Winn Army Community Hospital, to help stop the spread of the coronavirus and protect staff, beneficiaries and their Families, opened a Well Baby Clinic at Richmond Hill Medical Home, April 7.
While pediatrics continues its mission to provide inpatient and outpatient services, and support to Winn’s labor and Delivery, Emergency Room and Intermediate Care, they also support the Well Baby Clinic.
Major Matthew Fultz, Chief of Pediatrics at Winn Army Community Hospital, said they had to evolve their programs and services in response to the growing threat of COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the first thing Pediatrics did was make some structural changes.
“We're using an additional waiting room space to separate well children from sick children,” Fultz said. “We're aggressively screening and using the tools of virtual health and telehealth capabilities. So it's not uncommon for family to call in for appointments and get a phone call from a nurse, asking if they'd like to solve their health issues, over the phone rather than coming to the clinic.”
Fultz said they also dedicated doctors to support the clean clinic exclusively providing well baby checkups for infants three to five days old; two weeks, two months and one year. He said they augmented the Richmond Hill Medical Home staff with several pediatricians and nursing staff to support those appointments.
Ben Ernst, Group practice manager at Richmond Hill Medical Home said their location was centrally located between Winn Army Community Hospital and Tuttle Army Medical Center. The building is located in a shopping plaza just east of the Highway 17 and Highway 144 intersection.
Ernst said the safety of the staff and patients is paramount at the clean clinic, providing well baby appointments while reducing the risk of exposure.
Sgt Preston Barnhart, a Soldier with 1st Battalion, 64th Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team visited the newly opened Well Baby Clinic at RHMH.
“I think this place is important,” Barnhart said, adding it was good to see healthcare providers taking those extra precautions to care for babies.
“Fantastic job,” Barnhart said. “Risking yourself to take care of children, who need a little more care, it is fantastic.”
Fultz said their staff would continue to support the mission, to protect staff and community members, but noted community members could help stop the spread by using social distancing and by remembering to wash their hands regularly.