Today Is A Good Day!

Today is a good day. At 8:30 am this morning, we started the two-day process of vaccinating our staff, our volunteers, and our interns. For ten months now, I have watched my colleagues grapple with the realities of managing COVID-19 at the clinic.

Our COVID helpline has responded to 26,075 calls.

Our team has directly provided 980 COVID tests and consultations for people with COVID-19.

In partnership with CVS, we have helped test 20,597 people at the rapid testing site.

We watched and cheered and took pictures as the first employee vaccinations took place. In our triage area, next to our vaccination room, I put on my N95 and my PPE to start testing children. The first child tested positive. So did two of the next three. I watched employees walk in and out from getting vaccinated while I walked back and forth from triage, testing kids, and discussing positive results with parents. It was a surreal mix of hope alongside the genuine persistence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thank you to our staff and volunteers for the months of service you have given Good Sam and our patients. A vaccine will not erase the hours of extra work, the pain of what you have seen and experienced, or the ongoing challenge the pandemic will bring us in the months to come. But it is a bit of hope. Today, you go home with more than just a mask. You go home with the start of protective immunity and a vision for better days to come. You deserve this, and I am so thrilled to watch you receive it.


Breanna Lathrop, DNP, MPH, FNP-BC
Chief Operating Officer
Good Samaritan Health Center


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Reflections on 2020

It's 4:30 pm on December 29th, and I just swabbed my last patient of 2020 for COVID-19. I would love to be bidding 2020 farewell, as I'm sure most of us are, but we don't get to leave this year behind us. 2020 has changed us. We have tested the limits of our healthcare system and found that it has a breaking point. We have been reminded that time does not heal racism, only sustained, intentional change. We have seen our collective need for community and the consequences of going without it. We have learned that we are each other's greatest asset. We can manufacture more test kits and ventilators, but we cannot produce skilled, compassionate healthcare workers when they get sick or burnout. 2020 has changed us as a nation.

2020 has also brought changes to Good Sam. Our previous staff entrance has moved from a temporary acute care triage to a permanent exam room to assess those with COVID-19. Our community fitness center will enter 2021 as a COVID-19 testing site as it has been most of the year. I am not sure we will ever deliver patient care without wearing masks again. Temperature and symptom checks at the door will remain a daily practice. Our COVID-19 helpline finished the year with 200 more calls on Tuesday, surpassing 22K COVID-19 related calls this year. These changes, while necessary, are ones I wish we didn't have to make. Other changes have been good. We have initiated conversations and an action plan around racial equity both internally and in our clinical practice. We have added new employees to deliver our regular services alongside COVID-19 care and testing safely. We have harnessed the power and skills of our volunteers in ways we never imagined.

More than anything else, we have seen the way God sustains our work through his people. Our staff has amazed me. Some took on new leadership positions and roles that didn't exist a year ago. Others volunteered to take on the most high-risk tasks. Others worked extra hours to accommodate increased demand and cover for staff members who were quarantined. They developed new workflows and solutions to constant change. Every staff member navigated the personal challenges COVID-19 delivered to them while showing up and working harder than ever before.

Our volunteers enabled us to respond in ways we could never have otherwise. Over 80 people trained created a volunteer-run call center to respond to over 22,000 calls that came in through our helpline and scheduled over 18,000 COVID-19 tests. They developed systems for training and communication and joined weekly Zoom meetings to keep up with the pandemic's constant changes. Volunteer providers, who could have just held off for the year, started offering telehealth. Others provided on-the-spot consults for our primary care providers, while others put on masks and joined us at the clinic. Our prayer team not only kept praying for us and our patients but started a weekly prayer call. In a year of financial challenge and uncertainty, our donors gave more than ever, allowing us not only to stay open but expand our services to meet new needs. Community organizations and churches supplied PEE, lunches, and even gifts for staff.

I have many emotions as I process the end of a year I could have never imagined, but I feel overwhelming gratitude for those who came alongside us more than anything else. Thank you for loving us, supporting us, and joining us in a year that would have been impossible without you.


Breanna Lathrop, DNP, MPH, FNP-BC
Chief Operating Officer
Good Samaritan Health Center


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