wants and needs without familiar supports in place, now is the time to create a backup communication plan. My sisters and I completed a Health Passport to have at our father’s side in this moment  and we encourage you to do consider doing the same. These documents have the power to humanize and illuminate those we care about and to express personal preferences in moments when those things can make all the difference.

As you continue to refine your safety plans during this heightened period, please consider including a communication document of some sort. Fill one out, keep it somewhere safe, and if you must seek medical attention, make sure it’s updated and at your side in case your usual supports aren’t. Oregon hospitals are doing what they can to honor choices in support and we recommend checking in with local hospitals to determine policies in your area.  Check out the communication resources we have pulled together in partnership with speech pathologist and INW board member, Corinne Thomas-Kersting. Huge thanks to her for this support.

If you have additional resources you’d like shared with INW’s customers, families, and networks, please send me a note at larry@independencenw.org. Thanks so much. I hope that you and your families are safe and well. If there’s anything at all we can do to support you, please reach out. We’re here.

Please visit www.independencenw.org/communication to find a healthcare passport for you or your family.

Essential Resources:

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Curbside Rapid COVID-19 Testing Now Available

Curbside Rapid COVID-19 testing is now available.

Click here for full details.

How It Works

1. Schedule a Virtual Visit with a provider
If clinically appropriate based on CDC and state guidelines, our provider will schedule you for an in-person rapid COVID-19 test at one of our centers.

2. Follow instructions for your scheduled curbside appointment
Park in the designated area and wait for a provider to come to you for a swab test.

3. Receive your results in approximately 15 minutes
If your test results are positive, your provider will discuss next steps for care.

Priority will be given to exposed front-line medical personnel and other responders like firefighters and police.

What is the Rapid COVID-19 Test?

The Abbott rapid COVID-19 test was recently authorized by the FDA under an emergency use authorization in healthcare settings (although it has not been FDA cleared or approved). The rapid COVID-19 test provides results within approximately 15 minutes.
The test starts with taking a swab from the nose or the back of the throat, then mixing it with a chemical solution that breaks open the virus and releases its RNA.

Using the molecular technology from the Abbott ID NOW system, the mixture is inserted into an ID NOW box that has the technology to identify and amplify select sequences of the coronavirus genome and ignore contamination with other viruses.

Our team is well-equipped and well-trained for this method of testing, having already used Abbott’s ID NOW testing platform to perform rapid tests for flu and strep testing.