The 10,000 Calls Initiative is being led by Richmond County Medical Society, in partnership with Borough Hall and Community Health Action of Staten Island. Similar projects have been supported by the New York Chapter of the American College of Physicians on a statewide basis.
The 10,000 Calls Initiative arms physician offices and their staff members with questions to ask patients, and/or their caregivers, concerning relevant critical areas related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Physician staff will ask patients about:
- Patient’s overall health, such as how a patient is feeling and if there are any pressing health concerns;
- Need for medication assistance, such as refills, picking up meds, assisting with medication deliveries;
- Concerns related to pandemic, such as when and where to get tested, who needs to be tested, when to go to emergency department;
- And concrete help related to social support, such as those related to food (list of pantries, pick up, delivery of food and/or grocery stores) and mental health.
“We want to make sure that people have what they need during this trying time, which is why I am grateful for Richmond County Medical Society and Community Health Action of Staten Island for partnering with us to bring this 10,000 Calls Initiative to Staten Island. We will get through this crisis, but we have to continue to work together to do so,” noted Borough President James Oddo.
During initial rollout phase, multiple patients needed medication refills, few needed follow-up due to feeling overwhelmed and anxious, and most had a family member or friend checking up on them.
"Primary Care Physicians are part of the fabric of our patients’ lives. We are privileged to be invited to share in patients' celebrations and sorrows, and to advise in times of challenge and fear. As such the office teams are frequent sources of information and comfort, especially in trying times as we are experiencing with COVID19. The 10,000 Calls Project seeks to access the bonds of kinship between patients and their Primary Care Physicians. We believe patients will be honest about their needs and that the physician's office recommendations will be perceived as secure and safe by patients. This is an easy social outreach that brings caring for the individual to a new and more meaningful level,” said Dr. John Maese, Richmond County Medical Society (RCMS).
“Community Health Action welcomes this innovative collaboration with Borough Hall, the Richmond County Medical Society and the Staten Island provider community. We stand ready to support their efforts to connect people to critical services,” said Diane Arneth, Executive Director, Community Health Action of Staten Island.
If a call results in a patient needing further assistance to additional resources, the physician’s office will ask for consent for a partner to reach out to CHASI who will offer additional support to the patient. CHASI will offer telephonic support on a variety of fronts, such as daily check-ins via a CHASI case manager/counselor if a patient assessment warrant, as well as non-medical needs such as care navigation, emergency food, assistance with benefits, housing, and/or domestic violence issues.
CHASI will also be connecting people to drug treatment, harm reduction programs and recovery services as needed. Issues surrounding mental health, such as anxiety, depression, suicide ideations etc., will be connected to 1-800-NYC-WELL, suicide hot line, or RUMC’s new crisis help line at 718-818-6300.
It is important to note that this is not a tele-health visit, nor is it aimed to duplicate social determinants of health templates already within the community. The 10,000 Calls Initiative is a program instituted to offer emotional and social support to a community in need during this time.