Review: Illinois launches telehealth Pandemic Health Worker program, provides wellness kits mild Coronavirus symptom sufferers, mental health hotline

Home/Review: Illinois launches telehealth Pandemic Health Worker program, provides wellness kits mild Coronavirus symptom sufferers, mental health hotline

Review: Illinois launches telehealth Pandemic Health Worker program, provides wellness kits mild Coronavirus symptom sufferers, mental health hotline

Review: Illinois launches telehealth Pandemic Health Worker program, provides wellness kits mild Coronavirus symptom sufferers, mental health hotline

This article describes statewide initiatives launched in Illinois to reach vulnerable populations and keep noncritical cases out of their hospitals.

On Saturday, the Illinois governor announced the launch of several statewide initiatives leveraging telehealth capacity to reach community-based individuals with mild Coronavirus-like symptoms and mental health-related needs:

  1. The Pandemic Health Worker programs are collaborations between the state Healthcare and Family Services agency and regional health systems offering community based and remote patient monitoring services. According to Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, “A pandemic health worker team will be [trained and] dispatched into each community and will partner with several organizations in the community to identify patients in need of services, provide outreach to patients, deliver health and wellness kits, food, medicine and connect patients to any telehealth services they may need. Once a patient is referred to a PHW, they will receive at least 14 days of services and will then be re-evaluated for any additional needs. SIU will collect patient data, evaluate outcomes for the program, and provide updates to the HFS.” Wellness kits will be delivered to community members who have capacity to to be digitally monitored at home, and are suffering mild COVID-19 symptoms. These kits will include thermometers, pulse oximeters, blood pressure cuffs and alcohol wipes.
  2. The Illinois Department of Human Services’ Mental Health Division launched a free-of-charge emotional support test line – “Call4Calm” – for residents experiencing stress and mental health issues related to COVID-19. Those contacting the hotline will be connected within 24 hours to a counselor from a local community mental health center.
|2020-04-13T12:11:29-04:00April 13th, 2020|COVID-19 Literature|Comments Off on Review: Illinois launches telehealth Pandemic Health Worker program, provides wellness kits mild Coronavirus symptom sufferers, mental health hotline

About the Author: Ross Silverman

Ross Silverman
Ross D. Silverman, JD, MPH, is Professor of Health Policy and Management at Indiana University Fairbanks School of Public Health and Professor of Public Health and Law at Indiana University McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis. He is a member of the IU Centers on Health Policy and Bioethics. His research focuses on public health and medical law, policy, and ethics, and law's impact on health outcomes and vulnerable populations. He also serves as Associate Editor on Legal Epidemiology for Public Health Reports, the official journal of the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service. His most recent Covid-19 publications include: "Ensuring Uptake of Vaccines Against SARS-CoV-2" in the New England Journal of Medicine (with MM Mello & SB Omer), and "Covid-19: control measures must be equitable and inclusive" in BMJ (with ZD Berger, NG Evans & AL Phelan)

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