Submitted by Providence

The COVID patient surge and workforce shortages across the country are well publicized. The situation is not unique to hospitals: medical providers in the ambulatory/clinic setting struggle to complete medication refill and referral requests as a result of often having reduced staff.

providence Jane Geraci
Dr. Jane Geraci. Photo courtesy: Providence

“Like the doctors and nurses in the emergency departments, we continue to do all we can to care for our patients through this pandemic,” said Dr. Jane Geraci, primary care section chief for Providence Medical Group in Southwest Washington. “We have established relationships with our patients and care deeply about them. We are working very hard with the resources available to us and we are asking for our community’s patience.”

Have COVID-19 Vaccine Questions?

While many Providence Medical Group caregivers are helping serve the community by volunteering for extra shifts in the hospitals, the COVID-19 Triage Line is available to answer patient questions.

“We have many patients who are unvaccinated, and we talk to them about what the vaccine means for them and their loved ones,” said Geraci. “We want people to get vaccinated, and we want to talk to people who have questions and concerns about the vaccine.”

Call 1.855.776.4362 if you have vaccine questions or to schedule a visit with your primary care provider for a personalized discussion.

Seek the Right Care, in the Right Place, at the Right Time

If you have a life-threatening medical emergency, call 911 or go to the emergency department. If you’re not feeling well and not sure what to do, please contact your primary care provider. “Most importantly, patients should not delay needed care,” said Geraci. “It might take extra time for us to respond to a request or complete a medication refill, that’s why it’s important to be proactive.”

If you can’t get in to see your primary care provider, Providence ExpressCare Virtual might be an option for you. In minutes after logging into virtual.providence.org you can see a provider through an online video at your computer or smartphone from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. Any needed prescriptions will be sent to your local pharmacy. You can also schedule a video visit with a provider.

Need an in-person visit? There are several express and immediate care options available in Southwest Washington. Providence has immediate care clinics in West Olympia, Lacey and recently re-opened in Hawks Prairie. At the Providence ExpressCare – Lacey Marketplace, you can walk in or make online appointments. Find more information about walk-in clinics here.

Need to establish a primary care provider? Having a primary care provider is one of the most important things someone can do for their own health. Please note it may take several weeks or months for an initial appointment. To help find the right provider for you, call 1.855.776.4362.

Get Vaccinated, Mask Up, Socially Distance

In Providence Southwest Washington, about 85% of COVID-19-positive patients who require hospitalization are unvaccinated. More than 95% of COVID-19-positive patients who require care in Critical Care Units or are on ventilators are unvaccinated.

“Right now, the best way you can care for yourself and those around you is to get the COVID-19 vaccine if you haven’t already,” said Geraci. “Additionally, please continue to wear masks in public and carefully consider the public spaces you visit and gatherings you attend. The COVID virus is circulating a lot in our community right now—we can all contract it if we are not careful.”

For more information about Providence’s response to coronavirus, go to the Providence website.

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