October 11, 2020 Update on ARxC's COVID-19 Response:
Thank you for your support of the ARxC Covid Patrol. We are still working to help those in need since Covid 19 entered our lives.
Since our last update:
· We have been making masks and supplying them to a student news crew, Avant Youth and the Clarkston Community Center where young students attend after school programs. They are also using the center for internet services to do their virtual learning.
· Supplying masks and school supplies to a Sickle Cell Foundation for kids to be able to assist with the virtual schooling
· Supplying tablets for young students of the Clarkston Community Center to be able to do their virtual schooling
· Supplying lunches to local and hospital clinics carrying for chronically ill patients during Covid
We will continue to help gather school supplies , masks and disinfecting supplies and meals for frontline workers. This week we are ordering meals and some supplies for a Covid testing facility in an underserved Atlanta area and more tablets for underserved students .
ARxC could not be a resource for so many with your support. We sincerely thank you and will continue to uphold our GA communities during this public health crisis.
With our inroads through giving Covid supply help, we see a future opportunity for ARxC to be a source of reliable information on Covid Vaccine education, compliance and access for our most in need communities.
May you stay well and safe.
Since April 2020, ARxC has been taking action to support health care workers and Georgians in combatting the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19).
ARxC Supply Patrol and Meals Delivery
ARxC Supply Patrol is driving (masked and gloved) throughout the Southeast collecting medical supplies for our hospital workers. As of May 28, 2020, the team drove over 1,000 miles to secure and deliver valuable personal protective equipment (PPE) to emergency and intensive care unit staff working at hospitals in Georgia.
In partnership with Akira Wilson of Panera and thanks to generous donors, including Dr. Michael Dailey of Infectious Disease Society of GA and The Pfizer Foundation, ARxC is also providing meals to nourish hospital staff. To date, we have made deliveries to St Joseph's Hospital, Emory University Hospital/ Grady Hospital downtown, and Northside Hospital.
Mask production and distribution to our high-risk patients and health workers is also a key component of ARxC’s response to COVID-19. For these efforts, we owe a sincere thank you to our Mask Queen, Lucia Bernier, and Jill Dubin for committing countless hours towards making masks for ARxC’s COVID0-19 Response. Also, a deep thank you goes to Jarid Neff of Spark Plug Promotions for donating the filtration material to insert in the masks.
More information on masks and instructions on how you can make your own mask is available on CDC’s Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19 website. Please let you know if you are in need of a mask and we’ll see what we can do to supply you with this vital resource.
Secure and Distribute Laptops and Tablets
ARxC is also working to secure laptops and tablets for hospital staff and students in Georgia. Hospitals need these devices to help patients stay connected to their loved ones (currently hospital staff are using their personal devices for this purpose). As per the Atlanta Journal Constitution article, internet access is being expanded to individuals and families in Atlanta, but there remains a vital need for laptops and tablets for students of all grade levels that don’t have them. These devices are vital to for students to receive virtual lessons from their teachers and for the completion of their coursework.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have access to a supply of these devices or know of discounts that may be accessed to purchase devices.
Direct Patient Support
Finally, ARxC is continuing to be a vital source of connection, encouragement, and support for our family of patient advocates and their family members. We remain in contact with the patients on a regular basis and continue to be their medical representative as they seek the medical care.
The weight of grieving our losses from this crisis is heavy. We know the uncertainty, fear and sadness has left us emotionally exhausted and physically with limited resources. ARxC remains an encouraging community support for Georgians. We know ‘it is Ok to not be Ok’ during this challenging time. Our actions keep us remembering our mission and commitment to the frontline warriors who continue to help, sacrificing themselves so we can remain safe and alive, and the vulnerable and medically underserved Georgians struggling to overcome the health and economic burden of this time. Please join us.
ARxC Receives the Atlanta Business Chronicle Health Care Hero Award
Since the launch of these efforts, ARxC was awarded the Atlanta Business Chronicle Health Care Hero award for Community Outreach. Read the full Atlanta Business Chronicle article to learn about our legacy and the tireless efforts of Dorothy Leone-Glasser, ARxC’s distinguished Executive Director. We remain grateful to our ARxC family and volunteer army and the many partners that have helped ARxC over the years in achieving our mission.
“You can't sit around and wait for the storm to be over. You've got to learn how to dance in the rain." Vivian Greene
This is my daily mantra because I have been dancing in the rain my entire life. Being a long-time nurse specialist, I was disappointed and anxious about not being able to be on the frontline of COVID19. I am a high-risk patient with Systemic Lupus and receiving prophylactic chemo therapy. I know the danger and fears facing medical responders and was appalled when I heard their major concern was not enough Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and disinfecting supplies. What? This is Atlanta, USA, one of the top places for treating infectious disease, illness and caring for patients. We were the focus when Emory erected the best unit to house Ebola victims. Now, our nurses, doctors and staff are screaming for basic infectious disease protection! With fear and anger rising, as the Executive Director of the Advocates for Responsible Care (ARxC) I had to find a way to help them.
At ARxC we help patients and their families become strong health advocates. We are on the forefront of driving legislation for fully affordable access to prescription drugs and treatments for patients. Through advocating for patient-physician-centered legislation, we fight to reduce cultural incompetency and health care delivery disparity. Our Rx in Reach GA Coalition is well known for tackling state and federal policy issues that help patients live better lives despite their illness. We foster strategic collaborative efforts among multi-disciplinary parties to form coalitions that focus on major public health issues such as dangerous step therapy policies, expanding access to biosimilar therapies and addressing the effects of violence on our community safety.
When a “call to action” on Facebook (FB) came from Dr. Michelle Au, a well-known anesthesiologist from one of our local hospitals, I knew this was our time to act.
ARxC answered a call from the doctors and medical staff at Emory/Grady and St. Joseph’s hospitals for PPE and supplies. We posted the need for supplies and PPE equipment on our FB pages, our websites and other social media platforms. We put out the word to our other coalitions to help.
Stores and usual supply chains were quickly selling out of their stock. We needed a plan to find the disinfecting supplies and make-shift PPE. On March 17, we decided to look at a COVID map of Georgia; finding counties and surrounding counties that did not have registered Covid 19 cases. Our first map, March 25, showed 36 counties out of Georgia’s 159, that did not have registered Covid19 cases and did not have surrounding counties with registered cases. We knew that Georgia had not been testing for Covid19; so there was no way to be sure who was and was not infected. We went forth assuming Covid19 was everywhere. Since the citizens of these counties did not know that they were affected we hoped that disinfecting supplies and some PPE might still be available on store and pharmacy shelves.
On March 27, my husband, Ira, and I donned our N95 masks, surgical gloves and disinfecting gels and wipes to travel to as many counties as we could. We purchased gallons of bleach, tubs of disinfecting wipes, nitrile protective gloves, Clorox, Lysol spray, Lysol and Pine Sol gallons, Peroxide, Alcohol, Swim goggles (to substitute for face shields), penlight flashlights, LED headlamps (for hands-free examinations), cough drops and energy bars(to keep the staff going!). We did this for three (3) weeks until all counties reported Covid19 cases.
Since March 27, we traveled over 700 miles to purchase basic disinfecting supplies, bleach and PPE for our hospital staff. We ran out of counties to go to that do not have Covid19. So as supplies dwindled we are now ordering on line N95, face shields, gloves and disinfecting lotions. We still shop for bleach, disinfecting solutions, and energy bars. Fortunately, one of our Rx in Reach Coalition members, an infectious disease doc, Dr. Michael Dailey, made a generous donation to order ICU/ER staff boxed meals delivered. They are working long, intense hours and can’t stop to remove their PPE once dressed to eat but at least they can take a meal home with them since most are in isolation from their families.
We posted our ARxC Supply Patrol campaign on our Next Door Neighbor site and received a donation of filtration mesh to sew into N95 masks from our neighbor, Jarid Neff of Spark Plug Promotions. Through a Dialysis Crisis friend, ARxC recently found a volunteer, Lucia Bernier, to make N95 masks with a mesh filtration insert. We will distribute them to our hospital staff and also to ARxC chronically ill and dialysis patients who need them to continue their scheduled doctor and infusion visits.
We recently received a call for small laptops and tablets so patients in isolation can communicate with their loved ones and for students who need the devices to do their homework since our schools remain closed.
Creating a balance between hope and fear determines how we cope with any of life’s challenges. Covid 19 has become a daunting challenge for patients and our medical colleagues. Our health depends on our medical professionals and staff who sacrifice so we may live.
What makes us help? It will always be our choice at ARxC to be the voice of those who need help. We do not stop until their voices are heard. We know fear becomes a lighter load as hope becomes an easier choice.
Come dance in the rain with us, so through your donations we can continue to protect those who save us.
Dorothy Leone-Glasser, RN.HHC.
Executive Director, Advocates for Responsible Care, (ARxC)
How Society is Responding to COVID-19 and What You Can Do
Watch this Tom Foolery video for a lovely bedtime story about this history of our society and how the tragedy of COVID-19 has led to a wakeup call that we all have the opportunity to harness for the betterment of ourselves and our communities.