Collaboration Connects Asian American COVID-19 Patients with Healthcare
May 1, 2020
Mike Stahl
Shot of a young man getting his temperature taken with an infrared thermometer by a healthcare worker during an outbreak

SAN FRANCISCO — California Governor Gavin Newsom has made it clear in recent weeks that the State must greatly increase COVID-19 testing in order to re-open. Testing provides critical information to public health and government officials to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

In order to achieve the governor’s goal of 60,000 tests performed per day, providers like North East Medical Services (NEMS), one of the largest community health centers in the Bay Area, are offering drive-through testing. Drive-through testing greatly increases the number of people who can be tested.

NEMS currently serves 70,000 patients in San Francisco, many of whom are low-income, best-served in a language other than English, and are from immigrant families.

Partnership Connects COVID-19-Positive Patients to Care

Thanks to a decades-long relationship between NEMS and California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC), part of Sutter Health’s integrated network of care, San Francisco-based NEMS patients who test positive—and who need immediate medical care—receive a referral to CPMC. Together, these organizations provide care for 32,000 Medi-Cal patients; NEMS provides primary and specialty care, while CPMC serves as the in-network hospital for NEMS’ patients.

According to NEMS President & CEO, Eddie Chan, “NEMS is very fortunate to have CPMC as our partner in providing world-class medical care to the majority of our patients in San Francisco.”

Eighty percent of NEMS’ patients prefer to be served in a language other than English, and NEMS offers linguistically-competent and culturally-sensitive health care services in many languages and dialects. NEMS drive-through testing is limited to current patients, but anyone who wishes to get tested can call NEMS to register as a patient without coming into the clinic.

CPMC is one of the largest not-for-profit medical centers in California with three hospital campuses in San Francisco, including Davies, Mission Bernal and Van Ness. The medical center supports a system of care for patients across the City when they need emergency and hospital services.

In San Francisco, Sutter affiliates take patients in partnership with many providers and clinic groups. By partnering with NEMS, Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation and Brown & Toland Physicians, CPMC is helping ensure that shared patients have access to COVID-19 testing and a comprehensive set of services should they become symptomatic.

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