In Pima County and Arizona, diagnosed positive COVID-19 cases are on the rise. Emergency room and ICU beds are reaching capacity because of a rise of cases and healthcare workers are becoming overwhelmed. We spoke with Dr. Bradley Dreifuss who is on the front lines in Tucson medicine. He’s an emergency medicine physician and assistant professor in the colleges of medicine and public health at the University of Arizona.
He’s also the co-founder of HCW Hosted. HCW Hosted is a grassroots community-based organization mobilizing to meet healthcare worker needs during COVID-19 and any future pandemic threats likely to occur in our near future. An overlooked aspect of pandemic preparedness and response is the preparation of healthcare and critical infrastructure workers for lengthy periods of time when they put their families at heightened risk of infection.
HCW Hosted started out as a Tucson community-based initiative to help assure the well-being of HealthCare Workers (HCWs) throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their initiative is responsive to the feedback of HCWs and their families.
Currently, they provide support to healthcare workers looking for housing during the COVID-19 pandemic to prevent family members from becoming infected. This happens by helping them find suitable places to self-quarantine, ideally with their colleagues. In addition to housing, their goal is to monitor the ongoing health status of HCWs, offer social and logistical support services for their partners/spouses and children, and connect them to emotional health services.
HCW Hosted believes that supporting HealthCare workers and their families will improve health outcomes in our community.
Recorded and produced by Amanda Shauger.