Salt Lake City, Utah, Jan. 19, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In a time of an unprecedented surge of the COVID-19 pandemic, Intermountain Healthcare has made a contribution to Fourth Street Clinic, a community health center providing high-quality healthcare and support services to Utah’s homeless community.
The community health center’s quarantine and isolation efforts give individuals and families living in shelter or on the street a place to quarantine once exposed to COVID. A contribution of $285,000 from the Intermountain Community Care Foundation will specifically assist with these operational costs. This includes rent for the facility, meals, security, medical supplies, communications and operating costs.
Since July 2021, Fourth Street’s quarantine and isolation program has served 561 individuals and families experiencing homelessness.
“We are incredibly grateful for the vital services Fourth Street Clinic provides to those experiencing homelessness and providing COVID response service to this vulnerable population,” said Mikelle Moore, Intermountain Community Care Foundation’s president and Intermountain’s senior vice president and chief community officer. “We stand with the community health center in our conviction to helping our communities that are struggling through the COVID pandemic and we invite others to join us in supporting the important work the Fourth Street Clinic leads.”
In the summer of 2021, the Fourth Street Clinic began managing Salt Lake County’s quarantine and isolation operations. The clinic coordinates with multiple homeless resource providers and local businesses to provide services such as canned food, catered meals, transportation to the facility and more while clinic staff works with the clients throughout the week with regular medical check ins to monitor COVID symptoms while in isolation.
Janida Emerson, chief executive officer of Fourth Street Clinic, says this funding couldn’t have come at a more crucial time.
“The reality for us here at Fourth Street Clinic is that COVID is moving far faster than we have the resources for,” Emerson said. “The recent spike of Omicron cases in Utah filled our current quarantine and isolation space to capacity—and honestly, we began to worry how this program would continue with such a massive spike in cases. The support from the Intermountain Community Care Foundation in the eleventh hour means these services are still available to our vulnerable neighbors through this current surge.”
On January 4, 2022, the Salt Lake County Health Department issued a public health advisory due to the substantially high COVID-19 transmission rates. In addition, the increased risk of reinfection and spread of Omicron has dramatically increased the need for quarantine and isolation placements.
While Fourth Street Clinic will be pursuing state funding for operation in February and March, the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund would support Fourth Street Clinic until that time.
Utah Governor Spencer Cox selected former Utah Senate President Wayne Niederhauser in April 2021 to serve as the new state homeless services coordinator.
“I appreciate the Fourth Street Clinic for providing vital services to Utahns experiencing homelessness, especially during the Covid-19 Pandemic,” said Wayne Niederhauser, chief administrative officer of the Office of Homeless Services.
More information and details on how anyone can assist the Fourth Street Clinic in its efforts can be found at fourthstreetclinic.org.
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ABOUT INTERMOUNTAIN HEALTHCARE Located in Utah, Idaho, and Nevada, Intermountain Healthcare is a nonprofit system of 25 hospitals, 225 clinics, the Intermountain Medical Group with some 2,700 employed physicians and advanced care practitioners, a health plans division called SelectHealth, Homecare, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. For updates, see https://intermountainhealthcare.org/news.