WASHINGTON – Bank of America has awarded a $1M grant to the Howard University Faculty Practice Plan (HUFPP) to improve access to COVID-19 testing in the diverse Washington, D.C. communities located east of the river.
“We’re excited to partner with Bank of America to get these critical resources to the areas that need them the most,” says Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick. “Many of our patients travel great distances to come to Howard University Hospital, which makes it challenging to seek medical attention at the first sign of illness. Our goal is to meet the community where they live so their access to care greatly improves and hopefully we can reduce the spread of the coronavirus significantly.”
Beginning on Tuesday, May 5, Howard University Faculty Practice Plan will host testing at the new Benning Road Center, located at 4414 Benning Road, N.E., Washington, D.C., Suite 2400. The free testing will be available on Tuesdays and Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the next three months. Residents can sign up by appointment by calling 202-865-2119, option 3. The team will see patients who are showing symptoms or who believe they are asymptomatic.
“You will not need to have a doctor’s prescription in advance to get tested at our location,” says Dr. Hugh E. Mighty, Howard University vice president of clinical affairs. “We want to eliminate the obstacles so more people can be tested because we believe everyone should be tested. We want to screen our community neighbors in the areas where there are higher incidents of hypertension, heart disease and diabetes because those pre-existing conditions are linked to the higher incidents of coronavirus that we’ve seen in African American communities.”
As the need increases, the Howard team will look at expanding to include a mobile unit to provide testing options in a second area of the city. In addition to funding the tests and equipment, a portion of the grant will be used to enhance Howard University Hospital’s telehealth services. This will expand a doctor’s ability to see patients remotely and increase the patient’s access to care.
“Once we set up a telehealth system outside of the classic intensive care units, we’ll be able to manage multiple ICUS from one location, which brings more expertise to the table,” says Dr. Mighty. “We can remotely manage a unit and talk them through what they need, which helps to extend the ICU doctor’s reach. We could even extend this across hospitals ultimately.”
“Howard University Hospital is on the front lines in this war against the coronavirus and we are proud to partner in getting help to where it is needed the most,” says Larry Di Rita, Greater Washington, D.C. Market President, Bank of America.
The Howard University Faculty Practice Plan has repurposed an existing clinic at 4414 Benning Rd NE, suite 2400 to test residents from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. To make an appointment, call 202-865-2119 and Press 3. A prescription is not necessary.
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