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Sharing the season: Community Care Clinic turns to telemedicine during pandemic

By Shavonne Potts
shavonne.potts@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — The Community Care Clinic implemented telemedicine two years ago for many of its immune-compromised patients and its staff has seamlessly transitioned to relying on the technology for all of its patient care during the pandemic.

The clinic, like many other nonprofits and community service organizations, was deeply impacted by the pandemic. Each year, the Salisbury Post compiles a list of those organizations and nonprofits some of whose needs are as simple as office supplies and others could use larger gifts. The Community Care Clinic of Rowan County is one of over four dozen organizations on the list.

The clinic, located at 315-G Mocksville Ave., is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and is closed on Friday. The clinic is closed for lunch from noon until 1 p.m. The clinic provides primary care to adults with basic needs such as diabetes management, high blood pressure, COPD and asthma. Patients who are enrolled at the clinic are also seen for other health issues. There is also a dental clinic and a full-service pharmacy. The clinic can also administer flu shots and mammograms.

When the world shut down earlier this year due to COVID-19, the clinic continued to provide services for uninsured Rowan County residents. But it did so in a different way.

Dr. Amy Wilson sees patients via video and patients pick up medications curbside now, which leaves the lobby free of traffic, said Executive Director Krista Woolly.

“It’s a nice thing to offer for people who are scared to leave their houses and sometimes transportation is an issue,” Wilson said.

Dr. Amy Wilson, left and shown with medical assistant DeAnna Turner, in the lobby of the Community Care Clinic. The staff has had to respond differently during the pandemic to include using telemedicine to communicate with patients and having them pick up meds curbside. Shavonne Potts/Salisbury Post

Allowing patients to speak with the doctor within their own environment allows the clinic to, “meet them where they are and to see them in their setting,” said Teen Aron, communications and development director.

She said some patients who may not have Wi-Fi can sit in the clinic’s parking lot and connect with the doctor via phone.

“Now, you have a way to continue to connect,” Wilson said.

The clinic has suspended dental services, except for emergency services. It has since opened up medical appointments.

Woolly said the clinic has received donations from a local church that took old purses and filled them with toiletries for patients who may not have had access to supplies.

She said staff members have long realized that the clinic can cover their health care needs but many patients have other non-health-related needs.

Visit the Community Care Clinic of Rowan County at communitycareofrowan.org for more about services.

The full sharing the season list can be found at salisburypost.com/2020/11/25/sharing-the-season-2020-list.

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