Medical care for those without insurance is more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic and the Jean B. Purvis Community Health Center staff continues to serve.
“I love it. We just fill such a need in the community for those who don't have insurance to make sure they still get quality health care,” said Chris Cassioli, a nurse practitioner who has worked at the clinic for five years.
“And everyone that works there, we're all there for the same reason. It's a wonderful place to work,” she said.
Because of the government's coronavirus guidelines, Cassioli and the other medical staff at the facility on 103 Bonnie Drive are mostly treating people through phone conversations.
Still, there are certain patients Cassioli said that must come in, especially first-time patients who have to have their vitals and blood work taken.
Through a network of volunteer doctors and paid medical practitioners like Cassioli, the center offers medical care to people who either don't have insurance or those who are underinsured.
Cassioli works at the clinic twice a week and her time now is often spent on the phone with regular patients to help them with routine care.
“Doing it over the phone is a little limiting. It's always nice to see our patients face to face, but a lot of my patients I've had for a while, so I generally know what's going on,” Cassioli said.
The exception to that is for new patients who have to come in for their first visit so that someone with the clinic can take their vitals and other initial tests.
“There's no one out there that we can't help,” Cassioli said. “They don't realize the resources that are out there. And Butler (Memorial) Hospital is a big help to us in that regard. They help with lab work and other services.”
The other upside to the health center relates to coronavirus testing. Cassioli said that currently, if you think you may have been exposed to the virus, you need your doctor's note to get tested for the virus.
“We've had some instances where people who don't have (primary care physicians) are worried they have been exposed to the virus and they ask us to test them. We technically can't since they don't have a doctor's note, so we'll make them our patients and that way we can test them,” Cassioli said.
As for her health, Cassioli said she's not worried because the center screens people before they come in.
“Those who are suspicious of it will get the test done before they come in,” she said.
“Our population is a younger population. We see 19 to 64 years old so they're not the at-risk population,” Cassioli said. “I haven't been too concerned.”
Who to Call
WHAT: Jean B. Purvis Community Health Center
WHERE: 103 Bonnie Drive