The Adventist Health/Rideout Street Nursing Team will be distributing 120 free mobile devices to seniors and other vulnerable members of the population in the Yuba-Sutter community to ensure they are able to stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ashten Phillips, director of community well-being at Adventist, said the mobile phones are courtesy of TeleHealth initiatives through HealthNet and California Health and Wellness.
“These phones are being given to people who are experiencing homelessness; who currently have no phone; and who have no way to obtain a phone,” said Phillips. “Specifically the population that has health concerns requiring follow-up with their primary care doctor and/or the Street Nurse Team.”
Phillips said the Samsung A10e smartphones, which include a camera and the latest chrome browser, will be given out during street outreach efforts, internally at the hospital, at the Life Building Center on Tuesdays and at Hands of Hope on Thursdays.
Phones include wireless service free for 90 days so recipients can check in with providers and participate in virtual visits, said Phillips.
“Once a plan is expired, people will have the opportunity to continue services with the carrier by contacting them and re-activating the service in their name,” said Phillips.
All phones also come with a How To Guide in addition to a one on one demo provided by the Street Nurse team.
In January 2019, Adventist launched the Street Nursing Program, comprised of Phillips and Adventist RN Cindy Cooper, to meet the healthcare needs of the growing population experiencing homelessness within the Yuba-Sutter community.
According to Phillips, the team provides medical screenings and case management services to people who are experiencing homelessness as well as a tele-health platform which allows physicians to video conference with the patient in the field to determine the appropriate treatment. The team also provides hygiene supplies, dietary supplements and encouragement for those experiencing homelessness to enroll in services.
“The Street Nurse team works in collaboration with many community partners to assist with shelter and other community services they may need,” said Phillips. “Through community donations and grants the Street Nurse team is able to conduct outreach to people who are experiencing homelessness.”
According to Phillips, the Street Nurse Program provides healthcare needs to over 600 individuals on average and has completed over 1,500 follow up visits annually.