SCHC Service Updates During COVID-19
Sunshine Community Health Center (SCHC) is working to deliver the best care possible and to provide accurate health information for our patients and the community during this Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As the situation develops, information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Alaska Department of Health and Social Services changes daily and we will continue to provide updates about SCHC services as we have them.
The safety and well-being of our patients and staff continue to be our primary concern. All employees, patients, and guest are required to wear a mask at all times while in an SCHC facility. We are monitoring the status of COVID-19 nationally and within our community and will keep you up to date regarding changes to SCHC services and operations.
Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns by phone at (907) 733-2273 or through our patient portal and we will respond as soon as we can.
- COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling
- COVID-19 Testing
- Hours of Operation
- Additional Visitor Screening
- Medical Appointments
- Dental Appointments
- Behavioral Health Appointments
- Prescription Renewals and Dispensary Pick-Ups
- Contacting the Billing Department
- Answers to FAQs from Dr. McLaughlin, Chief of the Epidemiology Section, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
COVID-19 VACCINE SCHEDULING
Scheduling for Phase 1B, Tier 1 (ages 65 and older) begins Monday, January 11th. If you meet the eligibility criteria of 65 years of age or older, please contact the Talkeetna clinic at (907) 733-2273 to be put on a wait-list. Supply is very limited at this time. As vaccine supply increases and appointment times are available, we will contact you to schedule your vaccination.
Vaccination appointments will be scheduled on Wednesdays and Fridays at the Talkeetna clinic. Be prepared to wait 30 minutes after your injection before check-out. Upon check-out, we will schedule your 2nd vaccination and give you a reminder card with the date and time.
We are working to get the Wasilla location approved as a vaccination site as well.
Have Vaccine Questions?
Are you wondering who is eligible to receive the vaccine? Is the vaccine safe? Is it effective? Is it mandated? How much does it cost? Please visit the State of Alaska’s COVID-19 Vaccine Information for all Alaskans webpage for answers to frequently asked questions.
COVID-19 testing is available at both clinic locations by appointment for anyone who requests a test. Tests are performed curbside to prevent viral exposure within the facility.
Rapid testing is available at our Talkeetna facility.
A rapid test machine has been ordered for the Willow clinic as well. Once the new machine is delivered, rapid COVID tests will be scheduled in both locations.
HOURS OF OPERATION
Both offices (Talkeetna and Willow) will remain open Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM by appointment only. The Talkeetna office will be closed on Saturdays.
All patients and visitors should call in advance or schedule an appointment through the patient portal. We cannot accept walk-in appointments at this time. All employees, patients, and guests are required to wear a mask at all times while in an SCHC facility.
ADDITIONAL SCREENING AT SCHC FACILITIES
Sunshine Community Health Center (SCHC) is taking precautions to ensure the safety of patients, visitors and employees alike. To suppress the spread of Covid-19, all employees, patients, and visitors entering the SCHC facilities will be screened by a series of questions and undergo a temperature reading. The result of the screening will determine further triage and appropriate treatment.
Office-based appointments are continuing by appointment with additional screening to ensure the safety of patients, visitors, and employees. Medicare and most private insurance companies have temporarily expanded coverage of telehealth services to respond to COVID-19. SCHC does offer telehealth via Zoom on a case by case basis. We are doing our best to reduce the risk of exposure and will offer three options for your visit: in-person, by video, or by phone call. If an in-person visit is best, we will ask additional questions and provide temperature screening upon entering the facility to determine further triage and appropriate treatment. Rest assured, we will take care of you and your needs, based on each individual circumstance.
TeleMedicine Information and Resources
SCHC continues to offer many services through Telemedicine. This service allows you to have an office visit via phone or video rather than in-person. It is very similar to FaceTime, Skype, Google Video, or whatever you may already use for video calls with friends and family. The main difference is that the Zoom platform is an easy to use, secure video system for medical appointments available to you at no cost.
Equipment you need for a telemedicine visit:
One of the following digital devices:
- Desktop PC
- Laptop Computer
- Microphone (if not already included in the mobile device or computer)
- Webcam (If not already included in the mobile device or computer)
- Strong internet connection
Click the links below to view instructions for connecting to a Zoom visit:
In support of national efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, we are following directives from the CDC to limit patient and staff exposure to this virus. Your health, and the health of our dedicated staff, matters to us.
The dental team is still seeing patients that have a negative COVID-19 test prior to the appointment. Not all dental appointments require a COVID test ahead of time but If you need one you will be notified during the scheduling of your appointment. Testing will be done at the location your appointment is scheduled. Testing will be done 15 minutes prior to your appointment by a dental staff member. Testing is done outside the building and a negative result is needed before entering the building. Most insurance carriers will cover this testing but patients are encouraged to check coverage eligibility prior to receiving the test. Should a patient receive a positive COVID-19 result, their dental appointment will be canceled and they will need to follow CDC guidelines to self-quarantine. After the quarantine, they should be tested again with a negative result before dental care can resume.
Most hygiene appointments do not require COVID-19 testing to be done in advance unless it is for scaling and root planing. If you have questions about dental’s workflows during this time please reach out.
Of course, if you have a dental emergency or need immediate care please call us right away for guidance on the best care plan for you.
BEHAVIORAL HEALTH APPOINTMENTS
Patients receiving Behavioral Health services can participate in their visits from home through the easy to use video conferencing software, Zoom, via computer or smartphone.
Individual Appointments - Behavioral Health patients will receive a phone call at least two days prior to their scheduled appointment with more information.
Groups - If you attend a recovery group at SCHC, we are creating group video calls and you will be contacted with details. If your providers determine that you need to visit the clinic for the medical portion of your group, we will help you with those arrangements.
New Patients - If you are a patient that is not currently receiving Behavioral Health services but would like to, please contact us so we can determine if starting care via telehealth is the right fit for you.
To help manage stress click these links for resources:
This pandemic affects people in different ways. If you need support managing difficult emotions due to COVID-19 our Behavioral Health staff are here to help, call (907) 733-9263.
Prescription renewals for existing SCHC patients can be completed by phone on a case by case basis. Please call SCHC or send a message via the patient portal if you need your prescription refilled.
Existing SCHC patients who receive medications from Geneva Woods or Three Bears Pharmacies can continue to pick up medications at Sunshine. All items will be delivered curbside.
To limit traffic within SCHC facilities and help adhere to social distancing guidelines please call ahead to coordinate your medication pick-up.
Patients with new prescriptions or who use outside pharmacies should contact them directly to arrange pick-up or delivery options
During this time, you may also want to contact your prescription insurance provider to see if they’ve temporarily waived certain requirements to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 — like waiving prescription refill limits or relaxing restrictions on home or mail delivery of prescription drugs.
Lab reviews will be completed by phone. SCHC representatives are making contact with patients by phone and via the patient portal.
We are communicating with our federal and state partners about COVID-19 testing and can test patients that meet the screening criteria. If you think you may have the flu, COVID-19 or respiratory symptoms please review these resources from the CDC for home-care.
CONTACTING THE BILLING DEPARTMENT
Our billing staff is currently working offsite. In order to best accommodate our patients, we are available via portal account messaging or by phone: 907-733-4611. In order to reach a billing specialist, you MUST dial 907 and call this direct line. Thank you for your patience with our staff during the Public Health Emergency.
Click here for a video overview on how to send messages in the patient portal.
Dr. Joe McLaughlin, State of Alaska DHSS Chief of Epidemiology
Listen to Dr. McLaughlin answer frequently asked questions on various COVID-19 related topics.