Dear Leaders, Partners, Stakeholders, and Friends:
From the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak, Aunt Martha’s has committed all of its resources to protecting the safety and health of our frontline workers, each of whom we consider one of the true heroes in the face of an unprecedented crisis. In the cause of that effort, we have worked tirelessly to secure the personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies necessary to allow our staff – in health centers, in DCFS shelter settings, and those who are called to visit the homes of foster families and families in crisis – to continue providing their exceptional brand of compassionate care. And, to be clear, the work these heroes do has never been more needed.
Yesterday, as part of his goal to perform 10,000 COVID-19 tests per day, Governor Pritzker released interim testing guidelines for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). The purpose of those guidelines is to expand testing to high-risk, priority groups, including individuals like many of our own dedicated staff who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 fight.
Aunt Martha’s was one of only a few organizations asked directly by the Governor’s Office to be a part of this extraordinary effort. I am pleased to announce that in response, Aunt Martha’s developed and submitted a plan to offer drive-through COVID-19 testing for high-risk, symptomatic patients at six (6) of our health center locations spread across a wide geography. Aunt Martha’s developed its COVID-19 testing plan with the goal of making an impact where it is the most needed. To that end, our plan focuses on populations and communities disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 virus. It also leverages some of the characteristics that make Aunt Martha’s unique, including:
- The broad geographic scope of our services;
- Our fully integrated model of health care, behavioral health, child welfare, and community-based services; and
- Our distinct ability to prioritize the needs of and collaborate with the Department of Children and Family Services to offer testing to DCFS employees, as well as the employees of other DCFS partner agencies that are working on the front line of the coronavirus crisis.
Whether you work with Aunt Martha’s as a local-, state- or federal funder, as a managed care organization, financial institution, health care or community-based service provider, or in any other way, please know that Aunt Martha’s COVID-19 testing sites shall be a resource to anyone who fits within one of the four high-priority categories for COVID-19 testing established by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
As a partner to our organization, I hope that each of you feels a sense of pride in being part of an organization that the State sought out, recognizing Aunt Martha’s willingness to rapidly mobilize its resources, and – most importantly – the dedication and ability of our employees to put those resources to use in the service of those most at-risk in this crisis.
I invite you to visit our website this Friday, April 17, for the complete details of the days and times that testing will be available at each of our COVID-19 testing sites.
Please stay well.
President & CEO