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Strengthening Our Community Through Telehealth Services

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  • Written By: Mary Jo Whitfield, Vice President of Integrated Care at Jewish Family & Children's Service
Strengthening Our Community Through Telehealth Services

Staying relevant is tougher than it sounds for healthcare providers. We are tasked with not only sustaining excellence in care delivery, but also with refining strategies to safeguard our value in an increasingly competitive, healthcare landscape.

The impact of COVID-19 certainly threw us a curveball, but JFCS remained steadfast in our commitment to continuing our healthcare services as well as the social service programs that are so important to our community.

As a nonprofit agency that works with vulnerable populations who are most at-risk, we are constantly reviewing and adapting programs and alternative strategies to continue serving those who depend on our services.

Implementing a telehealth offering was already a part of our strategic five-year plan with a targeted rollout goal in 2021. But stay-at-home orders quickly accelerated the timing with a push to go live sooner than we had planned.

The urgency underscored the ongoing need, so JFCS immediately spurred into action creating a sustainable infrastructure for telehealth services. We have already seen an immediate return on our investment - patients, already used to digital convenience in just about every other part of their lives, are embracing telemedicine for many kinds of healthcare encounters. We are seeing a dramatic reduction in missed appointments and an increase in patient satisfaction.

Offering telehealth services allows our medical providers to engage with our patients in a more modern way, increasing interaction and engagement, improving adherence to treatment plans, and most importantly, unlocking more ways for providers to help patients stay healthy.

As with our in-person services, virtual visits utilize a team-based, client-centered approach to individualized healthcare and social services based on the client’s needs and goals.

With the implementation of telehealth services, JFCS will now able to expand our services throughout Maricopa County, potentially to reaching and treating more individuals and families who need access to behavioral health, healthcare and social services. Our long-term goal has always been to increase access to care for vulnerable populations. Telehealth has proven to be a valuable tool.

I want to thank everyone that had a hand in the successful roll out and ongoing day-to-day success of JFCS offering telehealth services for our clients. You are the personification of our mission. Healing Lives. Whatever It Takes.