Fall 2021 Newsletter
Happy (almost) fall!
I want to start by thanking everyone who continues to support us as we move through the transitions of this last year (if you missed it — see our summer newsletter for all the spicy details). I have watched our fledgling clinic grow from nothing over the last 5 years, and as painful as it is to work through the turmoil 2021 brought — and to receive feedback from you all that turmoil isn’t ideal (I feel ya) — every day I’m thankful that we’ve found good people to continue to care for you all, even as COVID continues around us (more on that below), as several of our staff have babies (more on that below), and as we transition to using new processes and software (more on that below as well).
Every year we ask our patients to give us anonymous feedback via our annual survey. Generally, we’ve used these to set goals for the upcoming year and to keep a pulse on what our patients like — and don’t like — about what we do around here. The survey should take less than 5 minutes to complete (unless you type a lot, but that’s up to you!). It is anonymous and — the best part — it lets you enroll for a chance to win one of three $50 Visa gift certificates!
Our hope is that 2022 will bring many opportunities to make things better, to focus on how we can grow to serve you all better, and we want your advice as we try to settle out from a tumultuous 2021.
Allison Edwards, MD
PS: we’ve got room to bring on a family physician — spread the word!
this month’s health tip
Let’s talk about COVID! We just updated the information on our COVID-19 Information page, and we encourage you to peruse through it. The highlights are as follows:
- The vaccines are highly effective at preventing serious illness — and we recommend everyone get vaccinated at this point.
- There is a lot of information out there surrounding vaccines and it can be hard to tell what’s good information and what’s not! We have some tips laid out and always welcome conversation and questions.
- The Delta variant is the dominant strain at this point in Kansas and Missouri; if you have any odd symptoms whatsoever, we recommend getting tested!
Flu shots! Everyone holed up last year, and (predictably) influenza rates plummeted — that won’t be the case this year, so please get vaccinated! Flu vaccines are $30 for members ($45 for non-members). Call us at 913-730-033 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a nurse visit to get your annual vaccine. (Think you don’t need one? Check out this blog post we authored about influenza, as a refresher to how nasty this bug can be.)
Transitions & New Faces: As above, we are eternally grateful for all of you who have been patient as we’ve worked through major transitions this year.
- For those who haven’t had the opportunity to meet her, we’re excited to have Laura, RN, as the newest RN addition to the clinic! She comes to us from KU Med and is enjoying the different pace of primary care (along with working days, not nights).
- With Mary, our MA transitioning out in July, we welcomed Nicole, LPN into the fold as well! She has a background in the armed forces and served in a nursing facility through the dark days of COVID last winter, caring for the most vulnerable. After taking a bit of a break from healthcare (understandably), she’s back in the saddle here at the clinic (part time) and working through her final year of getting her RN degree.
- Lauran, RN, continues to be out for maternity leave and will return to clinic in mid-October on a 4-day-a-week schedule. She reports she and baby are doing well and adjusting to new routines at home.
- As noted previously, Dr. Edwards has stepped back from day-to-day clinical care at this point as she heads into motherhood herself. She is still around, loitering in the background, and collaborates with Nohemi on an daily basis with regard to patient care, sometimes popping in to help with procedures or complex situations where two heads are better than one. Due date is late September!
- Nohemi Alvarez-Landa, NP-C has stepped up to provide the clinical, day-to-day care that our patients have come to expect. She comes from a background at St. Luke’s, Children’s Mercy, along with several private clinics and a Federally Qualified Health Centers.
- Dr. Short has settled into his new practice at Family-Centered Care in Lawrence and reports that his commute is much shorter, giving him more time with his family, including his newest addition, born this June!
We are actively looking to hire a family physician to join our ranks. It has been a learning process over the years to figure out what kind of a clinician would be a good fit for the clinic, and part of our price increase this last month was to make sure that we have the financial stability to attract — and retain — physicians as we move forward. Again, your continued support helps us get closer and closer to this goal as well and we are eternally grateful you’ve trusted us to care for you.
Prescriptions/Medication Refills/New Software: as many of you noticed, we switched to a new software system in July (because we didn’t have enough chaos, already, right?) for sending prescriptions to outside pharmacies. Called “e-prescribing”, the idea is that it is faster, more secure, and more accurate than paper or faxing (which, in the long run, is a win). Moving forward, when you request a refill, we’ll need to know and/or confirm a few things, such as: your preferred pharmacy, allergies, the medication name/strength (in mg, usually)/how you’re taking it/the days’ supply requested, among other things. Bear with us as we make this transition, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you think we’ve hit a snag.
Insurance Healthcare.gov is open for enrollment in certain situations, and if you are trying to get your insurance figured out, there are subsidies available that may make this an incredibly affordable option — and they’ve recently rolled out a very generous program for anyone who has been unemployed of late. Learn more here. Regardless, we are here, steadfast, for all of your primary care needs — whether you have insurance or not!