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 vaccine shots are currently being scheduled on specific days as demand accumulates. Once a vial is open, there must be enough people ready to have a shot on the same day to make the most of each vial. Please call 907-733-2273 for an appointment.
Future vaccine clinic dates are:
- Talkeetna Clinic – October 26th, November 30th, December 28th
- Willow Clinic – October 29th, December 3rd, December 30th
- Wasilla Clinic – October 27th, December 1st, December 29th
If appointment times do not fit in your schedule, Mat-Su Public Health Center also schedules shots clinics locally. Visit http://covidvax.alaska.gov or contact the Vaccine Helpline toll-free at 1-833-482-9546 for assistance.
Have Other 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 by appointment. Tests are performed curbside to prevent viral exposure within the facility.
Rapid test kit availability is in short supply nationwide and does not meet the current testing demand. When you set your appointment, depending on availability, you may be offered a COVID-19 test that is processed through a State of Alaska lab with a 4-6 day turnaround for test results instead of a rapid test.
HOURS OF OPERATION
All offices will remain open Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM by appointment only.
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
Seeking care for your health at a health care facility should provide you with a safe experience that helps promote good health. This becomes more challenging amid a pandemic with a very contagious and potentially very harmful virus in our community. We are making extra efforts to protect patients and staff from unintended exposure to the virus. It is important to protect those of us in our community who may be especially vulnerable to the virus.
To help decrease the likelihood of viral spread, all people who enter our clinics are expected to wear a mask while in the facility. On arrival at the clinic, you will be screened for symptoms. To do this effectively, depending on staff availability, you may find the front door locked to control the flow of patient traffic and ensuring that all who enter are appropriately screened and have a mask to wear. If the door is locked, there will be a sign with instructions on how to alert the staff to your presence so that you may quickly gain entrance. If the screening process identifies concerns, you will be asked to wait in your car while a provider is alerted and appropriate steps are implemented to allow you to have your healthcare needs met. This may include rapid testing prior to your appointment and or transition to a telehealth appointment if appropriate.
If you experience any of the symptoms below, please call our office prior to entering:
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
As the impacts of COVID-19 continue to change, our patients can continue to participate in Behavioral Health visits from home through the easy to use video conferencing software, Zoom, via computer or smartphone. Telephone visits are available on a case by case basis for those unable to use Zoom for any reason. Some providers are also offering in person appointments for those patients that prefer to be seen in the clinic. For in person visits, we ask that you wear a mask along with your provider. We also use portable HEPA filters in our counseling rooms to further protect you.
Your Behavioral Health team is here to help support you through any challenges you are experiencing, including those challenges directly or indirectly related to COVID-19. If you’d like more information about telehealth or in-person visits, please contact us by phone or through our website by clicking here.
To help manage stress click these links for resources:
- coronavirus anxiety workbook
- mindfulness information and recordings
- coping tips from the CDC
- Parenting in a Pandemic video
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) 733-9292.
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 available via the patient portal account messaging or by phone: 907-733-2273, option 5.
Click here for a video overview on how to send messages in the patient portal.